Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Root Chakra Doll

The next of my spirit dolls I had a need I think my own root chakra needs some working on I had a wonderful time working with the strong reds and pinks

The Root Chakra governs issues around physical self-preservation. These issues include survival, security and safety, as well as primal erotic and procreational urges.

I used red coral to string from her hair and ended it with a cowrie shell a symbol of a fertile womb I also used a small red jelly plastic snake as a representative of the Goddess Kundalini. The doll shape is rounded and womanly full of fertile feminine promise. I used the symbol in the area of the womb to further accent this promise

The first chakra is actually the basis of both our masculine and feminine energy. It represents our masculine will and male sexual organs as well as the feminine energy of the Goddess Kundalini. Therefore, a man can learn to integrate his feminine power and a woman can learn to integrate her masculine power through the clearing and opening of this chakra.

The Root Chakra is about
  • Earth
  • survival
  • energy
  • being physically there and
  • feeling at home in situations.
The primary "right" is The Right To Be Here

When it is open, you feel
  1. grounded
  2. stable
  3. secure
  4. (mostly) trust toward people
  5. present in the here and now
  6. connected to your physical body
  7. you have sufficient territory.
When it is under-active (blocked chakras), you feel
  1. fearful
  2. nervous
  3. unwelcome
When it is over-active, you feel
  1. materialistic
  2. greedy
  3. obsessed with security
  4. resistant to change
The main emotion that blocks this is fear

I loved making this doll she is tactile and reassuring Next I think I will tackle the heart I need to do this one for a friend.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Having a bit of fun with the Doll Symbol!

Well a friend from my Sunday Art group made a comment about the little Indigo Spirit Doll I was working on and said I was making a Voodoo Doll So many people pricked up their ears and declared "I WANT ONE TOO!" So I decided to have a bit of fun! First came the T-shirt design! Then a little doll I decided to keep it simple but attractive So of course I had to use my own fabric! I named the doll The Generic Arsehole! (Aussie Spelling of course!" Then I added a label to attach to the doll to make it a Specific Arsehole! All in fun and good spirit of course I thought life can be so hard at times it may just be a therapeutic way to rid your anger and tension for an individual without getting yourself into any real trouble. So no bad language no fisty cuffs Just private inflicting of hoped for Karma. I have so many orders already I am going to be busy! Seems a lot of people out there need tension relief Of course one could just purchase it as a fancy pincushion (wink)

1st Spirit Doll

This little lady is my 1st creation in the spirit doll series she is designed around the concept of strengthening one's Chakras She is representative of the 3rd eye Chakra Indigo Hence her colouring I have added feathers to represent the influence of air and lapis lazuli crystals to enhance the third eye attributes. Next I think I'll work on a heart Chakra Doll

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Just as a footnote this ladies dolls are awesome!


Degree completed

I have finally finished my degree Yay!! I cant however say goodbye to my dolls so much of my lovely mother and father are tied up in this symbol I will continue making dolls on my trusty treadle However now I am doing some research and investigation into spirit dolls I think this may be the next leg of my journey. I have found so many wonderful artists working with these I am now itching to create some as well. Of course I will still draw as it has become an integral part of my process.
Here I have found some dolls I think are so exciting;

Sumner & Dene Gallery - Spirit Dolls Finding the Muse Voodou doll with raw silk, glass beads, found objects, semi-precious stones w/ an inner amulet to encourage and unblock creativity, stimulate inspiration and tenacity. 

This ladies work is amazing
Spirit Dolls 
    Published 2005 by Tiger Press ISBN: 0-9705538-4-6 Saddle-stitched booklet, 20 pages 38 full-color photographs, patterns, drawings $15.00

Author's Statement 
My first doll of this type was made for me by a dear friend in 1993, when I bought a brand new car. My friend told me the doll was a "New Car Protection Goddess." I was touched by this delightful and caring gift, and began making dolls in a similar shape for various friends and loved ones. When you make a spirit doll, whether for yourself or as a gift, the idea is to be mindful, perhaps even prayerful, of her purpose. As you sew her seams and embellish her with carefully chosen beads, you are imbuing her with vitality and strength for her intended mission. That's the real difference between a spirit doll and any other doll. Spirit dolls are the sweetest and most meaningful gifts I've ever given.
    Robin Atkins

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dolls have Souls

 Chapter 1.
 Enter the dolls

In 2004, when  I first applied to do my MVPA at CSU Wagga Wagga , I put for a proposal  for my intended area of research., as I re read that paper now I cannot helped but be a little astonished at how well I did actually adhere to the original concept. It has varied a little of course because if it had not grown and matured and morphed over the years I have been working on it I would have considered the work, invalid.
I  intended in that proposal to launch an investigation into personal relationships between myself and important figures in my life to date I proposed to make a series of textile lengths that were to be complimented by highly embellished hand constructed textile boxes. I intended to create a collection of fabrics and boxes that were to contain imagery of memories and stories of associates, important and influential in my life. I wanted to extract emotional responses in my art audience. I have throughout my career in art making have noticed that works can strike different chords with different people colours, imagery, composition, that are created by the artist can mean different things to the viewer. I believe that if the artist nurtures the personal and human element in their work it encourages the viewer to embellish the artist’s original concept and apply their own experiences, memories and emotions, thus layering their own story into the concept. These audience overlays can range from analytical cognition to unconscious intuitive understanding.
I intended to use symbolism, images that represent a personal symbol for each person that I portrayed in my investigation.
As I was beginning to embark on this process of determining central figures in my life, the most central of all, passed away. My mother, thus I began a process of incorporating a grieving process and an investigation of interpersonal relationships between a mother and daughter into my art work.
Many years ago in a dark and dingy second hand store in Beauforte Street in Perth Western Australia I cam across a basket of small yellow oval shaped boxes. This basket was located in the store under a stack of chairs, piled so high it almost reached the ceiling. The boxes were small fitted snugly into the palm of my hand and were decorated with simple brush stroke designs, swirls of red and blue. Opening a box I found a set of six tiny dolls constructed from wire and wrapped with cloth threads and fabric scraps, they were minute, very simple and intricately beautiful. Contained with the dolls was a tiny scrap of paper, with charming instructions; “Before, going to bed, tell one worry to each doll, then place them beneath your pillow. Whilst you sleep, the dolls will take your worries away!"
I have since found that these dolls are the result of a Guatemalan legend, they are tiny, hand-crafted dolls  The dolls are clothed in traditional Mayan costumes and stand one half to one inch tall

Guatemalan artisans bind pieces of wood together or twist together short lengths of wire to create a frame and fashion a torso, legs, arms, and head. By winding cloth and yarn around the frame, the artisans give the doll shape. They use scraps of traditional woven fabric to make the doll costumes and wind more yarn to create the head, hair, feet and hands. Sometimes, they add a tiny woven basket or other traditional implements. Finally, they place a set of 6-8 dolls in tiny wooden boxes or cloth pouches for sale.
The indigenous people from the Highlands in Guatemala created Worry Dolls many generations ago as a coping strategy for daily troubles. According to the Mayan legend, when troubles keep a person awake, he or she tells a worry to a doll only one worry for each doll is permitted. Then the worrier places the dolls near their bed. The dolls then go out into the night and solve the trouble for the person who then sleeps peacefully through the night. When morning breaks, the person awakens without the worries that the dolls solved during the night.
These little dolls so intrigued me I bought a few sets and gave them to several members of my family. My mother adored hers and used them constantly.
When my sisters and I cleared my mothers home after her death we found a pile of envelopes in the bottom of her dressing table addressed to each of us. Inside these were some item she wished us to have on her death and a small personal message for the recipient. Mine contained my mothers much loved trouble dolls and a message written on the outside of the envelope;
 “Dear Julie-Ann I have not the time to post these, I always thought there were seven dolls, but there are only six , one for each member of our family. Maybe the 7th is the baby I aborted. Be Happy love Mum”
Thus Began my investigation into the personal life experiences and relationships my mother entrusted to my life and the dolls became my symbol for her, my family, myself and my experiences in life.
Geri Olson in her paper; “Dolls, Protection Healing Power and Play”…1988, describes that dolls in their earliest form were works of art that were used in ritual and ceremony, she states that in both art and ritual the unseen world is made visible and is acknowledged by the creator and the audience, this world is entered and experienced within the artistic expression, through all of our senses, movement, sound, emotion, shaping and embellishing an object to make it “special”
My mother made her dolls special by attributing family characteristics to each doll and asking to have individual troubles for each family member deal with through the dolls,
I then developed this idea by “reinventing “, the dolls through my drawings to fit this profile,

In the very first Charcoal I created in this series, it is not entirely evident that I redesigned the usual configuration of three male dolls to three female that is usually represented in the group of six dolls. However as there are four females and two males in our original family this is how I have depicted group drawings of the dolls In individual drawings or less than full groups I have usually depicted the dolls as female as it is the female relationships in my life I have explored the most and the mother, daughter relationship and the importance of nurturing within those relationships 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Journey nearly ended

Its been a long time since I have posted on this blog I have finished my second doll am about to start number three. However today I drew Its been so long since I picked up a piece of charcoal and this canvas has been waiting a long time for its resolution I started it in St Helens in 2006 Wow ! four years! I always knew I wanted an eagle on it after my Dad's death in 2007 the eagle has become the symbol for my father as much as the dolls have been a story for my mother. The prolific amount of eagles in this small community have urged me closer and closer to completing this canvas, and today I just woke up and wanted to draw Mind you never again am I going to use charcoal in the downstairs foyer White ceramic tiles are not companionable with heavy charcoal especially the way I apply it. So next time I will be on the front verandah Mind you with the bay and the bush its not a bad spot to draw. Next I will tackle the box to contain the dolls I was contemplating making it some kind of paper mache bird that the dolls could reside inside very much in keeping with the African legend I found about the magic of a soul being placed in the body of a bird so it can ascend to heaven. Paper mache may be too time consuming so I am still considering it