Monday, January 25, 2016

"Little Soul Red" and a Look Back at Dolls

"Little Soul Red," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
I've never been a doll collector -- instead convinced by brother Phil to invest my vast sums in parts for fly-tying, or coin collecting, or tropical fish and giant tomes to identify those species or racetrack cars ... etc.

However, my Mom did collect these floppy folk with Dad commemorating special occasions with charming characters that found their homes on benches, tiny chairs, shelves and spots all around their home.

Through a few moves, the collection has become more concentrated with only her favorites maintaining their residence there.

Right before beginning my Winter classes, I raided Mom and Dad's condo for the "stuff" to turn into multiple still lifes placed around the room to -- hopefully -- inspire students.

"Little Soul Red" began as my painting demonstration on day one of the class. In working to pose her, I tried to re-cross her legs. No such luck. She's been sitting the same way for so long that all attempts to teach her a "new trick" led to her swiftly sliding to the floor.
"All Dolled Up and No Place to Go," oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©2011 Jill Banks. The doll painting that started it all. Private collection.

"Clown Girl and Kisses," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©2011 Jill Banks. Private collection.

"Ride 'Em Cowgirl," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2012 Jill Banks. Private collection.

"Garden Girl," oil, 42"h x 36"w, ©2013 Jill Banks. My Dad set this up for me in the studio and I literally could not stop painting because it was such a beautiful sight (and fun to recreate)! I brought it to the Armonk Art Show and there met someone who used to work at Little Souls -- the company that created the dolls. Interesting and totally unexpected connection.  This painting is available for purchase -- although generally "Garden Girl" is hanging out with me in my home.

 "Mademoiselle," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2013 Jill Banks. Private collection.
"Little Soul Red" is one of many Little Souls dolls in my Mom's collection -- and quite a few of them have wound their way to my canvas.

A sampling of those paintings include  dolls (with some of those Little Souls) as subjects are "All Dolled Up and No Place to Go," "Clown Girl and Kisses," "Ride 'Em Cowgirl," "Mademoiselle" and "Garden Girl." There are more.

They have made super subjects over the past five years and do seem to fill the room with their own particular spirit.

In preparing this post, I did a little research of my own on the creators of these dolls.  For all of those doll enthusiasts out there -- check out the web site of -- where you can find out more about the next evolution of Little Souls. All those creations are truly amazing!

Thanks for reading!


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