Switching It Up

If someone else stepped into your life for a week, would they do "you" better than you do "you"? Free from baggage and conditioned beliefs, how would they respond to your surroundings? Are there things in your life they'd be overjoyed for which you take for granted? Things they'd attend to easily which you'd been putting off for some reason or another? 

Idk, just something I've been thinking about lately. Personally, I'm going to make a list of things in my life a stranger would be grateful for, things they'd do differently, things they'd take full advantage of...and see if I can't take on a similar attitude.



Passion Project

I've been working on a passion project for the last month and a half and as I'm revealing them tonight I figured I'd write a bit about the process. It's the debut of a new category of repaints, my first "couple", and it's been an interesting journey with these two.

This is a concept I've been kicking around for over two years, since my memory and creativity started to return. It combines my love of the darker side of the supernatural and the artist, Luis Royo.

Art like this takes a while though so I had to make sure I was up for the challenge. I needed time and focus so initially I worked on them while working on other dolls as well, just so they wouldn't be rushed. Eventually they consumed all my time though and I didn't come up for "air" until this week. No computer, no outings, just work.

The new category is called Angelus. I intend to explore the full range of possibilities but I always knew I'd debut with this particular vein and that they'd be a couple. I've painted complimentary dolls before...a mate to a previous work...but never two simultaneously. As a result, they really look like they belong together. However, practicality dictates they be sold separately. Some collectors will only be in the market for one or the other and as a collector myself, I would appreciate the option.

Every detail on these dolls serves a purpose and goes to tell their story. Initially they were simply going to be repaints but Bret's voice kept popping up..."You know you have to make the costumes"..."You know what would be really cool??"..."You know what they need, don't you?" and he'd punctuate it will playing with my hair ONLY when I worked on these two, no other dolls. So now, yes, they are costumed dolls with wings and customized stands lol. And to think I thought I'd never hear those words again. Oh no, he's more persistent than ever! But it's pushed me further than I've been before and I can honestly say this is one of the coolest projects I've ever done.

Before I get back to work, let's talk about these wings. I changed my mind on what I wanted a gazillion times before deciding on what they look like now. There are so many variables to choose from: free form or plotted? Colored or transparent? And what medium?? Ultimately it came down to what it always comes down to: As a collector, what would I want out of them? A statement piece that has versatility. 2 weeks, some engineering, 50 glue sticks and 300 feathers later, they each have posable, jointed, decorated wings that look amazing by themselves or even as props in the background. I can say without hesitation that I will never...ever make anything like this again lol but as a one time thing? Pretty fucking awesome.

I'll post pictures and the links to the auctions tonight.



It seems like forever since I wrote last and yet this year has been flying by! I haven't been on social media at all lately. It zaps my energy like nothing else and I'd rather direct it into painting. That's not to say that I've been prolific lol. I can count the dolls I've done on two hands. But I find the quiet helps my focus. I'm able to get into that zen place which is necessary to bring out "who" the doll is. God, that sounded pretentious but I don't have a better way of explaining it, sorry lol.

I've made quite a bit of progress emotionally this year. Reading has helped, so has exercise. But the largest contributors have been time and acceptance. Sure, I could beat myself to a pulp for eternity but where would that get me? I've still got time to do some good here and that's a worthwhile reason to pull out of it.

Recently, I allowed myself to ask questions such as, "What would Bret have told you if it had been an ex who died instead (This affected my thinking most of all)? Did you follow your heart? Did you have the best intentions?". Sometimes all we have at the end of the day is "I did the best I could with what I had". It may not be completely satisfying but at least it's true. That's what Bret would have said, anyway.

Speaking of which, I haven't discussed publicly how very present Bret has been since that tragic morning. It's hard to describe without sounding certifiable so I don't generally talk about it. But those who have lost someone will understand and those who haven't might get a chuckle lol. He lets me know at every turn that he's around. He plays songs for me constantly, everywhere...home, in the car, at the store...on our 10 year anniversary I went to a high school recital and someone sang "our song" (which is pretty obscure) for goodness sakes!; I'm stalked by hummingbirds (I've even had them watch me from the middle of an intersection...twice); he fucks with my car ignition and other electronics; and he's contacted me through a ton of different mediums. It's ranged from opinions on my hair color, to describing exactly what's in my pantry, to basketball references but all of them with one goal...simply letting me know he's here, with me. Lately, Bret's "fun" is to play with my hair and to give me the chills. I know he's having a blast so it makes me smile. Of course it's all fun and games until he says that famous phrase, which has been done plenty of times with the project I've been working on.

Let me explain....