Seldom does an artist display a work in progress. There are several reasons why. One is that other artists or would be artists can see the construction and will try to copy it, duplicate it. The other reason is that the piece often looks unfinished and is reviewed with distaste. I can recall one bleak winter, and I mean bleak when I was living in Ontario, Canada. Back then I was painting portraits and landscapes in oil. During this one dismal winter I was working on a portrait of this lady's Sheltie. The dog was as sweet as can be and I was enjoying the process. The painting was about a third done and I was overjoyed with the general facial features I had painted, mainly the expressive eyes and the snout. I hadn't thought much about it, and proudly showed my work to Jannie. She gave the canvas a sour look and said, without much ado, "This must be the ugly stage of the painting." Well, my mouth dropped open and as I babbled something out, I decided then and there never to show a work in progress again. But, now I'm doing something different, and I did say that this blog was on The Creative Process. So it is in this vein that I introduce Bebe Balancoire.
I just finished dressing her yesterday, a process that took three days to complete. She is wearing a silk gown embellished with embroidery, lace and pretty silk ribbons. Her dress is removable as I indicated earlier, and is closed with a thread loop and bead. Miniaturizing the dress seen in the original doll from 1893 was something else! But, all in all, I am pleased with the outcome.
I've added a photo for you to see her construction. The original doll was described as porcelain with a jointed wood body, painted red stockings and gold shoes. If you look closely at the antique you will see how her arms fold around the chains of her swing and how her legs bend at the knee to sit proper on the swing. So I took the original porcelain arms and legs from the 2 3/4" doll and hand-carved the limbs. In the photo you can see how she is pegged - this was before I trimmed the 1/16" dowels. Often times it amazes me how I can acheive these works, but then I've been chipping away at tiny Hitties and working with miniature dolls for awhile.
I hope you enjoy the photos as I continue the process of miniaturizing her incredible presentation box and all the accessories inside. And, yes, she will even have her own teeny tiny doll - porcelain and jointed!