Monthly Archives: January 2009

8 years, 1 month ago 38

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These two Enchanted Dolls are work in progress. Both are still waiting for their gowns. I’m working on them now. There are more pictures of them in the Costumed Doll gallery, but once their full outfits are complete, I will be doing another photoshoot and posting more pictures. There is also a third new doll on the way. I plan to have her finished within a week. Hopefully.

Enjoy.

8 years, 1 month ago 30
Posted in: Uncategorized

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My biggest inspiration and driving force in my work is a German Artist-Illustrator, named Sulamith Wulfing. I discovered her amazing work in 2002, and it has been the biggest influence in my creative development and establishment of my stylistic expression and direction. The minute I saw her work, I knew what I had to do with that seemingly unrelenting subconscious craving to make dolls. Discovering her, gave me a visual language to say everything I always knew I wanted to say with my work, but didn’t know how to say it. Her unique vision and technique, appeals and resonates so strongly with my own sensibilities that I don’t know where Sulamith Wulfing’s influence ends and my own vision begins. Sometimes I feel as if my dolls are composites of her paintings. And i think that perhaps that’s what they are ment to be.

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I can feel the influence and her aesthetic in every aspect of my work and try to emulate her visual language, but in a different medium, format and methods. It is my mission objective to capture the same magical, ethereal quality with my dolls, which she was so effectively able to convey with her work.

Marina and Echo

I consider Sulamith Wulfing’s work to be pure genius. She is the Mozart of visual art. Looking at her drawings one can see the ease and freedom with which she drew, pulling the most beautiful images from her seemingly infinite imagination and putting them on paper in astounding detail and intricacy. She had a brilliant and unique mind and an original aesthetic in her work. It’s as if her visions exist on a completely separate plane of perception and being, apart from all the familiar art influences and iconographic imagery that fills up the Louvre and the Uffizi art galleries. Although much art in those museums is quite important, it’s all the same: an endless parade of similar-looking nudes, virgin Marys, plump women, Popes and Christs.  It’s as if all those supposedly great masters of Renaissance went to the same art school and studied from the same teacher and painted the same model. Sulamith Wulfing on the other hand created her own, completely unique and previously unseen visual style.

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Sulamith Wulfing was very prolific, but much of her work was destroyed during WWll. Her books are very rare and expensive. I’ve been collecting them over the years, one at a time, and they are precious to me. If my house is ever on fire and i can only save one thing, I will take those books and everything else can burn, because the profound inspiration the provide me with, is priceless.

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Even though Sulamith Wulfing’s imagery provides a sort of foundation for my own Enchanted Doll aesthetic, I would like to believe that I’m somehow expanding and adapting her style to create my own, original and unique work. And I can only hope that to some people, my work will mean as much as Suamith Wulfing’s work means to me. However, I feel as if my abilities and imaginative capacity pale in comparison to Sulamith’s divne talent.

8 years, 2 months ago 25
Posted in: Uncategorized

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A few months ago i came up with this idea of photographing one of my nudes an a water setting. I love quiet, still ponds for their serene and mysterious beauty, and they also kind of creep me out. I would never swim in one as i don’t know what could be hidden on the bottom, but that, somewhat rational fear unfortunately extends to all natural bodies of water deeper than my waist. But I imagined that this would be a perfect water setting for a theme shoot.

The good news was that North West coast rain forest is full of lakes and ponds and all kinds of pretty nature. The bad news was that setting up a shoot in a natural setting was going to be quite difficult. I had been mulling over the idea for some months trying to find solutions to the challenges involved.

One- Doll could not be immersed in water, therefore some adequate, yet invisible support must be found to hold her above the water for at least 3 hours. Two- expensive photo equipment along with Chad and I had to be set and work in water at least knee deep for at least 3 hours. Three-Suitable location had to be found with the right aesthetic, depth and access which would accommodate the doll being safely posed and Chad and I safely moving around in water to shoot, re-shoot, pose and re-pose the doll ten thousand times in session. But the Fourth and main challenge of shooting outside was being unable to control the constant changing of the natural light. Usually, hours are spent on getting the right shot, at the right angle and the right pose of the doll in the studio, where we have full control of the light and unlimited working time, and I kept thinking of how I was going to get that perfect shot, or a decent shot for that matter, with so many uncertain factors.

All of the above challenges seemed doable of course with enough effort invested, but without a team of professional photographers and prop designers to help us with this water shoot for a doll, seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

So, I decided that at this point it, a simpler solution was to build an artificial pond in my studio. There will always be real ponds to shoot later when i’m more capable of such an ambitious undertaking.

This is a small segment of how I went about building a small pond for a doll shoot.

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First I went to China town and bought fake water lotuses and a lot of black fabric at a fabric store. Tarp was laid out and walls raised to create the depression.

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Then, Chad and I went to the beach just in front of our building and collected several pounds of sand and small and pretty pebbles to make the bottom of the pond which we then filled with over 50 liters of water.

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Then i went to the park and crawled around in the abundant underbrush for half an hour, finally finding the perfect log to accessorize my pond. However it was full of worms and rot and I was pretty disgusted. But art demands sacrifices, so I heroically dragged the log half a mile to my apartment and hosed it down in a parking lot. I also collected some red maple leafs on the way to echo Kia’s bright red hair.

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Then I spent several hours in water, arranging the pebbles and lilies and setting everything up.

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Something always kept falling over or floating away.

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It took me several more hours to figure out the best lighting arrangement for this set up as there was a lot of reflections coming from the white tarp and the water, and I’m not a professional photographer and so it takes me hours through trial and error to figure out what works best. Chad helps me out a lot of course, but i’m usually determined to figure it out myself first. A lot of times he rushes in to my rescue at the sound of me crying or stomping around because i’m too frustrated.

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I love technology. The Camera being tethered to my Macbook Air allows me to see each shot on the big screen immediately, so that I can see what aspects of each photo need improvement: Lights adjustment, pose adjustment, props adjustment, angle change, etc.

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And so, 3 days and about two hundred photographs later only 10 weren’t bad and only two of those made it on the website. I was able to get something close to what i was envisioning, and although I can’t say that building and shooting the pond was particularly fun because it was so difficult, more annoying actually, but it was certainly an interesting, learning experience. Like an exercise in stubborness.

8 years, 2 months ago 17

There is now an Enchanted Doll twitter feed, where I will be posting short blurbs about my dolls.  This will be used for quick updates on work while I prepare for my solo show.  The blog will still be used for larger updates and photos, but for those curious about my process feel free to follow my twitter feed. [EDIT – I made it so the 3 most recent tweets will show up on this blog, in the sidebar – Chad]

The above photo is of the doll I’m currently working on.  This is just after the hair has been glued on, she looks much more elegant now. And she’s got armpit hair!

8 years, 2 months ago 12
Posted in: Uncategorized

Fragment of the view from my window a week ago.

It’s been two weeks since my return from Europe and i’m finally going back to work. What I thought would be a vacation, was in fact a very stressful and intense experience of working abroad. I came home absolutely exhausted and in no shape to begin working full time, or working at all. So i took two more weeks off and did nothing except for watching seven seasons of Sex and the City for days and days and days.

We came back not only right in the middle of Christmas frenzy, but also in the middle of some unbelievable weather in Vancouver. It snowed for almost a week non stop and we were trapped inside the apartment, unable to go anywhere because this city is ill equipped to deal with occasional snow. In twelve years i’ve never seen this much snow in Vancouver and oh, it was so pretty at first, before i had to leave the house to go Christmas shopping and came back with water up to my ankles inside my boots. Then I realized why most Vancouverites hate snow so much.

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone. I am looking forward to making more dolls and achieving even more of my creative goals in 2009. I can feel that it will be a very good year.

Happy New Year!