Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stagecoach Mary

I'm doing a series of black dolls from history. They will all be females who have made their mark and are rarely heard from. They will be presented in an exhibition at the Delta Fine Arts gallery in February 2012. I started with a sketch of Stagecoach Mary based on a picture in the book, Black Women of the Old West by William Loren Katz.

I haven't done a costume rendering in ages. It was like starting all over again. I did them a lot when I was in university for costume design. I needed a rendering to go by for when I make the doll. It will also be used in the display of the finished piece. All the dolls in the series will be needle felted.

 Here's my art table set up for painting. I sketched Mary on tracing paper, then transferred her to watercolor paper. You can see my palette in the upper left of the photo.

Mary Fields, aka Stagecoach Mary, rode a stagecoach delivering mail in the northern Rockies. She was six feet tall and carried a .38 Smith and Wesson while delivering freight of various kinds, including mail.

Here I started layering color. It didn't take long to remember some of the techniques I had acquired over the years of painting. I guess it was like riding a bicycle. I really need to get back to painting on a regular basis. So much to stuff into one lifetime.


Kim said...

I love her so far. I love your comment about so much to stuff into one lifetime. My feeling exactly- I think that's why I have a problem of starting things and not finishing before I start something new--I just want to do it all!!! I look forward to seeing Stagecoach Mary come to life :)

Wendy Luane Barber said...

I know. There are just too many cool crafty things calling my name.

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I'm really working to do more posts on my old blog but I am being challenged. The doll pins I recently finished, well, I sold seven of t...