Baby dolls and birds' nests

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
Hello again readers,

This week, I have been adding to my montage painting of scenes of Clowne. Starting at the bottom, I have the Miners Welfare, in the middle the old infant and junior school, and to its right, the pit. At the top, there’s the Harlesthorpe dam, with the blue waters blending with the sky above the school, and to its left, the village cross – as it used to look before they cleaned it up, shoved it on a low plinth, and surrounded it with small bollards (some of which are quite a distance from the cross and get knocked down by traffic). As there is a space at the bottom left, I may add a pit pony. Horses are not my strong point, even though I used to ride them quite a lot when I was younger, so perhaps I will just stick to a disembodied pony head.

At art group, Elizabeth has now started a new painting, and brought the one she completed at last week’s meeting. I’ll photograph it and add it to our selling website soon. Unusually for her, she has, for added interest, put some figures into it. I asked her if any of them were her (especially the one in stilettos), or her friend John, but she thought not. Perhaps next time.

I seem to be making a habit of featuring other artists and this week, I would like to introduce the work of Teresa Russon. She makes incredibly realistic newborn dolls. Much too beautiful to play with, they are best seen as large ornaments rather than toys. Her Face Book profile is at:, where you can see more examples of her work. She is also on My Space at: She lives at Hodthorpe, a small village near Worksop, Notts, and works from home. Teresa sometimes gets so engrossed in the process, she works late into the night to complete a doll. The dolls are made of acrylic, and have to be baked in the oven at various stages (I wonder if she puts some cakes or a pie in while she’s at it, to save electricity – or perhaps she’s on Economy 7). The basic facial features are the same on each one but she can make them to any weight, skin or hair colour, with eyes open or closed. She can make them as a girl or a boy - I don’t know if they are anatomically correct. They come fully dressed as a girl or boy anyway. Teresa also makes jewellery, and you can see some examples on the wrists of some of the dolls. I’m not sure whether it is suitable for young children, though.

I am not actually selling Teresa’s dolls, but she is happy to take orders and you can contact her via her Face Book or My Space pages by sending a message if you are a member – otherwise go to my website at, and send me a message via the contacts page, and I will happy to pass it on. Prices start at £150 (approx 216 USD) plus shipping.

On the arty wildlifey front, we have now completed our pond and planted a willow tree and some shrubs around it. The local birds love it and keep visiting to bathe and drink – the bird bath is old hat now. New on the scene are two magpies, smart looking birds with their black and white plumage, who raided one of the nests in the garden recently. I suppose that’s just nature, though. I hope to paint at least one of them soon - or would it be bad luck to just paint one?

More arty bits and bobs next week …

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