Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shifting gears in Art

Because I make my living with art, I often have to shift gears right in the middle of a project, going from one medium to the next. In this case, having finished all the drawings for my Pippity Trimble book, I must set them aside for a month before I can begin painting them. WHY? Because I will spend the  month of March making bears, rabbits, mice, fox and sheep for some upcoming Spring shows. Sometimes it's good to take a breather from one medium  and do something distinctly different, as it renews the imagination and prevents me from getting into a slump.
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I started with bears
  I've never been completely happy with my bears and I've been trying to give them a different look. Sort of a cross between Teddy cute and Grizzly serious.
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 I had some wonderful colors of wool to use.


and began sculpting bear heads, one by one.

The Bear population began to grow and grow...


I liked the ones with the long noses,

and made many with Pinocchio profiles
I fancied his turned up nose.


A few were a bit funky... with uneven eyes that need straightening.
 Some had chubby faces
  And others were gentle ladies in bonnets.

Two of them looked more wily, and so they became foxes.



 In the end, I had 9 bear heads and 2 fine fox





  No matter how many times I do a face, I can never duplicate it exactly on the next critter. I guess we all have our distinct look, and bears are no different. I hate photographing needle-felting because the fibers just stick out all over the place in the picture. These just look 100 times better in person, trust me.
Now, I need bodies for all these Hopalong Hollowfolk
!!!!!
Then it's on to the mouse kingdom....

32 comments:

  1. Good evening Jeri! Oh my, your bear heads are just adorable.. I love all the happy expressions. You have become a master at needle felting, and I love the two foxes. I see them in my minds eye all dressed, one with a walking stick.
    I hope your shows went well and the weather was nice.
    Good to see you back.
    love and blessings dear friend
    Penny

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    1. Well Penny, You got me started on all this stuff! I like the walking stick idea, I agree and will find a nice one for the fox. I'm far from a master, but I do have a knack for it in a way. Show's don't start till April. I hope I finish everything in time.

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  2. What sweet characters, one and all! You do a wonderful job creating/capturing the essence of each creature.

    Happy Spring ~ Happy Creating ~ Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Rainy, Same Happy to you! I am loving your roses, they are always so perfect.

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  3. This is only one of many reasons why I prefer handmade art over manufactured, lifeless goods. Each creature is a reflection of your hands on any given day, and the precision with which you make each one is like a breath taken. Jeri, your bear heads and fox are now making me wonder, WHICH ONE WOULD I CHOOSE!!!!!!!

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    1. Anita, My husband was at a loss when I asked him which he liked best.. they are all so different. I DO have my favorite though.

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  4. They are exquisite Jeri. And you're off to a good start.

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    1. Donna, yeah, it's just a start. geez, I have a pile of work here in front of me.

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  5. Amazing work, they all have unique personality features. The little one top center looks either humble and scared, very expressive.

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    1. May, He does look a bit anxious doesn't he?!

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  6. I'm no longer amazed by your work! (meaning, it's a given that you do amazing work!) But I am amazed at your stamina and drive to produce as much as you do. I'm finding that is so much a part of bringing one's art to life. What is it formula? Genius is 1% inspiration 99% perspiration!

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    1. Cathy, it is true that you have to have a strong work ethic and persistence to survive in the art world. And you have to stay fresh and 2 steps ahead in your ideas. You and I grew up in a generation of hard workers, I think it really helped.

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  7. So, March is critter month! What a fun time, but lots of work, I know. I love all of your wooly babies, but I'll always take the side of the fox! :~)

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    1. CHIP! I agree, I love the fox, even though she once decimated my chicken family... we got 2 Great Pryenees and now the fox family shops for dinner elsewhere.

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  8. How gorgeous are your critters! Can't wait until they all have bodies. I can just imagine some of the bears with tummies full of honey and others not so much as they are hoping to find a yummy hive. The foxes are just as special as the bears. The one leaning on the one below looks like he might just take a nap anytime. It's remarkable that your critters already have such distinct personalities even before they have bodies.

    Reading that the mouse kinfolk are next reminded me of all the nests I found the last few days as I finally cleaned up my potting shed. I think mice...and even rats, sometimes...are the cutest critters, but I found it hard to love them right then when I found one of my very favorite early books on vegetables (1875, I think) -that had been hand colored all chewed up and in a nest. I was able to save a few pages which are pretty well trashed, but I'll keep them anyway because I can see the wee shapes of the mouse's mouth. I won't be keeping important books in the potting shed going forward!!

    Also, Saturday's mail brought the seeds! Can't wait until I can plant them and I will be saving your card to put in a frame for Easter. This morning brought a wet, wet snow that made the tress look as though someone had tossed glitter all over them. Just beautiful...and now it's all gone in a flash. They way of late winter, I guess. I'm really looking forward to planting the seeds you sent me the minute the weather will allow it. So special of you to send the seeds to me.

    Have a great rest of the weekend!

    Diane in North Carolina

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    1. Diane, I will need to make quite a few bee skeps for these bear-folk.. their a hungry lot.
      Naughty little mousie! I once found an entire mouse family in a box of Christmas ornaments, wee wee baby mice and mama. I wrote a story about it and hope to illustrate it in the next couple of years.
      Glad you got the seeds, I hope your Zinnia patch grows look as well as mine did!

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  9. Oh, the work/fun never ends for you, does it? I can see how shifting gears every so often would keep both mediums sharp and interesting. The bears and foxes are wonderful and full of personality.

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    1. Vic, I often wonder what a vacation would feel like...

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  10. Oh golly-these are all wonderful! I so admire not only your talent, but the time you devote to your art. You inspire me to work hard. How do you insert the eyes? I'm trying to imagine it, and I can't. Don't feel like you must answer me-it's just that looking at all those heads made me wonder.....I love the foxes.

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    1. Debra, I really do work hard, all the time. I sure need a break in the garden soon! Of course,that's just more work, isn't it?!) The glass eyes have a loop in their wire attachment, you thread it and needle it through a punched hole where the socket should be, push the needle to the back of the head, pull taut and tie the thread.

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  11. I don't know how you do it! The bears look alive and all are different. I love the fox too. To me, there is nothing cuter than a mouse. I worry about little mice all the time and believe me, if I get the chance, I will rescue one in a minute...like I did last summer. You do such beautiful work!

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  12. Thanks Henny Penny, It is so funny that none of the bear look alike, even though I use the same process as I needle felt each one! I am very fond of mice as well, I make a lot of them and a mouse is the character in my new set of books, in the works.

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  13. I just love all your bears!!! You are so super talented!!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful Art:)
    Jessi

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    1. Jessi, Bears are just too much fun! I may just have to make a huge one and a wee one just for the heck of it.

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  14. Dear Jeri - whether you are making adorable bears and foxes or mice or painting lovely birds in the garden your talent and hard work is such an inspiration. It is always a delight to visit you in your studio/home/garden. Please have a great week and I hope your show in April does well. Sure it will. Hugs!

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    1. Deborah, you are always one of the nicest people, I must say. I know you are busy painting nature and enjoying the prospect of garden and dogs this Spring.

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  15. Wait! I see a badger in there!

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    1. You know, I think a few of them could easily become badgers!

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  16. Oh Jeri dear ~

    The Lord has certainly blessed you with a golden heart and golden hands... Just love your little critters and the vision that created them....

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  17. Dear dear Mary, so good to see you here! I can't stop smiling when a new face appears under my felting needles, it's like making another little friend.

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  18. I have been coming to your website for about a year and each time I open your blog or visit your art I am totally amazed that you have such talent. You truly are a gifted artist. I don't know how you do it, but your art is fantastic. Thank you for sharing yourself and your art. Coraleen

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    1. Coraleen, How flattering for you to say so, thank you. I don't really take credit for any talent I may have, that's just fortunate for me, but I do take credit for working hard at whatever I undertake, whatever that may be.

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