Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet a New Clay Artist: Nancy Wiley

Alice by Nancy Wiley

Nancy Wiley, is an award winning doll artist who often works with air-dry Paperclay. Since making her first doll in 1989, Nancy Wiley has earned recognition and accolades both within and outside of the doll field. Her stylized and imaginative figures have been featured in magazines such as Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, In Style and George, as well as all the major doll-collecting publications.

A Dollmaker's Art: The Creations Of Nancy Wiley is a 160-page book showcasing 85 of her dolls in full-color photos, organized by theme and presented with insightful commentaries from the artist.  Book also includes a step-by-step photo essay that demonstrates the development of one doll from start to finish.

Alice, shown above, is the doll used for the cover of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a 2009 edition of the story by Lewis Carroll illustrated by Nancy Wiley.   As part of her signature style, Wiley blurs the line between art and doll by using burlap for hair, putting a fine lace collar on the painted bodice and dressing Alice in a painted fabric skirt.

Wiley has created 6 companion dolls for the book including the Mad Hatter (below) and the White Rabbit.
The limited edition dolls are made of cast resin individually hand-painted by the artist. 

The Mad Hatter by Nancy Wiley
Visit her website to view her gallery of figurative art. Nancy Wiley says:   "My artistic journey has certainly followed a circuitous route. I was sidetracked from my initial interest in children's illustration when I apprenticed my brother, William Wiley (a very talented doll artist who passed away in 1991). Bill encouraged me to try "his" medium and I was captivated. The way I bridge the gap from painting on a flat canvas to creating an art doll is to view the doll as a 3D canvas. I paint features in oil as I would for a portrait and I believe this is one of the small differences that define my style. When I recently photographed my work to serve as illustrations for the classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland storybook, I felt I had come full circle."

Mark Twain by Nancy Wiley

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