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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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Entries in art dolls (5)


That Doll Has Been Named and the winner is....

Congrats to the following Amarettogirl Blog Readers: Alexis and Blue Demon- Your suggestions have become a part of the naming of this doll!

meet Alma Destripada named by Amarettogirl Blog readers Alexis & Blue Demon and me!

I used your contributions as diving boards for her final name selection. Alma does indeed mean "Soul" is Spanish, Alexis and Blue Demon suggested pairing it with 'Partida' which means broken in Spanish, so after considering a pairing like that, I decided DESTRIPADA was more accurate to my intention (since it means to gut the internal organs of an animal in Spanish). And well that was just much more what I was after. And now you get to see what is in place of her heart!

Time is the culprit here, repetitive, man-made, industrial TIME. It has ripped her heart out and left her to wait in ruins for what feels like an eternity....

Also thank you to all who contributed so many amazing options! It made choosing so so so so hard, runner ups were Clotilde and Melan Chloe. I even had some blog-comments-gone-awry-turned-texts reach me via my cell suggesting awesome names like 'Orla'! SO WINNERS! You don't just get your username in blog lights here, you get a photo of Alma!! (signed if you like). So if you want to claim it contact me via the contact button! and runner ups you get my constant love and devotion!!


Inspiration, Repetition, Meditation and Illustration

Thank you to everyone who supported the launch and debut of the Little Red Wolf line this past week...all you fans will be getting much more info and I know many are anticipating the internet reveal which I am preparing as I write this post for the new 2012 year! Both my hand illustrated pillows sold to wonderful homes :)

Earlier this week while working in a frenzy on my new artistically altered clothing line one of my students shared this amazing video (below) by Miguel Endara with me. As an artist the documentation, content and stipple technique is worth the watch alone, but as an educator - the artist's answering of questions and sharing of information is as much gold as the video - so I have included them here as well all the questions and answers after the video are his.
Over all this stuff is inspirational, revealing of the time and energy that could be invested into creating a single portrait and...its a pretty good inadvertent ad campaign for micron pens as well...lol!

So while I'm on my self-love retreat this week and getting ready to debut my Little Red Wolf Artistically Altered clothing line to the world wide web for the new year... enjoy this post!

OH AND BTW!!! I have been receiving wonderful suggestions for my soul-gutted doll's name. I will be making a decision by the end of this week and giving the person whose name for the doll that I choose, a signed picture of the doll!! So someone will receive a holiday gift and YOU STILL have time to submit name ideas (just click on post a comment on the name that doll.

Hero from Miguel Endara on Vimeo.

The making of "Hero," a drawing of my dad composed entirely out of 3.2 million ink dots.

Music by Bonobo - Noctuary
Created, Filmed, Produced and Edited by Miguel Endara

I am so overwhelmed! I can't begin to thank you enough for the wonderful comments you all have given me in the past 4 days. I truly did not anticipate such a tremendous volume of traffic, but I am pleased to see that there is a new and rapidly growing interest in the art technique known as stippling. There are many other stippling artists out there who deserve just as much recognition as I do, if not more, so please please continue to investigate this unique form of pen and ink art.

How did you count all the dots?
The number of dots is an approximation, not an exact number. But it's a very very close approximation. I filmed myself in just about every section of my drawing and got an average of 4.25 dots per second. That translated into 3,213,000 dots if you multiplied that by 210 hours, which is what I logged in for the entire drawing. Because I know it can't be exactly accurate, and because I think I might be off just a few thousand dots or so, I rounded it off to an even 3.2 million.

How long did this take?
I logged in exactly 210 hours of just stippling, but it took nearly one full year to complete from start to finish.

How many pens did you use?
Just one! I had many pens as backup, but I never had to use any of them. Go Sakura!

So, is this a Sakura Pigma Micron advertisement?
Absolutely not. They were not a part of the production of this video in any way.

What camera and software did you use?
All shots were done using the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (18-55 mm standard lens), and edited/rendered in After Effects CS4.

What equipment did you use for those panning shots and time-lapses?
I built all of my camera sliders and tracks using pvc pipes and rubber wheels that can be found in any local home improvement store. If you'd like to see how I built them, send me a message and I can send over some pictures of what they look like.

Is this piece for sale?
The original for "Hero" is currently not for sale, but the limited edition prints will be very soon. You can find out more information on this link: http://miguelendara.com/prints

Do you have more artwork?
Yes. But not too many. Because stippling is an extremely time-expensive process, I do not have a large collection of art pieces. More can be seen on my site at www.miguelendara.com.

Thank you all for the continued support!


Help Me Name that Doll!

Empty locket soon to have clockworks

Ok so I'm a little late with this post, but I just designed, and produced a whole artistically-altered clothing line called LITTLE RED WOLF (be sure to return this week to learn more about that!) and I am just finishing up filling a major west coast order for some bunny pencil cases! So I think I'm entitled.
NEVERTHELESS here is my soul-gutted girl without a name!
I'm currently working on her chest locket where her heart used to be and it will be getting a clockworks (the inside of an old watch) and her ripped out heart will now reside in a little birdcage that she will soon begin to carry around...her only saving grace is the bird that used to live in the cage where her heart now lives is finally free (perched high outside the cage.)

So now that you know all there is to know I'm taking suggestions and ideas for a clever name that invoke her soul-gutted state....Please leave a comment and help me name her!

my soul gutted doll with unfinished boot her heart is now an empty locket but it will soon have a clockworks inside...because its all about time face detail she has set in tears and tracks...

Meeting and Working with Doll Artist & and Teacher Lillian Alberti

Doll Artist Lillian Alberti

Thanks to my good friend Manon,whose birthday gift to herself was a doll-making class this past October- I got to meet doll artist and teacher Lillian Alberti. Knowing my long-time interest in doll-making, Manon told me about the class at Boces and invited me to tag along with her and share in the experience. I am very grateful to Manon or I would have never met Lillian and learned about her accessibility via workshops.

Unfortunately, the class at Boces was only three Saturday mornings long and I had to travel out of the country (to Oaxaca, Mexico) during the very last session, so I was left to complete my doll on my own. As you will see I only got up to stage two with my class and teacher.

Nevertheless, meeting Lillian Alberti was SUPER inspiring and the two short classes I had were enough to ignite and unleash a pretty palpable creative firestorm inside me.

One of LIllian Alberti's work in progress dolls that I got to meet during my second class.

About Lillian, she graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Fashion Design, and worked extensively in the fashion industry as both a designer and illustrator, before beginning her venture into Art Dolls. She has a wonderful story of being so affected and lured into art doll-making by a moment in time when she passed by Van Craig sculptural dolls and his art in a Tiffany window display while walking around NYC. Now if you have never seen Van Craig work - you are in for a super treat and should click here: VAN CRAIG. Furthermore, like me, Lillian is a LATINA! So on so many levels she was her Van Craig to me!!

my first clay doll teacher Lillian Alberti in class with her work in progress doll

My mind was set from the beginning that my doll would be a sad, sullen girl - this I knew.

So check out my early stages and as my students told me all along the way the images can be freaky...

Stage one photo and doll by m.diazStage two of my doll Stage three - Beginning the Painting photo and doll by M.Diaz

So having made dolls before and truly enjoying the spirit of allowing a narrative to develop between me, the process and the matter (which in this case of art-making is the doll), I allowed much to be developed intuitively as I went. I also based much of my artistic design choices on where my heart was at that moment.

So right around stage three (painting the doll) I decided (or she decided) that the surface treatment of an antique wooden puppet doll would suit her best and that she perhaps made her living in a Cirque du Soleil kind of way- performing for others and wearing a daily covering of clown make-up...and that maybe there had been a build up.
As a former clown, she at one time or another had done a lot of smiling before everything went sour. The way I imagined that her life had come undone and gone black of course was in matters of the heart. And so I used some glazing and inks,stains, and shellac instead of paint to get the effect I wanted. I also couldn't help noticing that the tears were doing a real number on her makeup and that her current outward face was a fusion between that old life and this new one.

paint jobpaint job and beginning of soul gutted process detail shot SO COME BACK here this week to see the finished doll..she has been soul-gutted has had her heart ripped out (and is living somewhere else in another vessel of sorts) with only a clock works of time existing in her chest now...AND HELP ME NAME HER!!!!! I will be asking in the next blog post for help as you get to know and see her - I would love your ideas, comments and when I finally have it narrowed down to top five we will take a vote!! So I hope to see you back here!

For the Love of Mermaids

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt is: Compose. I thought I would take a break from composing posts about my Europe pictures...


I have to confess another little guilty pleasure; making OOAK mermaids!!

Around two years ago, I started making these little mermaids and for a while, I became obsessed. The passion has died down since then, but I'm still smitten. I composed a story and a personality for each doll. I gave them a name and developed what I called a character card. If you know anything about me and my 'Fine Art' you'll know that these are quite a departure for me. The part of me that creates these dolls often feels silly. Unfortunately, I have even felt embarrassed about showing them to anyone, since they fall into that horribly divisive conflict of art vs. craft. Unlike the majority of the art world, I do not prescribe to the idea that fine artists shouldn't craft and crafters aren't fine artists. There is something about having an MFA that induces some intellectual snobbery about art in people, obviously not me. I have my MFA and still love to create functional crafts and obviously play with dolls! I find the mermaids artistically fascinating. I get a joy and peace when I’m constructing art dolls, unlike any other activity. Perhaps it’s the combination of tactile materials and fibers, along with the human form and the ability to compose a little world of tangible bits and pieces. maybe its about bringing a 2d illustration into a 3D piece of matter infused with spirit. What ever it is, I'm no longer going to be ashamed for it! Each is hand-sculpted out of polymer clay, with absolutely no use of molds. Therefore, every doll is unique (OOAK=one of a kind).


Meet La Chismosa or Chatty Patty

This Mermaid is a talker. She is all about catching up on the latest and being right on the doorstep of any blue world breaking news. Her most precious treasure: her state of the art seashell cell. You will never catch her without it. La Chismosa is also very stylish and witty. When the gossip of the day implies peril, La Chismosa knows who to call to set things right. She's proud of her keen perception and dynamic social skills. La Chismosa is everybody's friend, its the best way to get the low-down.

Sits around 3” tall with a 5 ½”long tail and is 2 ½” wide.

Quite a few family members own one of my mermaids. In addition many of the mermaids have sold through consignment at Midnight Owl in Chester, NJ. If you are interested in any of the mermaids available now, you can get them through my Etsy shop!