Can you believe that my own mama doesn’t even have a set of dolls painted by yours truly? Sure, she’s got a rare wine cask doll, which she uses to explain to visitors just exactly what it is I do with my life should the topic arise…quite unsuccessfully, I imagine.
“So…your daughter paints nesting dolls?” I can picture these visitors asking as they stare dumbly at the single wooden item Mom presents them. “I thought nesting dolls means there are more dolls nesting inside.”
“Yes, but,” Mom will attempt to explain that wine cask dolls are the same but different in as such that one stows a forbidden bottle of liquor inside as an effort to mask a penchant for drink…which is moot in my mother’s case as the only alcoholic beverage she imbibes is if it’s slathered on a rum cake.
So I painted her this set for her birthday this year. The subject matter might seemingly be a bit risque for a little Chinese lady, sure enough, but Mom loves Japanese culture and she’d told me more than once how upset she had been when I gave away the Yakuza sake wine cask doll.
So here it is, Mom: Three Yakuza boys. Each one bears a scene from traditional Japanese folklore you read me when I refused to go to sleep. Happy Birthday!
The stories are (from left to right): Kintaro, Momotaro, and Urashima Taro.
Some close ups:
Last year I got to paint 8 sets of the Wilfred dolls which includes Wilfred, Ryan, and Bear. I toyed with the idea with resurrecting this set again with an addition of more characters but didn’t get a chance to do it until now. Not only did I get to paint one of my favorite sets again, but I got to supersize it AND include Jenna and Drew. Life is good.
These days I’ve been getting a lot of requests to paint families, both established ones and brand new ones. Pets are always included, of course. Can’t count them out! I know my Bo would be really upset if we left him out of the family census. Here are a few that I’ve worked on recently.
All right, this one wasn’t that recent. It was a present for Mother’s Day from a delightful young lady to her momma.
This one was for a lovely man down in Melbourne whose Dad was celebrating his 80-something birthday. Go Dad! It had been an emergency rush job, but I didn’t turn it down as my own wonderful father-in-law had just passed away shortly after celebrating his 84th year on this earth so painting this set was a bit of a therapy for me.
This one was another emergency rush job wherein I cranked it out over a frantic weekend. But that had been all right, as I was able to listen to the entire audio version of “A Confederacy of Dunces” in nearly one sitting and had an absolute blast.
As there was some time constraint and time difference to deal with between the customer and myself, I didn’t get photos of the last member of the family until the eleventh hour. I had to rummage around in my stash of loose dolls and actually found one that is half the size of my thumb nail to turn into a dog.
By this time I was so sleep deprived and delirious that I don’t really remember how this one got painted.
Oh, this had been a great one to paint, although I felt bad that the recipient had to wait so long for me to get my act together and crank it out. The cats don’t fit into one another, so it was a lot of fun to shake them out of the dog.
This was a thank you gift to a couple who generously loan their home to one of my favorite customers for her wedding. Her vivid description of this couple was so fun that I wish I had met them myself. That’s the thing, I get to meet so many interesting people doing what I do that I don’t see how I can do anything else!
This year on my birthday I woke up feeling a bit cranky as the Hubs had insisted on giving me my presents at midnight, which was sweet of him, but one of them had been a bluetooth speaker so of course I stayed up an extra hour setting it up and Led Zeppelin-ing it all over the place. I had to spend the following day working on yet another Rocky Horror set, but I got to have cake between layering the glitter!