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

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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~

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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.

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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

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Thursday, October 6, 2011



Woman Within the Web Layers Grandmother Tree
She Who Whispers

Grandmother Tree Sculpture

I love to read. Until just recently, I, like so many others, preferred to read real paper books. I wanted books that were tangible. I wanted books in which I could indulge in wonderful tactile pages. I was very leary when my children bought me an electronic book for my birthday last January. It was foreign to me-all rigid and lifeless. I tried to be appreciative and ordered a book to be downloaded to my lime colored Kindle from Amazon e-books

While reading it one day, my daughter, Kirsten, looked over at it and exclaimed, “Mom, why are you reading it in such a small font? Can you see that!” She showed me her Kindle and I was shocked to see huge font-the kind you can see from over an arm’s length away! I said, “You mean you can enlarge the font?” She laughed. Ever since that day, I was a believer. I have now ordered literally dozens of books from Amazon in every genre except cookbooks and art books. How I love this new and wonderful technology! I will always cherish my home library and still do buy regular bound books but I now prefer to read from my Kindle.

My Lime Kindle

This post is all about books so I thought maybe some of you, who read my posts on a regular basis, have wondered where the stories that I attach to my work originated. Here is a summary of each book.


In a distant place and another time, life was okay. Then, tragedy hit and I knew the meaning of deep sorrow. I started sculpting faces. The sculpting kept me from being overwhelmed by despair as I focused, instead, on creation. As my first sculpture emerged from the clay, so did its tale – the story of the "Timekeeper." As my second sculpture emerged, so, too did its story; and "Soaring Spirit" was born. It seemed that the sculptures told me their names and their stories as they emerged from the clay. And I knew them well, because in reality, the lives of these women were mine. All of these women are me in various times and seasons of my tenure on this earth.
Soaring Spirit

A voice first it seemed to be a
Murmur. Quietly it expressed the thought..
"Take your power now."
As the days passed, it became increasingly
Louder until it became as a roar, vibrating her
Entire being.. "Take your power now.!" She
Began to reexamine her life. So much time
Had passed, and in all that time she had
Remained spiritually deaf and blind. She had
Not heard..She had not seen...and the voice
Continued speaking to her..resonating
Throughout every cell in her body..electrifying
To the inner core of her soul until she had no
choice but to listen.."Take your power now."
It continued. "For you have given your life
To others and in that giving, you have emptied
Yourself. It is only when you are empty that you
Can truly be full and free to live".....

~Cheryl Dolby~


There were three doors opening in her
life, the doors of yesterday, today
and tomorrow. Yesterday appeared
to be only an illusion, tomorrow a vision.
both were vague and nebulas. Today was a
place she could not bear to be. The choice
was at hand. The voice of intuition
began to speak to her and somehow,
she knew in her heart that all time
Is simultaneous…the first
cry also being the last..for there
Is only now. By dealing with life
in the present, she could begin to remove
some of the scars of the past
and thus change her future. With a
renewed sense of the importance of now..
and a recharged inner essence..she entered
the door of today, where a new world
awaited her.

~Cheryl Dolby~

When I traveled on the art show circuit, many of my customers would stand for long periods of time reading the stories I had attached to each sculpture. Some of the stories brought tears to their eyes; others, smiles of knowing to their faces. At the prompting of those customers – "We can't afford to buy all your sculpture to get the stories" – I decided to self-publish She Who Whispers. But I needed the expertise to pull it all together. A book called "How to Publish Your Own Book," by Dan Poyntner, showed me the way. I highly recommend it. This book removed any reservations I had about self-publishing: I was so excited. That was in 1990 and She Who Whispers is still selling extremely well.


Yet another sculpture inspired me to write Grandmother Tree. She haunted me for a long time before she came to life. Finally she emerged from the clay much like her predecessors. But this time, roots began to twist themselves around her base and in and around her hair. She begged for moss and tree lichen, for walnut halves, for raindrops. Her story came to me piece by piece as each bit of nature was added to her.

“Grandmother Tree”

The trees are alive! She wandered
into the garden early one morning
and she heard them speak to one another..
It was a language spoken on another another vibrational time
frame. They spoke of healing with power
and energy and of the relationship between
energy and matter.

She was drawn to an ancient Chinese
Elm and as she leaned her body next to the
base, somehow she felt immersed
in the tree and felt herself slip into the
tree..was one with the
tree and knew that she was the tree.....

~Cheryl Dolby~

The story of my first grandmother tree is the story of each and every one of my grandmother trees. But they all seem to want to be different sizes. The first one was a tall standing figure. Next came the ones who wanted to cling to the walls, making the area around them come alive with nature. I sell a lot of the smaller ones now. It could be the economy, but I think it is more the fact that they are adaptable to smaller spaces.

Grandmother Tree Sculpture

I have discontinued this book because it is outdated. By that I mean, I had references throughout the book of several artists friends who are no longer producing the products I recommended, or they are simply out of the art business.

Another Grandmother Tree Sculpture


A trip to Europe set the stage for this story. After separating from my husband of many years, I had traveled to the picturesque Loire Valley of France. The nominal reason for my journey was to take a month-long class in anatomical sculpture presented by a master of the art. But, after the breakdown of my marriage, I was also ready for romance. What woman doesn't dream of meeting her prince charming in a romantic setting like that of rural France? I had a premonition that I would meet someone, and I did. He was a sculptor, not from France, but from California. We hit it off and spent 30 days immersed in sculpture, restaurants, wine cellars, medieval castles, and each other. But even as I drank in the wonders of France, I was driven by a second and darker motivation – my son’s mental illness. He had developed paranoid schizophrenia, and I had heard that there was a French clinic that offered a cure for the fractured personalities of this illness. The claims proved to be untrue. But I stumbled across a shaman in the area who was renowned for making his patients whole. And therein the story begins. My search for shamanic healing led me into a surreal world of haunted castles and a village laboring under a curse placed on it by the Mergovinian dynasty. My customers have told me that Woman Within the Web is a must read for all those who are at a crossroads in their lives.

My work on this book reminded once again of an amazing phenomenon I have often experienced when writing. As my writing gains momentum, it as if the book is writing itself! In Woman, the characters took on lives of their own. Sometimes I was excited to just sit at my keyboard and find out what was going to happen. Even though the story was coming to life through my very own fingers, I couldn’t be sure what my characters were going to do until they did it! And I couldn’t anticipate where the day’s writing was going to end up until the end of the session. And when I finally saw that my characters had done all they were going to do for the day – well, then, I sighed.

Picture of castle featured in book


This is my second-favorite book by any author. Interesting that it happens to be written by me! My favorite is Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. In June of 1953 he wrote of “medicines of another time, the balm of sun and idle afternoons, the faintly heard sounds of ice wagons passing on brick avenues, the rush of silver skyrockets, all these in a glass.” I can't say enough about Ray Bradbury. Not too many people realize that his earlier works included over 500 publications on topics ranging from life in middle America to life on other planets and in formats ranging from plays to poems to novels. He was a master of science fiction. Among my favorite works of his from this genre are The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451, which deals with a society who denies it’s citizens books. I hope that it never comes to fruition.

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 you 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. If I could choose only one book to have while stranded on a desert island – other than Dandelion Wine – I'd choose Layers.

I used Mexican bark paper for the covers, one of my unique clay faces for the front, an ancient grapevine branch for the spine and an old key for the bookmark.

Now, last but not least, I must tell you of some real excitement that is brewing. Four of my friends, some are bloggers, are collaborating on a new book. It may be one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. The story is intense and humorous at the same time. I will keep you abreast of our book as we make progress.

In the meantime, If you are interested in purchasing one or both of the two books available now, please e-mail me and we can go from there.

Layers is priced at $32. and Woman Within the Web is $12. I accept all the major charge cards, checks and Paypal.

Thanks again for enduring my very long post on books. Good thing I’m not adding my reading list to this!!

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