Monday, May 31, 2010



Gentle Spirit

Gentle Spirit

The seed pod opened-a woman child emerged. She was not complete..still in the process of becoming finished. She was innocent, having the quality of one who has not yet been injured by life. No soul vision quest..She was just content to be here and to be a living part of the great Mother Earth.

Close up

I wrote the story of Gentle Spirit as well as all of the stories in my SHE WHO WHISPERS book many years ago. I have to admit, some are outdated now. By that, I mean that my own thinking has changed. Some, however; are still right on target and in line with my current views on life. In Gentle Spirit, I tried to convey the feeling of innocence, as best as I remember it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to think and feel as though you were not yet injured by life? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to walk the world and be completely trusting of humanity?

View from the bottom

Gentle Spirit is 11”w x 14” h x 1/12” deep She is an original in which I’ve used acrylic on oil and collaged items. She can be viewed and purchased on ETSY through Paypal or ordered from me via e-mail. I take MC, Visa, AmX and Discover as well as checks. I can ship internationally. Postage will vary from country to country.
Thanks so much.


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010



Jason's Stuffed Grape Leaves

Our “Le Petit” Supper Club has really come a long way. We are getting much better at duplicating authentic recipes from world cuisine. This month we chose Greece as our themed dinner. What a dinner it was!

Here was our menu:

Giouvarlakia with Avgolemono (Lemon) Sauce.
Feta cheese drizzled with Blood Orange infused Extra Virgin
Olive oil...Orange Zest, Cracked Black Pepper,Oregano
and Greek Olives
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Makaronada me Garides..aka Greek Pasta with Shrimp
Fig Cakes
Greek Olive Bread,
Pistachio Honey Apricots
Greek Beer & Wine

Front of studio

Our hosts for the party were Dean Brandetsas and Val Padar. From the moment I arrived I felt as though I had been transported back to Europe, especially Greece or Italy. Dean and Val are artists and their home has that look and feel that reflects their European heritage. They share their garage studio and as a matter of fact, they have drawn a line smack down the center to divide their work space. Val sculpts gorgeous concrete leaves, and Dean’s talents can’t be covered in this simple posting. I guess if I had to name just one thing that Dean excels at, it would be his furniture crafting. The many wooden tables that he has created adorns their home and garden.

Back of studio

Another view of studio

World's smallest kiln-and it works!

Dean shows fish sculputure backing

Bottom view of one of Dean's tables

One of many hand crafted tables

Sculpted fish gate

Val's concrete leaves

After leaving the studio, we took a tour of the garden where fresh vegetables are grown and used on a daily basis. Fig trees, fresh peas and artichokes abound.

Jerusalem artichokes

Fig tree

Fresh peas

We dined at the table dean hand sculpted over 20 years ago. This table would be one that you would expect to find at any European country home. Look at the array of delicious food!

Val’s decorating is very artistic. She has collected items from the many shows where she exhibited her work and has them displayed in every nook and cranny of their home. I was surprised that she still has several of the vintage pieces she bought from me years ago.

One of many paintings

Artsy setting

Vintage Cheryl Dolby

The fireplace that dean carved out is especially beautiful..and so romantic. He carved a tree that surrounds the mantle and a bas-relief of a man (Dean) and a woman (Val) The inscription reads, "To my love who loves the trees.” They are seated on a little moon in the center. Val has great reverence for trees. She sculpts leaves to depict their beauty.

Detail from fireplace

As an end to a fabulous meal, we were fortunate enough to savor the taste of Dean’s home made Baklava. I traveled to Greece a few years ago and was served baklava for dessert quite often. To be honest, I just didn’t like it. I thought I would be polite and sample just one of Dean's. I was hooked after the first bite. This was not like any baklava I had ever tasted. The honey wasn’t all syrupy and gooey, it was rather ingrained throughout the dessert. I hate to admit it but I am sure I had 3 servings.

Dean's baklava

No Greek dinner is compete without the serving of Ouzo and of course, we all shouted, “Opa” as our toast. I looked up the term, Opa, to find that it is used for no apparent reason at all in Greece. “ Opa” can be shouted out for celebrations or approval. We all had just a small tasting and made plans for future dinner party themes..I think I heard mention of a “local food only” picnic and a Cajun jam fest plus next month it is my turn to have the party at Woodloft, my home. We are going Caribbean! Ya Mon! Hope to see you there!

As an afternote, if you would like to read about my real live trip to Greece, you can check out my posting here I think you’ll like the pictures.

Ouzo served at grand table-OPA!

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Sunday, May 23, 2010



B-dazle on the Roanoke Farmer's Market

Here are a few shots of B-dazle, my art car, and the flowers I purchased at our Farmer's Market yesterday.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010



Celtic Woman Journal

I’m so excited! London, Ireland, Wales and Scotland! I am finally headed to the land of my roots. How I have loved traveling and studying in France and Italy. I have taken many classes in both of those countries and when I arrive, I always feel as though I belong to each one. Yet,I have never been to the country of my ancestors; Wales. My great grandmother came here after the potato famine. She was a Dillon. Her daughter, my grandmother, raised four wonderful daughters, my mother being the youngest. My childhood was steeped in Welsh lore, Welsh myths and Welsh love. I was driven to write a story about Druids and Dryads. You can find it in my book,Layers I titled the story, Caradwen, after the Goddess. It is one of my favorite stories of all time, and I am amazed that I am the author. I always said that the story wrote me, instead of vice-versa. I was particularly surprised at the ending, which my characters definitely wrote, all on their own.

Close-up of Caridwen

I knew I wanted to create a journal to take with me on my journey of my motherland. I wanted her to be mysterious, hold keys and sacred images from that glorious land. What I finally produced was a far cry from this imagery. I worked an entire day adding layer after layer of cloth to my journal. I bought a journal at Stapes store because I wanted it to have the capability to hold pictures, journaling, sketches and alls sorts of other artwork. I then added a ton of fabric, one of my paper dolls which I adorned with a wonderful batik fabric, a celtic symbol, yarn, and ribbons. I used my free motion attachment on my sewing machine and I also embroidered it with celtic looking symbols. She started looking rather upbeat and whimsical..which is definitely not the look I strived for. I think it was the bright color scheme I ended up with that did it. I finally decided that I like her anyway. I used a photo that I scanned of my laundry room labyrinth and printed it onto cloth. This labyrinth is quite large and absolutely fills my laundry room. I love it. I use the image as much as possible since I remember the pain of the 4 months of daily labor it took to complete. To think that before long, this special journal will be filled with adventurous stories, pictures and mementoes from Wales and beyond, boggles my mind.

Close-up of the unwanted black rings

One thing that bothers me about the journal. The rings and the spine are black. I would love to change the color somehow but I don’t know what kind of paint would do the trick. If anyone out there knows of something I could use to subdue the black in some way, I’d really appreciate it hearing from you. I just must do something with those rings-which are closed so I cannot add ribbon to them. I guess I could add another row of ribbon, via a pipe cleaner, to the front by gluing it on-maybe that would at least camouflage the rings.

Caridwen with ribbons over rings

I’ll be leaving June 25th and I plan to try very hard to post a picture for each day that I am gone. That will be 20 pictures! I hope to find ancient doors, ancient people and scenery. You are free to use anything that you find pleasing from my journey for your own artwork. I want to share this amazing land with everyone. I am so hoping to take pictures that invoke the character of my subjects.

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Monday, May 17, 2010



Highly Elevated Soul


She had been all things to all people. She had
been a mother, a sister, a daughter and a wife.
now she had to find out who she really was to

The search took her to the sacred gardens, to
the forests, to the city. She finally returned
to the river, where she had been many times
before and through years of listening, she
heard the cries of the masses in the sometimes
roaring waters, and they chanted.....................
........................... “We are all one.”

~Cheryl Dolby~


View from the bottom

Here is another original in the nature series in which I have added dried roses from my garden. I have used encaustic wax to preserve them. I painted her face with acrylics. She seems to generate the look of one who had searched life and finally found herself. The dimensions are 8”x w x 10”h with a 1 ½ “ cradle for easier hanging.Highly Elevated Soul can be viewed and purchased from Etsy through Paypal, or you can contact me through my e-mail I take all the major credit cards or a check.

Hope you like her. She is one of my favorites.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010



Aries, acrylic on birch and beadwork

It started with the music. I innocently went to Pam Aries' blog, Aries Gypsy. As I began to read her post, a bohemian guitar played softly in the background followed by the exotic sound of an ancient violin. The music took me to places I know I’ve been before. It was the kind of violin that tears at your soul. I began to feel as though I was being transported from my chair at the computer to a place where a distant memory taunted me.

This feeling of teleportation is not new to me. I had the privilege of hearing Flamenco while in Madrid, Spain. Something peculiar happened to me as the dancers raced across the stage In chaotic frenzy, all the while vibrating with the exotic sound of the guitar. I watched as the audience became enthralled, excited. Many were jumping from their seats and screaming in ecstasy. Others seemed to be in a kind of trance. I must say, I was almost as energized. The music spoke to my very soul.

Zigana, acrylic on birch with encaustic wax, Hungarian name means gypsy

I learned that the soul wrenching music I was listening to on Pam’s blog is by a group called Emusici. I ordered not one but 3 of their CD’s. That is when the trouble began. I became addicted! I would turn on the CD first thing in the morning and end my day with it. The music filled my brain and no matter what I would do, it played on and on in my head. Sometimes, I was given to dance frantically around Woodloft, my home. As I worked in my studio, all that I wanted to create were gypsies. Pam’s efforts didn’t help either. On one of her posts, she chose a u-tube video of gypsy music, caravans and of gypsies dancing around the campfire. The music accompanying it is mesmerizing. I love this post.

I was to learn that Pam considers herself to be a gypsy of sorts. She leads a lifestyle that many of us envy.She feels the call of the wild and follows her bliss wherever it takes her. She thinks nothing of selling her belongings and moving on. She tells me that she now is in search of a gypsy wagon. I can’t wait to see what she finds, or should I say, what finds her!

Sofika, acrylic on canvas with beads. Ukranian name means wisdom

The definition of gypsy is:

1. A member of a people that arrived in Europe in migrations from northern India around the 14th century, now also living in North America and Australia. Many Gypsy groups have preserved elements of their traditional culture, including an itinerant existence and the Romany language.

2. One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.

Even though I don’t quite fit the definition, I always considered myself to be a gypsy at heart. Not because I moved from place to place but because I traveled for over 30 years to art shows up and down the east coast of the US. I was on the ‘show circuit.’ By that, I mean,I exhibited my work with 2 different show promoters, Sugarloaf Shows and Clyde Gilmore’s Craftsmen. I literally would pull in my driveway in my long van and unload all my empty Rubbermaid tubs that had been filled with my work, dash into my studio, work for 5 days straight in sculpting. I would reload and unload my kiln and refill those same tubs. I would then reload my work back into my van and I’d be off again to my new destination. You get the picture I'm sure. It was an exciting, adventurous lifestyle but I missed being here at Woodloft, my home.

I’m not sure where this music will eventually take me, and I do thank Pam for introducing me to it. Here are a few of the renderings I’ve been compelled to create.

I’ve named the first one Aries, with Pam in mind, and was inspired to write her story:


A storm was brewing. The winds of change were struggling to free themselves once again. She knew she had been too long in one place. The roots of that place were starting to wrap themselves around her being, pulling and tugging at her once more.
She knew it was time.
Moving on meant transformation. It meant leaving possessions, friends and sometimes family. She was no stranger to farewells. And, with each move,she knew she was leaving a part of herself behind.
Even though painful, she knew that once again she must pull back her shoulders, as if she were an obedient soldier. She then must wrap the blanket of memories around her and begin her journey as she had done so many times before.
She knew she was Aries. Strong, vibrant, resilient and constant. She must begin...again.

Katrya, meaning pure in Ukranian. acrylic on fresco with encaustic wax

Aries, Zigana and Sofiya are for sale. They are orginals and are 8”w x 10”H. I have priced them each at $100. You can view them on etsy by clicking each name. You can also purchase them from etsy if you prefer paypal or you can email me to purchase directly from me. I take all major credit cards including MC, Visa, American Express and Discover.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010



Lady of the Labyrinth collage

The poem I have attached to this particular collage comes straight from my book, Layers. In Layers, I have written a story that starts out slowly. It is about a girl around 12 years of age. She and her friend find a mysterious book. It is a book that changes both of their lives forever. The story at first makes y ou think it is about each girl becoming a woman. Later, you find that what is happening is not what you thought. This book is a celebration of women. I will probably never be able to achieve in another book what I have in Layers. It comes from my heart and aims to reach the hearts of women in all walks of life.
Here is the poem:

Lady of the Labyrinth

Her soul cries out for the sacred walk.
for the pilgrimage.
As she moves through the narrow passage
toward the center, she opens her heart for
the journey.
The discipline of the steps gently placed on
the path, one after the other, footprints to
understanding..slowly begin to reveal the
gifts of the spirit.
With each step, she sheds layer after layer
of unresolved pain. As her body moves
Inward, her quiet mind opens, surrendering
the passioned images. There is an emptying,
challenging, yet ever allowing, ever centering
and finally, a release.
The sacred labyrinth of times long past calls
her to begin her spiral. To weave together the
psyche and the soul.
She emerges from her sojourn with a keener
eye and a lightened heart.

~Cheryl Dolby~

Close-up of hardware

I was over at Happy’s, my local flea market, and saw a woman that I usually buy a lot of jewelry from for my work. I didn’t quite make it to her booth though. She looked over and said, “Cheryl, what are you picking up from the ground? What is down there?” I had found the best treasure…beer bottle caps. These weren’t just any old beer bottle caps though. These particular caps had been run over repeatedly by the many trucks and cars that come through the market. They were rustic and ancient looking, just the look that I often times try to achieve. I took my small treasures home just knowing I’d find an application. Sure enough, as I started working on my labyrinth piece, these gems just fell into place. I attached them to her hair with encaustic wax and added gold highlights to them. I used a metal labyrinth that I had on hand plus old rusted tools. Perfect. I do like the way the piece turned out and will build upon the theme.

close-up of beer caps

"Lady of the Labyrinth" as well as the book Layers are available through etsy using Paypal. Alternately, you can view them on etsy and purchase directly from me via my e-mail. I take all the standard credit cards including Visa, MC, AX and Discover.

View from the bottom of painting

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