Three of my paper doll outfit paintings, one antique dress-form painting, and the Lanark Kitten painting (to the right) fit right in! Visit Kathy Duncan, shop owner, for lovely. new, well-fitting, lingerie and visit with the new art on the wall as well.
I painted over the background to the Cocktails Ensemble paper doll outfit - and I like it so much better! (It was earlier my least favourite of the bunch.) So “before” is on the left and “current” is on the right. Enjoy, I hope we have the same taste!
And paper dolls used to be VERY popular.
Barbie & Francie paper dolls - remember those sweet outfits? I do, and I’ve created five paper dolls’ clothes paintings*. Of course, there are many more beautiful paper doll books and ensembles - think Vogue, think Erté paper dolls - but I started with the common ones because my sister and I played Archie Comics paper dolls and Barbies for years.
We had Barbie friends too like Hanna, the Hawaiian barbie; the Donny & Marie barbies; the latest fashions as well as older knitted outfits my Great Auntie Claire made - and various broken accessories. We played with our neighbours. We buried evil Ken in our backyard and then resurrected him (when we needed another Ken for a storyline). We chased our terrified friend Paul with naked barbies. Over time, all our barbies got haircuts, all had multiple personalities, some lost limbs, heads (headless Ken).
Jordana Brewster (an actress I’ve never heard of) really sums it up for me. I found this quote of hers: “When I was really young. My sister and I would create different characters with our Barbie dolls — I'd be the crazy diva Barbie and she'd be the homeless Barbie.”
And then, of course, there’s this fantastic comment below, which reassures me (and so many other women and girls) that we are in good company playing paper dolls and with dolls in general.
“I used to cut out paper dolls” — Andy Warhol
*Each of these acrylic paintings are 16”x48” and each is $450
A sisters’ exhibition - such a show calls to mind so many things…
Hot and cold relations with sisters
Girlfriends who are like sisters
Sisters in books
Women who are at risk, in poverty, struggling
When we were girls, my sister Beth and I played with paper dolls as much as possible, and we were also huge Archie comics fans. We made dolls from comics, we drew dolls. We pleaded for paper doll books, we drew elaborate homes for our dolls and played for hours… days. At our family’s cottage, we would often beg our grandma, aunt Heather or our mom to draw a doll in an especially tricky pose - and then we’d have hours more fun.
That pastime - creating worlds and stories with paper dolls and my sister - is a very dear memory for me. Telling little stories to each other. We both still love paper dolls and costumes.
Our two collections of work “hanging together” is one that my sister and I decided to name Sisters because we didn’t have a lot of time to discuss and brainstorm something better. And Sisters is definitely good enough. We knew the word covers a lot and is inclusive enough for us both to have work in this show that somehow “fits” together.
Well, I think we made it work - just like sisters usually do.
Show deets -
Friday, October 5, at the municipal building, Chambers Gallery, 3131 Old Perth Road, Mississippi Mills
Transfer to Almonte branch library:
Tuesday, December 4, Library Corridor Gallery, 155 High Street, Almonte (stay tuned for info on a small “opening party” sometime around this time)
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Jill’s work is animated by informal subjects and common practices, but offers imaginative twists for the observer to consider. Jill believes even the most seemingly simple ideas are not. Ideas and paintings can be inspiring, they can be whimsical or demanding. Often uncomplicated images encourage the best stories.
* “Sisters are brittle things” is a quote from Emily Dickinson
I picture this painting as twenty times longer than it is with dozens more dish towels on the line and hanging the full length of a highschool gym.