I might have mentioned once or twice in the past how much I enjoyed making dioramas. It’s the sense of capturing a moment in time within the confines of a box. I also enjoy looking for or making different elements to put it all together. It’s my inner miniaturist coming through and I often lament there isn’t enough time in a day, nor do I have the energy, to do these side projects that’s a little different from just painting dolls.
The nesting doll dioramas satisfied a few of my needs. I got to go on hunting and gathering expeditions for different components, indulge in a little landscape painting, figure out how to best showcase the accessories, and best of all, still keep the basic nesting doll aesthetics within the confines of the box.
This time I truly want to make this diorama interactive, and that is to steal various magnets from Husband and test out the best ones to embed into the dolls and the box so the dolls can either be displayed without being knocked around inside the box or on their own. I even went as far as ordering lights to illuminate the box, but sadly ran out of time.
This one is a gift for one of my favourite people on the planet. The dolls are painted after her lovely family’s likeness and in old timey safari costumes. It is the best kind of family portrait to paint, as I am a sucker for those sepia photos you can take, in costume, in tourist traps.
This was an after-after-after hours project, but I was determined to have it finished before the daughter enters kindergarten…and I did!
The other day the Hubs asked me whether or not I missed New York City. I do and I don’t. I was fortunate enough to have access to the entire city pre-911 as a young adult and absolutely took advantage of it. This was why I related to Parker Posey’s character in “Party Girl” so much…from the carefree lifestyle of staying up and staying out all night long, the unapologetic 90’s fashion, the fantastic music, the great people I met who were into the same things as me…it was a great time to be alive. All that’s changed now. The vibe isn’t the same. I’ll leave NYC to the new generation!
I was a little surprised when someone presented me with the notion of painting “Party Girl.” It was one of those movies I saw at the Angelica and have forgotten about. Somewhere in the depths of my memories I also remember there was a TV version of it starring Christine Taylor, Swoosie Kurtz, and John Cameron Mitchell, who had been very nice to me at the Broadway on Broadway fundraiser event. The brief was easy enough, but the execution was very involved. I had a hard time finding the right images that’s not blurry so I could accurately depict all the details. It is also one of those sets that I worked on after after hours so it took a really long time to execute (not as long as my current after after after hour piece that’s been ongoing for the past 10 years, though!). At one point I decided that enough was enough and powered through it. I don’t remember much of it, except there was a bit of a dust storm in the studio, a mild panic attack at one point when one of the doll parts got stuck inside another one unbeknownst to me and I nearly accused the cat for being a thief (he’s not. The only reason he’s allowed to hang out with me in the studio is he never touches any of my things. Once I had accidentally left a piece of paper on the cabinet where he sleeps and he managed to curl around it so as not to disturb the paper. What cat does that, I ask you?)
The photos aren’t the best, due to the fact that South East Queensland is experiencing the kind of rain storm that brings to mind Noah and his ark. I had to deal with an array of weather-related events as well involving an entire colony of ants moving from underneath my house into my door. Not through my door. On my door. They all carried little egg sacks with them on their heads and were ready to live on my door screen. As Liz Lemon would say, “Blurgh!” Still, I love how, living in Australia, if someone mentioned a particular set of dolls I’ve done, I always automatically think, “Oh, I was doing that set when that huge kangaroo jumped into my backyard and refused to leave (true event, I kid you not)”, or “Oh yes, when I was painting that one I accidentally left the back door open and a plague of baby cane toads came inside to have a look around.”
The bottom of the dolls are fashioned to look like vinyl records (still a “thing” in the 90’s. Bleeker Bob was an old haunt of mine!). All the records depicts the song played during the scene.