Sunday, December 20, 2009

The American (Girl) Experience

Day two of being snowed in (21" as of this morning), and I'm trying to convince myself I do not need an expensive doll. Not now, when I'm supposed to be paying for Christmas presents and conferences and car repairs. But the American Girl 2009 'Girl of the Year' dolls will be retired soon, and I'm still clicking over to Sonali, and thinking DO WANT.

I got my first AG doll at the age of six. Back then, there were only three dolls, with three books each. I saved up the money my parents gave me for putting away dishes and other chores. Looking back, I'm sure they either paid me far too much, or majorly helped with the final cost. But in any case, Samantha Parkington was mine. Over the next few years, birthdays and Christmases, I collected all her outfits. We stuck to the easily stored items - I had a friend who had the bed and the trunk and the nightstand, and while it was all pretty to look at, I preferred lusting over the shiny images in the pages of the catalogs. Sometimes I'd make up my own dolls - each collection had a set canon of items, and it was easy to dream up my own school, Christmas, birthday, and adventure stories for a girl from the '20s, the '70s, or the '90s.

Later, my mother bought Felicity as a classroom aid (she teaches Virginia history in 4th grade). Though I loved her almost as much as Sam - and in some ways more - I was older, and we never completed her collection. Mattel bought out the Pleasant Company, and everything started to take on a slightly pink and purple plastic sheen, as if business woman Barbie had puked on the sanctity of my childhood. Even while shaking my fist at Mattel's decisions to pare down Felicity's collection and "archive" Samantha, I couldn't help but return to my ten year-old daydreams and think about creating my own doll. And it just so happens that I think Sonali, with a bit of work, could be a great Creole girl, circa 1804.

Tomorrow I hope to start finishing a book dummy I began ages ago. I'm also hoping this will quell my urge to get online and spend money I really should keep. But wouldn't Meet Mariotte be a fun project?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Child's portrait

I have all these blog posts in mind - recently, I went to the Green Valley Book Fair, and was thinking I really need to post about my favorite children's books, and why I love them - but I never seem to get around to posting. Hmm...

Just a sketch today. As my website bio says, I teach art at a small private school. Small, but larger than it was last year! I've got about 120 students, ages 4 to 15, who I see each week. Every year, the school does an auction to raise money, and teachers are expected to provide something to sell. I'd done a few super-quick sketches of some of the middle schoolers when we did figure drawing, and the parents really seemed to appreciate them, so I figured I'd offer to do a portrait of the highest bidder's child/children. Two moms ended up splitting the bid, with my approval and one child each. One of the moms already had a portrait of her older daughter, and wanted a sketch of her youngest to match it.

I tried to match the style of the other portrait, but am not sure I succeeded. It was much looser, very soft and delicate (which I tried to capture in the hair, at least). In any case, it was fun - I worked from a photo, but having seen the child every week in art class for the past year really helped.

Note to self: Remember to double up on the paper next time you scan. Otherwise the slide slot shows through!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Do I Dazzle You?

It's been a long and rather crazy week. New Moon with friends on Friday (hilarious), Star Trek DVD party with fellow geeks on Saturday (still wonderful), church covered-dish dinner on Sunday (seriously, Baptists make crazy food). And then an amazingly long three-day school week, which included a field trip and a Thanksgiving feast. And in the middle of all that, I remembered I'd started a new blog. Oops.

These sketches are several weeks old (Halloween-ish), but I thought them appropriate given the box office record last weekend.

From everything I've read, adults seem to think vampire fiction is played out. But let me tell you - second graders still love it. And I love their concept of vampires, because there's no romance involved at all. Sparkles, maybe, but no gothic romance. Second grade vampires will either eat you, or be your super cool best friend.

Also, a new sketch, straight from a dream I had Monday morning.

Yes, Jimmy Stewart is proposing to me while we ride an elephant and I hold a kitten. No, I was not thrilled to wake up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

First post?

One more online diversion to keep track of, yay! Let's see... there's my website, Facebook, Myspace (which never, ever gets checked), a fannish Livejournal and one for geneaology, two personal e-mail addys, one work address, two Twitter accounts, a Polyvore account, one Deviantart gallery, an Etsy page, and a partridge in a pear tree. Seriously, I'm sure I could come with others.

I'm hoping to update this blog regularly, that it can be a place I post anything I've been working on, be it fan-girly, silly, unfinished, geeky, emo, or something that I think actually has a shot at getting me hired somewhere.

I'm sure I'll regret this later, but since Halloween's not that far past, for my first post I give you -

Hipster Zombie. (Zombster? Hipsbe?)