Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Saturday Portrait

Hat from Tonner's "Trip to Saratoga"; dress from Franklin Mint's Raintree County.

Because one of my greatest wishes is for some doll company to consider making clothing from different historical periods. And there are actually a lot. So many themes, so many stories  -- from history, from literature, from fashion, from royalty.  There seems to be little regard for these things now with Marketing more important and -- understandably more important in making money. Just a thought this Saturday, loving old historical or period pieces can be such a lonely endeavor.


This doll has made many appearances in this blog. She's a practice doll from Tonner's Mother's Portieres, her hair uncurled and face underwent some revisions. This is the last of those.  I wanted her makeup to be lighter and her lips not too red. Her hair is held well by a snood.  I noticed that Vivien Leigh's eyes are naturally slanted allowing lashes to give them a lift. The Tonner Scarlett doll however has a more almond shaped eye sculpt -- the right eye (where the arched eyebrow rises) has a shape un-symmetrical with the left one -- in that the lower part of the eye is lower. To create the symmetry one has to draw more shadows. 


I needn't explain much about the dress as you've seen it many times.  I hope you like the portraits.





Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mrs. Butler: Don't Look Back (reprise)


And guess who passed by during the shoot? (I still have to figure out how to fix his lips though)


Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Scarlett O'Hara Dream Part 3: Coming face to face with a dream

See more of Zsazsa's amazing art at frivolouswhim.tumblr.com.  You will not regret it!
Among the photos of Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, nothing reflects her at her most beautiful as the one above. That's just my opinion. Over and beyond the beauty of this still, it is what it stands for -- hope! And this time it's Scarlett's hope in the right direction. She is out of the dark. She finds her light. She finds her love and she is determined to use again all her Scarlett strength amassed over the years to find "someway to get him back." 


It is also about my hope -- and a dream to finally have a Noel Cruz Scarlett O' Hara doll of my own. You only live once -- shoot for the best.  And so now, as I type this, the dream has been realized.  The work of art now stands in a box on my desk.

"Every stroke  -- and I mean EVERY stroke of his brush on this doll is precise -- 
nothing about it is carelessly done, nothing about it is without thought."

I am supposed to write something about having a Noel Cruz Scarlett but i don't think I can find the words to describe it.  Call me insane or not having a life (which is what I see most people smile about when I talk about dolls), but this is my unique joy.
Since I cannot express how it feels. I might as well tell you about how a masterpiece looks like in person.
First, one can see that a Noel Cruz doll by its beauty and craftsmanship reflects the artist's eye for precision, balance, polish (when I say this, I mean how clean it looks -- very, very professional).  You are not made aware of the strokes, it seems Noel became smaller and painted at the scale of the doll. Everything you see in his photographs are what you get -- and by the work rendered on it, you know it is a work of art.  Noel employs seasoned skill that combines mastery of stroke, choice of color and symmetry. Every stroke  -- and I mean every stroke of his brush on this doll is precise -- nothing about it is carelessly done, nothing about it is without thought.  When you receive it, you will know immediately why they sell for the price they do in ebay.  I am reminded of the Mastercard advertising: "There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's Mastercard". The experience is priceless. The thought of it is priceless.

Upon opening the box you see how well packed the doll is. Hair wrapped well to avoid a mess, a Certification of Authenticity of the art created, instructions on how to take care of the doll. and a beautiful amazing work of art to behold for the rest of your life!

I was probably thinking of moments like this when I named this blog: A Scarlett Reverie. Well, dreams can come true. A reverie can become real. Tomorrow has finally arrived.

So now here are the photographs I personally took using Noel Cruz's Scarlett O' Hara and Beth Wilder's Fence Dress. My camera is not able to capture the beauty of this doll well -- not as good as Noel's but I did enjoy working on this immensely. I hope you will come to like them too.



The tree here is traced from the actual tree in the film. I added the sky, the fence and the grass. 
I found a nice satin/silk type of material and it reflected light very well. 


This a different version with a red sky -- too red I think...hmmm...


For more of Noel Cruz's art please visit his site at www.ncruz.com


The Scarlett O'Hara Dream Part 2: The Fence Dress by Beth Wilder

Today's technology opens up a lot of opportunities for us to discover immense possibilities in expanding our view of things.
This post owes a lot to technology for allowing me to find the person behind the dress you see above.  Sleuthing can be a fun experience especially when all fired up by Scarlett passion.

It is not a familiar Gone With the Wind  dress as it comes from an edited out scene from the film. One which today I hope will be found while I still have my right senses to appreciate it. There are stills from this scene and few of them I've found in the internet. Here are a few:

 From http://vivienleigh.bloog.pl : A tired-looking Vivien Leigh putting an end to GWTW; a scene that never made it to the final cut. 
www.viewsofthepast.com

Clue: Louisville, KY.  Search yielded the same name, same place and worked as a Director of a Museum. I found a contact email and finally found Beth. I believe she was as much more surprised than I at having been discovered. Apparently, she would sew GWTW dresses for her dolls too. She showed me some pictures and the only thing running in my mind was: "why does such great talent hide?".  In the short period of our correspondence we were able to feed off each other's love for dolls, dresses and Gone with the Wind.  And realizing that I had admired her dress enough for me to find where she was, she offered to do me this dress with an exchange of my repainted Scarlett for it. In the course of the sewing she would send me photos of this dress (which I think is always proper when you are doing commissioned work).

The length of the dress covers whatever shoe you would put on the doll as well as the stand. The train is ample enough and is pleated at the back. 
Here we see the length of the train
The train is pleated in such a way that it can move towards the side to make a beautiful drape. 
There are reasons why I wanted the dress. Well for one, it drapes well on the doll -- featuring a more curvaceous Scarlett accentuating length of doll. A respite from the voluminous skirts that she wears for most of the films long sequences. It was actually love at first sight when I saw Beth's photo in the Tonner Newsletter.  She actually didn't follow any pattern for this -- for there is none. My friend Another reason is what that sequence stood for.  But let me tell you about that when I get to the 3rd part and the final one of The Scarlett O' Hara Dream.


(To be continued)

A Scarlett O'Hara Dream Part 1: The Noel Cruz Scarletts

The First Scarlet: Basic Tonner Scarlett gets a "soul" with the artistry of Noel Cruz
This is where it all began. Tonner had just released its GWTW collection. And this photo was going around the internet specially among Scarlett O' Hara doll collectors. I had not heard of doll repainting then, but this picture of Noel Cruz's first Scarlett O' Hara repaint doll made it possible for me to believe that something can be done to capture the look of the character even more.
It was hard to believe that such realism  -- of unbelievable and jaw-dropping proportions -- could come from a repainted vinyl doll.
In the years to come Noel would release four more repaints following  the Vivien/Scarlett theme.  Each one capturing a different mood and look; extraordinary and mesmerizing beyond reason. It was also during those years that Noel would encourage me to explore repainting. Believe you me it was an experience to have your work critiqued by Noel.  He was generous with time and talent -- not mention comments. Kindness and humility were always his virtues -- something I personally appreciated with him and with other repaint artists ( such as Isabelle of Isabelle Repaints).  When you get encouraged by a master, how else can you not push yourself to do better always?

The 2nd Noel Cruz Scarlett --Kissing Ashley Goodbye 

Noel Cruz re-creates the final scene of Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. 
Amidst it all, there also came his interpretation of Hollywood Glamour featuring one of the most beautiful (and talented) faces that graced the silver screen.
One of my favorites -- Vivien Leigh 
Noel Cruz's interpretation of the Blue Portrait Scarlett doll. I bidded on this and lost. But yes tomorrow is another day...
Noel Cruz opened up our eyes that artistry can go beyond a flat canvas. That a piece of vinyl of a 16" doll or an 11.5 doll can become  a masterpiece of precision and patience beyond words.  In his hands the look and sculpt of a doll undergoes a marvelous transformation: A Tonner Nicole Kidman doll can suddenly become Bionic Woman's Lindsay Wagner; A Tonner Twilight Edward can be a life-like vampire or a rock'n roll king, Elvis. His recent Angelina Jolie doll was created from a 11 1/2  Barbie Basics doll with a face/canvas size no bigger or almost an inch. His Grace Kelly was likewise repainted on an 11 1/2 Grace Kelly doll giving the doll royalty and beauty to behold. I mention this because there are dolls that have the merit of sculpt. Noel Cruz puts the face spot on whatever the sculpt may be.  It is the gift of seeing with a sharp artistic eye and which  I often call a "divine imagination" -- or the ability to see the artful potential of things beyond human perception and creativity.
The Angelina Jolie doll  by Noel Cruz -- born out of a Barbie face
That divine imagination is not confined to the strokes of the brush alone, there is also the hair styling . A Noel Cruz creation makes you forget that the doll has been repainted, in the same manner it also makes you forget that the hair has been restyled to be in amazing scale as the doll's face -- it were as if there were rollers really made for a doll that size.  And if that isn't even seemingly enough, the photographs of these dolls require no glamorous settings, no extraordinary costumes, no special lighting and effects -- the repainted face is by itself enough. That legendary Jon Peters Farrah Hair can only be created with legendary skill on a doll.  After all,  Farrah's signature feature are her feathered tresses.
These in fact are not toys anymore, they have been transformed to miniature pieces of art. I will soon tell you of that genuine and wonderful experience in the posts to come.

For more of his art please go and visit the following
For his latest works and details on commissions:  http://www.ncruz.com
Also other Noel Cruz siteshttp://noelcruzcreations.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncruzdolls/


(To be continued)