Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Part Three: Meet Blueberry

At Review Santa Fe, Tony Bannon from the George Eastman House suggested I get "darker" with my doll photos. He thought maybe I should remove the dash of color in their faces. Maybe I should consider inflicting my own dark side by - oh, how shall I say it? - aggressively modifying their faces.

For this experiment I used a doll's head to which I never emotionally connected. It had never been loved. It may have been old but it was pristine, blank; it didn't belong to a body. It didn't have eyes.

Poor Blueberry. First, I smashed and burned her. Then I meticulously placed the fruit after which she was named onto strategic parts of her face and let them sit overnight. Finally I applied oil crayons as if I were a five year old trying to negotiate lipstick and eyeliner.

This was a fun exercise, but it didn't mean anything to me. Maybe I would do it again, but only if a doll's face strikes me as being more of a palette than a character, as Blueberry's did.

For the first photograph shown here I used the same technique as with the Spirits of the Secret Keepers but like many dolls before her, the process doesn't work at all. It is so ineffective, in fact, that I considered not posting it. Howevert, it's nice to illustrate how things work - or not - and to give the whole picture. The second photo is straight color, and the third is black and white.

Do you like her?
If so, do you like her in color or in black and white?
If you don't like her, why not?

What should I do with Blueberry now? Maybe I'll prop her up somewhere in my studio to remind me to challenge myself, not just in my art but in every aspect of my life. Thanks, Tony!


  1. Jane, you know I love your work. And more than anything I love how you just try anything and everything. But this one just isn't working for me -- in any color!

  2. Hey Jane!
    Its Louie leaving you a comment: I like the two near the bottom. I'd try making the middle one's eye a shade of red to go with some of the other reds in there... the black looks good in the bottom one. OK, I'll shut up now...

  3. Jane,
    I like the first and third. The second one seems too forced. I think you're right in saying that they already possess their own personalities and don't need further modifications as a canvas.


Thank you for your comments! It's always good to hear what you have to say.