Saturday, December 31, 2011



Bruce's Paintings of Old Auto's Lost To The World Of Rust

What is retirement? To some, it is time for relaxation and travel. For others, and I’m speaking about my friend Bruce Hauser, it is time for exploring the world of art. Of course travel will be a part of that journey. After all, what better place is there to gain inspiration than old worlds such as Italy and France?

Dr. Bruce Hauser and Sister (on the right)

Last night at Bruce’s retirement party, I gained a new respect for this doctor who spent decades giving his time and experience to our community. I realized after talking to his family and friends and seeing the art that generously covered the walls of he and his wife, Gwen’s, home, that this certainly will not be a boring retirement. I really should not have been surprised since Bruce had taken a stained glass class from me many years ago, before I started sculpting, and I did see an artistic side of him at that time.

Much to my surprise, I also found out that Gwen is quite an artist as well. Bruce enjoys painting decrepit autos that have been abandoned from days of yore while Gwen prefers painting, in direct contrast to Bruce, spirited women who appear to be in motion and having a good time right on the canvas in front of you.

Chanticleer Catering

One of the many highlights of the evening was the food. Of course the food would impress me since I love to cook. I don’t think I could have produced the tasty morsels that the Chanticleer Catering service provided. The word Chanticleer translates to le coq or rooster. I’m not sure why they named their establishment that but it certainly is a name I will remember for my next large gathering.

I think it is important for those who are about to embark on the journey to retirement, that there are many avenues to explore and a new world certainly awaits you. As for me, well, I don’t think an artist ever really retires. Our lives are dedicated to the world of art and we have no choice but to produce.

Daughter, Juliana and Husband

Daughter, Gail

Juliana's Renewed Burning Bowl That I Created For Her Many Years Ago


Gwen On The Left

Joan Petrus on the Right

More Partygoers

Happy New Year to everyone and may your journey in 2012 be an artful one!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, December 19, 2011



Old World Kolache

I grew up in an ethnic neighborhood where there were primarily Italians, Greeks and Eastern European residents. It seemed that all the women had their own recipe for Kolache. Everyone made it at Christmastime. Back then, it did not seem unusual to me that there was only one nut grinder in the entire neighborhood. Everyone took turns using it to grind the l pound of nuts required to make the recipe. How much easier we have it today with our very own food processors. Almost everyone has one. We would have never believed that to be possible back in the 50’s. Sharing was a part of our way of life.

Always a Basket Next to the Door Brimming Full of Kolache Loaves

Kolache seems to have originated with the Czech culture and dates back to the 1700’s. The Polish families in our neighborhood prided themselves on making this old world bread. I remember every Christmas or Thanksgiving seeing a basket sitting next to the door of almost every home just filled with aluminum foil wrapped kolache. I would not be exaggerating to say that some families had several dozen waiting for relatives and friends to take home. “Be sure to grab a kolache on your way out” was something I always heard mentioned. A lot of the recipes included fruit but the one used in our neighborhood always had nuts. I have heard it called “Nut Rolls” later but back then it was Kolache.

Loaf of Kolache Just Out of the Oven

Years ago, my mother had a baking session in the Woodloft (my home) kitchen. She taught my daughters how to make her famous kolache. Naturally, everyone assumed that I already knew how to make this delicacy but the truth was that I had always been quite happy to let my mother make it each year. I had never actually made it from scratch on my own. I was hoping that by osmosis or some other scientific miracle I absorbed the method because this Christmas, for the first time ever, I made my own batch of kolache.

I must tell you, there were many tears shed as remembered how my mother would say, “be sure to add just a thin amount of the evaporated milk,” or “you have to make sure you add just the right amount of honey.” The kitchen looked and smelled exactly like it did in those precious days when my mother was at the helm. The lacking ingredient, of course, was my dear mother’s laugh as she kneaded the dough and carefully wrapped each treasure in aluminum foil.

Here is my mother’s recipe. I think she made the best kolache in town, but then again, everyone thought they made the best.

Jane Galloway’s Kolache

5 cups regular white flour 1 t. vanilla
1 cup of whole wheat flour 3 small cakes of yeast or 2 envelopes
2 T. sugar 3 eggs, beaten
1t. salt 1 C. milk
1 lb margarine canned milk-evaporated milk
Honey –

1 lb. shelled ground walnuts
1 lb brown sugar

Mix flour, sugar, margarine and salt as for pie crust. Dissolve yeast into ¼ C. water and add to milk, vanilla and eggs. Add liquid mixture a little at a time to flour mixture. (knead with hands) Place in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Divide into 9 pieces or 7, depending on desired size. Roll out, spread the top with canned milk (thin) and spread with nut mixture filling and add honey on top.

Roll up the dough and let rise for about 30 minutes on a cookie sheet. Brush with canned milk and an egg and add a dash of white sugar to the top of each roll. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes watching carefully to make sure the top does not burn.

This bread is absolutely delicious. It is filled with walnuts. The yeast dough combined with the subtle taste of honey just melts in your mouth. Served warm out of the oven, it is the embodiment of pure pleasure.

Merry Christmas!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, November 28, 2011




Yet another sculpture to match my B-dazle car! I can’t help it. I love that beaded look. Below are her specifics.

Back Side of Ariel

Ariel is a completely original sculpture that I have just finished created this morning. I used stoneware clay for her body and fired her in a kiln to a high temperature for durability. I added seed beads to her surface for a glitz factor. She is 11"deep x 12"H x12"wide. She will be at home in a contemporary or eclectic surrounding.


Close-up of Beadwork

She's comfortable on my Fantasy Art Chair

Here is the story I have written for her:


Ribbons of light were drifting on the
wings of the wind
Cosmic rhythms beating unmercifully, began
to reveal to her the secrets of
her heart.
She began to feel infinite love, wisdom and
energy in the universe. She had finally connected
with her higher self and she knew she
was a radiant being, filled with light
And love

~Cheryl Dolby~

Ariel is for sale I listed her on e-bay and is also on my Etsy shop. You can also e-mail me directly for more details.

Thanks so much!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 18, 2011

Santos Caged Doll


Benedetta, Santos Caged Doll

I CREATED A SAINT! It’s true. Benedetta, is the first in my Santos series. I thought this name to be appropriate since it means, blessed in Italian. It wasn’t very long ago that I first heard about Santos dolls and since then I notice they seem to be appearing everywhere. After completing a full fledged study about them, I was hooked.


Santos, in Spanish, means saint. They represent a Spanish Colonial and European style and originated as copies of 17th century carvings created by priests. They were created as altars for villagers who were not able to travel a long distance to attend a church. They are a bit like Creche figures, which were created by the Italians.

The dolls were brought to Latin America and America during the Colonial age and used to help convert the Native Americans to Catholicism. The people who create the Santos dolls are called Santeros or Saint Maker. Not a bad occupation I’d say. Who wouldn’t want to be a maker of saints?

Wooden base-skirt with beads

Santos dolls usually held flowers, bibles, jewelry or bird nests in their bases and dangling from the neck and arms. Sometimes they are left unadorned, allowing for a statement to be made.

Full length shot

I hand sculpted my original santos in stoneware clay, including arms, torso and head. I added the sparkle of faceted beads and texture to her torso. Beaded hinges hold her arms in place. She is 24” tall and is priced at $245. Benedetta can be seen at my shop. You can also e-mail me to make arrangement to purchase. I take all major credit cards and Paypal. Shipping prices will vary with location but I can ship anywhere in the world.

I’m really happy with the way she turned out. She is the first in my Santos series. Even though she is not an original created by the Santeros of old, she is a new original, not a reproduction.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, November 14, 2011



Number 1 brochure

Those of us who grew up in the 50’s remember a special time of freedom. There are many nostalgic e-mails going around about how we, as children of the 50’s had an ideal kind of life back then. We would leave the house in the morning with our parents calling out to us,“be home before dark.” This was entirely true. Not only did we leave for the day but our parents couldn’t even reach us. Phones were attached to walls in those days. We were free! Often they’d ask us to lock the doors when we came in at night. Our door was a screen with a little hook latch.

Number 2 brochure

We bought ice cream drumsticks at our local Italian market, Joe’s, for .04 cents and rummaged through the basically unwrapped nut topped ice cream cone, peeking inside the thin, open paper and sometimes even feeling inside, to find the largest one. We would then hand Joe 2 glass ‘pop’ bottles for our refund totaling 04. cents.

There were no TV’s because, because even though they were just invented, most families could not afford to own one. We opted for the radio with programs like, The Green Hornet and Sky King or even, if we dared, The Shadow.

Number 3 brochure

The decades flew past and before we knew it, we landed in the year 2012. That’s a long stretch from graduation in 1962!

The reason for all this lamenting over the past is because our class of 1962 is about to have our 50th reunion in August of 2012. I must tell you, this is not just any class but a very special one, held together by a very special woman, Virginia Nagy Hall. She created a class newsletter which is comical as well as informative. In the newsletter, which she sends out once a month, she lists class members who are having special health problems and gives encouragement all the while filling us in on current events of classmates. She even started a facebook page for all of us to follow one another. She holds a ‘girl’s’ annual Christmas party and through her encouragement the ‘fellows’ have followed suit. We are all so thankful for Virginia.

Virginia Nagy Hall. Doesn't she look fiesty in her 50's garb?

With the upcoming reunion, there are many things that must be done. Securing facilities for our almost 500 class members and guests is no small chore. There are monies to sort through and a variety of other jobs. Among them, the task of creating a brochure listing all of the class members, including children, grandchildren, hobbies, world travels etc. Jennifer Anderson McGarry was gracious in volunteering for the job. This is a tedious undertaking which involves compiling a lot of facts. Now, finally, the purpose for this posting. Jennifer has asked me if I could come up with a cover for the brochure. My immediate response was a “Yes.” Of course, I am honored to help out with this. But now I’d like to ask a favor of my dear blog buddies and followers. I’ve come up with 3 samples so far for covers which I feel are descent but I’d like your opinion as to which one would be best suited. (Our school colors are red, white and black) I was thinking it might be a good idea to create one with a layered digital effect. By this I mean the misty, surreal look that digital artists achieve. Quite frankly, I don’t know how to do this! The effect might look good on the one with the female in the middle. She is supposed to be looking like she is remembering our time back in the 50’s. Then again, maybe I should have a male in that picture too? I’m wondering if I can give them a ‘ghostlike’ effect, sort of like they are going back to their past.

I look forward to your much needed and appreciated thoughts and advice on this subject. Thanks so much!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 8, 2011




Nefertiti Egyptian Planter

I’ve been sculpting away every day trying to get ready for next spring’s Goddess planter presentation. Last year, as I noted in a previous posting, I sold out of the planters after a few showings and wished I had started a few months earlier. I usually start in January.


The planters have taken on lots of new twists this time around. I’m even doing theme type Goddesses. My Egyptian planter is a first. Although most of my planters can be left outdoors all summer, Nefertiti must be kept inside or in a screened porch area because of the cloth draping around her body.

Side view

It would probably be a good idea to invest in a snake like plant to go along with the Egyptian theme for when I show her in the spring.

I’ll be teaching how to make planters and Goddess standing sculptures at my class next July. There are 3 spaces left with only a deposit required at this time to hold your place. Please check out the Faces class for all information on my residential sculpture classes.

Another side view

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, October 27, 2011



Close-up of collage/painting "The Golden Silence"

It never ceases to amaze me what can be accomplished in life if we learn to follow our intuition and just go with it. What follows is a true story. Where it leads is a good question but so far it has been an amazing and magical journey.

It started with my sculpture school last summer. The 4 students came from all walks of life and areas of the country. We were in tune from the moment we all met. By that I mean we all seemed to be in sync with what we wanted to accomplish as far as the sculpture goes, but there was something else almost indefinable that happened during the week. We all started to feel a strong bond to one another that lasted far beyond the week long class. It was not a happy gathering when we had to say our good-byes.

"The Golden Silence"

When everyone got home. We felt like something was missing in our lives. All seemed anxious to continue the class next summer but there was something else we felt we needed to do. Finally, after many group e-mails, we knew what it was. We decided to write a book together.

At first I thought it may not turn out to be much, just a bunch of women talking about their week in the class. I kept asking everyone what in the world could anyone possibly want to read that happened during that simple week. But then, all of our intuitions kicked in. The creative force and our special bonding had us writing away. Our new book is all we have been able to think about for months now.

Symbolism hidden in painting

The Golden Silence collage I have just finished is my interpretation of something that happens in the book. I can’t tell you any more about it until we finish but I have my hopes up for a book/movie to materialize sometime next year. (I’m an optimist) There is symbolism all throughout the painting.

Another hidden image

This is the story I have given the "Golden Silence" and an excerpt from the book, which we haven’t named yet.

The Golden Silence

She was inhaling pure energy through the Golden Light, which was part of the Golden Silence. It was as though her mind was being downloaded, as a computer program might be, from one folder to another. All of her memories were being pulled by some unknown power and the destination was to another realm in time. This download, of which could be called her soul, seemed to be accelerating at tremendous speed through what could only be described as a portal from one place to another.

~Cheryl Dolby~

Below is the method I used to create this piece. She is for sale and priced at $400. Natually, I will take plenty of pictures of her so that I can use in my quilting, journals and other artwork. Please email me if you are interested in her and we can go from there. Dimensions are: 22w x 28h x 1 1/2" deep. I take all credit cards, checks and Paypal.

Cutting aluminum foil for orbs seen throughout painting, rough in of face

Attached laces and other textured fabric and paper for background

I used oils for face and background paints are acrylic

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 24, 2011



Morning Song Sculpture

Any time I finish a sculpture that has a rich, ancient and ethnic feel to it, I seem to name it Morning Song, which is one of the stories in my She Who Whispers book. I used an old rug from my stash of fabrics. The rug that I used as her cloak, looks rather tribal and it may be a Turkish Kilim. I googled it but couldn’t find the source. If anyone knows the origin of this rug, I'd really appreciate it if you would let me know.


I used to feel guilty about cutting up something so ancient but now I just tell myself that it is being repurposed to create one of my Goddess sculptures that will bring just as much pleasure to the owner as it sits on the sculpture stand as it would have as the rug on the floor.

I used a variety of beads and other fabric and an old vessel, which I am almost sure came from India.

Side view

During my sculpture class next summer, we will be creating a similar Goddess. You can find all the details for the class on the top right hand side of my blog. I have one space left in the Figure class and three spaces left in the Faces class. Hope you will join us here at Woodloft for a memorable week.

Another side view

Here is the Morning Song story.

“ Morning Song”

She woke up this morning feeling different.
She heard the sounds of this morning and
yet the sounds of many other lifetime mornings
were returning. She heard the infinite sound
of distant runic bells, a call to alms, merchants
voices echoing over the river Nile, sheep
bleating on a pastoral hillside, roosters, guns,
flutes, chimes, laughter, weeping..for she had
heard all these mornings and she had heard
all these sounds before. It was as if they were
all becoming one great great
morning..this morning....and she knew that all
the returns of mornings purpose was to teach
her the uniqueness and significance of this
morning...of now.

~Cheryl Dolby~

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, October 19, 2011



"Giver of Light" Switch plate cover

I’ve been on a monochrome and black and white kick lately. Also, a lot of the Givers of Light (switch plate covers) have been of a contemporary nature and suited for men as well as women. Who wouldn't want to be greeted by this rustic face when they turn on their light?

Here is the latest one.

Full shot of Giver of Light

Another close-up

Just $55. plus shipping. Please e-mail me if you’d like to purchase. I take checks, all major credit cards or Paypal.

Thanks so much.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, October 14, 2011



Oil mosaic collage

I realize that the title could make you think there should be a comma in-between each medium listed in my title of this post but it really is a description of a new method I have invented.

Close-up of face

I painted a face onto a wooden board I happened to have in my studio. I used the Renaissance oil method. Next, I collaged mosaic tiles onto the surface, giving the piece a rustic, yet rich look.

Close-up of tiles added

I just love the way she looks as part of this chair

She is not for sale at this time but I’m working on one I call “The Crone” that I will be posting soon.

The Crone

Stumble Upon Toolbar