Blog

10 years, 5 months ago 11
Posted in: site news

Just a reminder, the contest to win a free Nude Enchanted Doll is drawing near.  If you have already entered please don’t submit another entry, only one per person!

Click here to enter.

10 years, 5 months ago 17
Posted in: Doll Accessories

A little while ago I made a doll for a friend of mine, Fabrizio Viti.

paris-68-1

Fabrizio and I talking dolls.

He is a mega doll collector who resides in Paris and who has the most fantastic collection of fashion dolls and their fashions. Not only that, but he also has an abundance of custom made, couture designer outfits and accessories for them, such as a collection of tiny Prada purses, French perfumes and Louis Vuitton shoes and bags. His dolls also have designer furniture and furs and high end silks and laces for dresses. They have their own room, but the favorite ones sleep by the foot of his bed in a gorgeous custom made designer bed with Chinchilla fir lining. He has trunks and trunks of vintage fashion doll outfits too and the center piece of his immaculately furnished living room is the famous vintage ponytail Barbie in the zebra bathing suit. I touched it and it was glorious.

paris-521

Some fancy doll purses. Louis Vuitton, Prada, and another Louis Vuitton.

His dolls dress better and have the most expensive wardrobe of any woman I know. They look like runway models in Luxury designer labels and they must be the most spoiled dolls in the world.

Did I mention that Fabrizio is the head shoe designer for a luxury fashion label Louis Vuitton?

We met while I was in Paris past fall, showing my dolls and I had a little peek into the world of fashion. One of the first things Fabrizio had said to me when we went for lunch the following day, or the one after, was that both him and I worked in the same industry-the industry of fantasy. I thought it was a very interesting comparison, and was surprised that I hadn’t thought of it that way before even though it was kind of obvious.

Next week Chad and I were invited to his place where we had a great time. I brought my Edie with me and Fabrizio and I had an awesome play date with all his dolls and pretty things while Chad and Fabrizio’s friend who was visiting him that weekend, looked on as if we were two crazy people. Fabrizio kept pulling out box after box after box of doll clothes. It was nuts. The guy is a really passionate doll collector! Anyway we had lots of fun. I modeled some paris of Louise Vuitton shoes Fabrizio brought for me but had to work very hard to look as graceful as those models on the runway and i’m only half their height. It’s been a while since i wore heels and I was terrible, but i’ve gotten used to them since.

shoes

My Enchanted Doll shoe inside my Louis Vuitton shoe.

Yes, I had a great time in Paris. It is truly a city of beauty, vibrancy and decadence. It was a very exciting trip and I met some very interesting people while there and became extremely inspired by what i saw. I have no doubt that the experience is already influencing my work in a way that didn’t exist previously and will be doing so for years to come. Magical things happen in Paris.

10 years, 5 months ago 38

cixi-2

pinkcrown5

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.

10 years, 5 months ago 30
Posted in: Uncategorized

sulamith-wulfing-42

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.

sulamith-wulfing2
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.

wulfing_in_the_light1

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.

banshee2

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.

10 years, 6 months ago 25
Posted in: Uncategorized

d0b2d0b0d181d0bdd0b5d182d186d0bed0b2

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.

pond-7

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.

pond-6

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.

pond-5

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.

pond-4

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

pond-3

Something always kept falling over or floating away.

pond-2

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.

pond-11

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.

kia6

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.

10 years, 6 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!

10 years, 6 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!

10 years, 6 months ago 17
Posted in: Press

The Berlin show at Strychnin gallery opened Friday, December 6th!  It was a very fun evening but I’m glad that it has come and gone, the stress of everything was starting to get to me, mostly due to worrying about my dolls/cases in transit (trains, planes and automobiles).  I enjoyed talking with the people there, both those who knew of my dolls before hand and those that were seeing them for the first time.

The shot above is me with Cliff Wallace, a special effects artist who worked on such Hollywood films as Quantum of Solace, Hellboy 2, 28 days later, etc. He had some of his sculptures in the show and I had the opportunity to meet him and chat with him about his work. It was pretty cool.

I also had an interesting conversation with a journalist, which was more of an argument about the nature of art, commercialism, and whether commercial and fine are can coexist together, whether the commercial aspect of art completely devaluates purpose of true art. It was a refreshing discussion because I haven’t had an art critique of my work since I graduated from art school, on the other hand, it reminded me of my art school discussions which focused too much on the idealistic notion of “art is pure” rather than commercial considerations of making a living.

The show runs until February 6th, (but is closed from Dec 22nd – Jan 22nd), so if you’re in the area drop in and take a look.  More info on Strychnin’s site

10 years, 7 months ago 24
Posted in: Press

From Strychnin’s site:

DANIEL VAN NES – Fallen Angels. Featuring special guests VIRGINIE ROPARS, CLIFF WALLACE and MARINA BYCHKOVA. Opens December 12th, 7 p.m.

The real replaced by the virtual, oversaturation through the media and the ever-present TV screens with marketing messages that seep into our lives and dreams not unlike religious slogans – these are the themes of Dutch artist Daniël van Nes ’ new series of work. Playing with religious imagery and mixing it up with sub and underground cultures, the characters in his work are angels expelled from the Garden who find themselves utterly alone in their fall.

The works of special guest Virginie Ropars lie somewhere between sculpture, doll making, fashion design and illustration, building a dream-like reality featuring predominantly strong female characters.

Cliff Wallace , our special guest from England, is a creature designer for Creature Effects, a company largely responsible for the look and feel of films such as “Hellboy II”, “Kingdom of Heaven” and “28 Days Later”. His sculptures reflect the mysterious and strange worlds that he gets his inspiration from.

Marina Bychkova , our third special guest, is from Canada. Her dolls reflect the dark and sometimes threatening undertones that classic fairy tales often contain – they are fragile and vulnerable in their beauty.

STRYCHNIN Gallery

Berlin
Boxhagenerstrasse 36
D-10245 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 9700 2035

10 years, 7 months ago 28
Posted in: Uncategorized

The show has finally come and gone.  It was incredibly busy the week leading up to the show finishing up all the details, and I’m both relieved and exhilarated that’s it’s all done.  The show rushed by in a blur, but I was able to meet many people and finally put some faces to names.  Thanks to everyone that stopped by my table to see my dolls.  I was flattered to hear that some people came to the show from different countries just to see my dolls.  The expo also gave me a chance to show my dolls to an audience that has never seen them before.

I wish I had made more dolls to sell at the show, but I was lucky enough as it was to get everything else done in time.

The sleepless nights were worth it, the expo was a great experience.  Big thanks to my friend Iana who helped me by being my French translator and to my dear boyfriend, Chad, for his invaluable prescence.

Pictures of the show can be found on the forum here.

Now it’s time to turn my focus to Berlin, I’ll post more details about that show soon.