Sunday, July 1, 2012

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)

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