Category Archives: art dolls

How Nice to Have a Hobby

Nice to have hobby-1 invite alteredNice to have hobby-invite altered03a-Joy Kirkwood-Star Maiden's Arrival-16X6X1in-mixed media-2013 signedYesterday I dropped off five pieces for the show ‘How Nice to have a Hobby’. The opening is this coming Saturday from 1 to 4 and I look forward to seeing how other artists approached the theme.

The first thing I notice is that my work is smaller. It always is. Size matters in our culture and I’m often asked can I make my work bigger? I could but those who ask are missing the point. Inspiration for my free form fibre figures comes from Neolithic and pre-dynasty Egyptian small figures often called Venus or Goddess figurines. I am not consciously copying the work or making goddess figures but it is the idea of small, hand held forms that can be carried from place to place that fascinates me. Large sculpture that claims space and are too big to move came into being over time. Small scale sculpture works well for nomadic cultures and setting up the figurine in a new location is to claim sacred space there and to give a focal point to worship.

I aim to create work that is intimate in nature, more introvert than extrovert in what it has to say. With the details and small scale of my art you have to stop and pay attention, invest time in looking at it. My work does not stand on a street corner shouting loudly but sits in a niche, whispering, inviting the onlooker to come closer. You need to slow down and take time to appreciate small scale work. I think it’s why in an exhibit it is the kids who are drawn to my work first and then the adults follow suit. The scale, colour, and uniqueness appeals to the child’s sensibilities.

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in art dolls, fibre art, publicity


Rainbow from Creativty at Rest

Rainbow scanned 2Earlier in the blog I post an image of ‘Creativity at Rest’ one of the pieces that will be in the upcoming art show; “How Nice to Have a Hobby”. Before pairing the art figure with the abstract painting I had tried scanning the art object in my scanner. The results were interesting and different from a photograph. I also diffused the image through the paint program to enhance the in and out of focus nature of the scan and the presence of light coming from one side. Here is one of those images.

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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in art dolls, fibre art, mixed media


“How Nice to Have a Hobby”

01a-Joy Kirkwood-Vasilisa and her Doll-16X6X1-mixed media-201302a-Joy Kirkwood-Baba Yaga the Odd-16in.6in.1in-mixedmedia-2013

“How Nice to Have a Hobby”

February 20 – March 31, 2014    
Opening Reception: Feb 22, 2:00 PM

#1100 – 2253 Leigh Square Place, Port Coquitlam BC

Upcoming group art show that I have 5 of my mixed media, fibre art works in.The two works shown here –Vasilisa and her Doll and Baba Yaga the Odd- represent the quest for intuition and the challenges that one faces both internally and externally along the way. I think it will be a very interesting exhibition.

Here’s part of the write up on the Leigh Square website for the show: “Danaca Ackerson and Deanna Fogstrom, in collaboration with several guest artists explores the barriers to being taken seriously as a female artist; real or imagined, systemic or illusory, with the hope to generate conversations about high/low art, art/craft, dilettante/artist, gender bias and the notion of hobby vs. profession.

The exhibitHow Nice to Have a Hobby’  features art by women referencing traditional women’s pastimes such as crafts, hobbies and women’s work.”

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in art dolls, fibre art, mixed media, publicity


First Exhibit of 2014

Evite_JanFeb_2014 jpegThe first exhibit I’ll be exhibiting in in 2014 will be a group show with 5 of my works on display. You’re Invited to attend the Opening Reception for Instructors Exhibit at Port Moody Arts Centre 2425 St. Johns Street in Port Moody, BC, Thursday January 16, 2014 from 6–8pm, Artists in Attendance. I’ll be there!A Mermaid's Tail

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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in art dolls, fibre art, mixed media, publicity


Creativity at Rest

05a_Joy Kirkwood_Creativity at Rest_20X10X1_mixed media_201305b_Joy Kirkwood_Creativity at Rest_close-up_20X10X1_mixed media_2013Creativity at Rest is a spontaneous paring of an unresolved doll with an unresolved abstract painting and together they ‘worked’. I especially enjoy how placing the doll in the middle of the painting brought out elements I hadn’t seen before and gave a dreamy Degas’ Waterlilies feel to the art.

Some of the objects used in this doll include: a covered stone for her face, a crystal placed at heart centre, copper mesh for her body, and lots of rainbow fabric, ribbons, and stitching to bring it all together.


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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in acrylics, art dolls, mixed media


Dancer Doll (unfinished)

??????????????????????Yesterday I facilitated my ‘Art of the Doll’ workshop at Place des Arts. It was a small workshop but absolutely wonderful. I’ve had quite a few small doll making workshops lately and the gatherings of between 2-4 are intimate, warm, bonding, and memorable. With a small group there is easy conversation and lots of laughter as the dolls ‘evolve’. I teach a technique but the dolls have a mind of their own so what they actually turn out like is a surprise to everyone; including the maker.

This image is one of my art-dolls not yet finished. The wire armature is complete with the foam having been wrapped around the wire (acts as sinew/muscle for the figure). The fabric strips have been added though one arm (forefront) is not yet covered and still shows the under-foam. Yet to add: more fabric, hair, head, and embellishments to bring out it’s personality. In this case her long circling right arm makes me wonder what is she holding? Or is there something draped over her arm? It’s fun to tease these things out as I create. Last is presentation; what kind of base? Or is she to be twirling in a circle? Or? These decisions are fun to make and all part of the process.

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Posted by on November 24, 2013 in art dolls, fibre art, mixed media


Women Running Sketch

sketch book Picasso women running line onlyIn 2010-11 the Seattle Art Museum hosted a show called “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris”. I was not a fan of Picasso until I saw the show. I was completely enthralled and in the end I came out weeping. His work was so powerful and I was taken with how his images spoke to the human condition in an unflinching way. The power of his art to touch the heart and mind can’t be understated.

This sketch was one I drew when looking at his “Two Women Running on the Beach’ from 1922. This fall has been a time of making new friendships with women and strengthening other ones so it seems no accident that I’m drawn to spend time with this sketch at this season of my life.

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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in art dolls, drawings, photographs