Nursery rhyme inspired characters

Oh, dear, what can the matter be? / Johnny's so long at the fair. / He promised he'd buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, / He promised he'd buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, / He promised he'd buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, / To tie up my bonny brown hair. (Old nursery rhyme)

nursery rhyme inspired papier mache character

Poor Johnny.

He was sent to the fair to buy blue ribbons, not realizing that he would be going to the mother of all fairs, the yearly London Grand Ribbon show, where exhibitors, in row upon row and as far as the eye can see, display their collections of lustrous ribbons for sale.

Johnny was told to buy blue ribbons...poor guy...there are so many blues! He is completely flummoxed, yes, flummoxed!

Which does Priscilla want? Is it sky blue or turquoise or sea blue or ultramarine? And then there is royal blue, and azure, and baby blue....or how about indigo, or midnight blue? Add to that the sapphire blues, the lapis lazuli, the aquamarine and moonstone blues. So many blues that he is truly perplexed!

And then does she want a satin ribbon, or is it velvet? Was it a thin or a thick ribbon? So many decisions that Johnny is befuddled and speechless when the vendors approach him with their offerings.

Why didn't Priscilla send him to buy an awl, or a socket set, or ratcheting wrenches. THAT he could have handled!

papier mache character based on a nursery rhyme

Walter and Millie – soap opera drama

"Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons." ~Al Hirschfield.

Walter and Millie - papier mâché brooches

Walter and Millie - mixed media brooches. Papier Mâché, acrylics, collage, nail polish (glitter on Millie's eyelids and in her hair.)

Painting these characters is so much fun that I do feel like a child again. Although they are not quick to complete, Walter and Millie (and other papier mâché characters in my art room) enter my brain and tell me a story as I work on them.

Millie, a talented ballerina with a small dance company, has many admirers. They lavish her with gifts at the end of each performance. Each suitor outdoes himself vying for her attention.

Meanwhile, Walter steadfastly remains in the background, quietly holding Millie's coat and her comfortable walking shoes, waiting for the crowd to disperse. For the past year, he has walked her home every night after her show.

If she thought about it long enough, (which she hasn't ) Millie would know that Walter is the man for her. Can't you see it in his lovestruck eyes? He is such a kind and thoughtful young man, how can she not fall for him?

Each evening, Millie happily babbles on about the little incidents that occur backstage, or recounts in vivid detail some of the preposterous changes to the choreography that Constance, the prima ballerina, has demanded. Walter can hardly ever find the right moment to tell her his feelings or to discuss what the future might hold for their relationship.

And so, this young couple, has managed to find a little routine that suits both of them for the time being.

Will Walter tire of Millie's self-centered storytelling? Will he finally speak up about the life he envisions for both of them? Or perhaps he will simply move on as Millie's career takes flight? Has Millie set her eyes on one of the dashing men who wait for her at the stage door?

As you can see, the stories associated with these characters have a bit of the soap opera drama in them: they hold the promise of possible betrayals, discovery of long lost love interests, debilitating illnesses and miraculous recoveries, as well as the emotional roller coaster to which such characters are subjected.

Meet Michelle and Antonina, papier mâché experiments

" A goal should scare you a little and excite you A LOT." ~ Joe Vitale.

Michelle and Antonina, first set of clay brooches

Michelle (Bonjour) and Antonina with her flowers, Mixed Media brooches.

My art work room is cluttered with experimental projects in different stages of completion.

I can find fault in all of them. So much time has been invested on these canvases, and I need to see them successfully finished to breathe a sigh of relief, and to feel contentment with my work.

But it is easy to get sidetracked when there is so much art to try out there.

I have never worked with papier mâché and the thought of creating fanciful figurines has me off on another tangent while my canvases collect dust for a while.

The armature for one such figurine is finished and I only need to apply the papier mâché. The really exciting part of the process for me is painting the hardened paper and wondering what quirky character might show up.

As often happens, I was excited about this new project and started asking myself what if?

Artistic distractions are the bane of my life at the moment, but I allow myself to be pulled in this or that direction as I search for my true calling as an artist.

So instead of working on the figurine, these brooches appeared. They are experimental of course, but I do love their little whimsical faces.

My art room looks like a production line with paper clay brooches in various stages of completion spread out all over the counter and the worktable.

As time consuming as these brooches are, (I need to refine the process), they are also very satisfying to finish. Each one is unique and I have a few dapper men to add to the collection as well.

Michelle is wishing you a good day but something is troubling her. She has a very concentrated look on her face as though she is scrutinizing you very carefully before allowing herself to open up to you.

Antonina, on the other hand, is an old-fashioned woman. Shy and retiring, she would much rather surround herself with her flowers than participate in idle gossip. (Her name occurred to me last night as I watched The Zookeeper's Wife at our local movie theatre.)

Each clay brooch has a story to tell.

This new venture excites me a lot.