Paper Blast From the Past

9 years, 5 months ago 32
Posted in: Uncategorized


This box contains about 60 of my old paper dolls made between 1990-1998, that survived a move to Canada. Apparently I was into Sailor Moon and the X-Files in 1998. Most of my dolls back then were inspired by either stuff I saw on TV, or the boys I liked in real life.

Sadly, all the dolls made prior to 1990 have turned into dust, while many more others were lost during our move to Canada in 1997, when KLM lost almost all of my family’s luggage. Everything we owned was in those bags. Yup, we quite literally arrived as the new immigrants with nothing more than the clothes on our backs. The missing luggage was never recovered. True story.

Another true story: My very first nude paper doll was confiscated by my grandmother in 1988, who didn’t think it was appropriate for a six year old girl to be making and playing with nude female dolls. And I didn’t even draw that doll – she was a cut out from a magazine photo of a Neoclassical painting.

I was spell-bound by the woman in the painting, so I cut her out and made her into my doll. She was painted only down to her thighs and thus was a legless doll, but still she was so beautiful, that 22 years later I still mourn her loss. I wonder if that incident was in some small way responsible for my love of making nude dolls. It’s like I’m trying to recreate that first lost doll over and over and over again. Or, perhaps that had nothing to do with it and I just always liked a nude human form. I wish I knew the artist of that painting so that I could find it again. But, unknown to me, it remains locked in the memories of my childhood.

Perhaps some of you may recognize it from my description?

The woman with white, marble-like skin, is in the foreground, painted down to her thighs. She has a full neoclassical figure, with a small waist and round thighs. She is nude, except for a sheer, completely translucent undergarment of some sort, with a delicate ruffled collar. Her round face is framed by waves of raven hair locks, gathered up behind her. Her lips are very red, small and puffy. In one full hand she is holding what I think, is a delicate golden arrow. The tones of the background are kind of deep bluish-green. That’s all I remember about it. There may have been other people in the painting, in fact, I kinda think there were, but she was the focal point, and that was what my brain retained. I was blinded by her beauty to the rest of the painting.

Does that sound familiar to any one here? Please let me know. It would mean so much to me to see it again.

And that was the blast from the past.

32 Responses

  1. ranjiangzi says:

    Wow~you even made Sailor Moon~you’re so lovely!it’s remembered me my childhood too.I also painting many many my favorite comic figure when I was a school child.But all of them are loss,you conserving your paper dolls so well.
    Hum,a reviewer in China has said your dolls have some sexual overtones…but I don’t think nude=sex:P

  2. Eiko says:

    How cool to see your old paperdolls. It’s always nice to see one’s old artwork.

    It sucks that KLM lost your family’s luggage. My family nearly lost a bag once. We were simply moving from one American state to another. The bag was lost but surprisingly enough, it turned up at our doorstep about 1 year later. Judging from the stickers on it, it had travelled all over the world before coming back to the USA.

    I would love to help you find out the painting from your past. Would you be able to sketch it? I’m bad at visualizing things through writing so a sketch/drawing works better for me. Hopefully, someone will recognize it.

  3. Habox says:

    May be smth from Cranach Lucas der Ältere:

  4. KarolinFelix says:

    That’s funny… I had a dream about lost luggage, almost missed plane and ED tonight…

    I was a huge fan of Sailor Moon and mangha, but used to draw them mostly.

    It’s so weird.. it seems that things that we really like to do in young age are kind of destined for us.. unless parents want otherwise…

  5. Annina says:

    i don’t recognize the painting from your description but i hope someone will and that you’ll be able to find it again.

    i like your scully doll, would you show mulder and scully together? :)

  6. Astera says:

    So cute! It’s so wonderful you kept these! As for the painting, do you have any idea of the period it might have been painted in?

  7. Kelly says:

    The first thing I noticed about the photo was the Sculley doll- awesome!

  8. iki says:

    The painting that you said could be:

    The sin by Franz von Stuck
    THE BEAUTIFUL ROSINE by Antoine Wiertz
    Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
    Venus Genitrix by Arnold Böcklin
    Allegoria by Guido Cagnaci
    Auras or Nicte(NIX) by William Adolphe Bouguereau

    I hope to be helpful, and is very good to see you human side, i love the sailor moon paper doll , that brings to me a lot of memories, that dress that you put on her was my favorite dress of sailor moon and i used to draw her with that same dress a lot, well i hope you found the painting

  9. ~Jenny~ says:

    Hi Marina!

    I have a question about the Neoclassical painting. Do you remember what the painting was about? Goddesses, mythological women and the like used to be painted nude and the way you described her makes me believe that she is from a certain story. =)

  10. Hello Marina I wrote a comment and its gone, my english is not that bad….or is it. Sorry maybe I just did not submit it right.

    • Marina says:

      I think it might be our fault that your comment disappeared. We’re currently having some trouble with a spam-bot that is posting 1000’s of messages to the blog, and in an attempt to clean them all out your post might have got mixed in with them.

  11. Shannon says:

    That painting is like finding a needle in a haystack. I hope that perhaps something sparks a memory and we can help you find it!

  12. Orangey says:

    It’s midnight but this made me chuckle out loud, these look great! I’m going to call you genius for even coming up with these from an early age, I was only drawing Sailor Moon then, only in recent times did I make a jointed figure out of paper. Yes, I grew up on Sailor Moon.

    I hope you can find the painting!

  13. Orangey says:

    “Only in recent times did I make a jointed figure out of paper” In case it sounded like it, I wasn’t talking about making a Sailor Moon paper doll~

  14. Liivi says:

    My grandmother beat me when she discovered, that I drew, 8 years old child like I was, a nude paper doll. Paper dolls I drawing in my old ages yet.
    Some are inspired in your works.
    You are doing the world’s most beautiful dolls!

  15. Julita says:

    The only painting I can think of that has a nude with a ruffled collar is of Diane de Poitiers from the Fontainebleau School. No gold arrow, but close?

  16. Daniel says:

    Has anyone found it yet?!

    Rita’s offering is my first guess. I found a bunch possibilities on the Orazio Centaro Art Images on the Web. I poened tabs for every nude then sifted through. These were the closest possibilities I found. Any other criteria? Pose? Arm position? Possibility of the picture being cropped (thus her legs)?

    If nothing else it was fun and inspiring. I recommend you dot the same!

  17. Daniel says:

    [Wow. Sorry for all the spelling errors…]

  18. Marcia says:

    It’s interesting to look at all the lovely paintings, I hope you find it.

  19. Alexandra says:

    Wow Marina! You’re a Sailor Moon fan!!! :D That’s awesome. Last winter I’ve watched again all the Sailor Moon episodes ( I last saw them when I was about 10 I guess, now I’m 23 :) ), in a strive to bring back childhood and I was surprised how much I still enjoy the series. I love Hotaru Tomoe (Sailor Saturn) and her fragility and I was thinking “How a fantastic enchanted doll she would be”. So fragile and yet so powerful! Marina, what do you think? :D

  20. Ana says:

    venus and artemis are represented blond, it might be danae, niobe or st. ursula, but the last one wouldnt be naked! im pretty sure its rosseti Venus Verticodia.. or a godward, he has beautiful classical figures..

  21. Lynsey says:

    Stands back from the keyorbad in amazement! Thanks!

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  24. Gretchen says:

    It sounds like a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder, at first I thought it might be one of his many Venus and Cupid paintings, but browsing through a collection of his paintings I found this, which matches some of your description:

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  26. Ranyoi R. says:

    There is an artist named Alexey Steele, from Russia, who paints very beautiful women in a style called novorealism, and several paintings reminded me of this description you gave. I hope that this is your paper doll at the bottom of this post, but if not, I hope you enjoy anyways and do find her soon:

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