I have been working for a while on my ceramics collection, and to be honest, I was super shy about them. Today I released just a small set of pieces because I wasn’t sure how they were going to be received… After all it’s something new and totally different to what you are to see from me.
And WOW! You know have NO IDEA how thankful I am right now! Ceramics is what started me in the art world, and since I couldn’t do it at the beginning, I went for painting. This has been a lifelong dream of mine and I’m so happy and thankful that my pieces were well received! They may not be perfect, but they’re made with lots of love and each of them is a unique, unrepeatable piece, and now It’s giving me the motivation I needed to continue with this life long dream.
An also, the most important thing: I’m also very happy and thankful because doing what I love is helping my little nephew and my sister and brother in law in some way. ❤️❤️❤️
I’ll be adding more pieces midnight 07/21 MST!
I am SO HAPPY AND THANKFUL to every single person who has donated to my nephew’s fundraiser that I am typing this note with a heart that is exploding with joy. You have no idea what it means to be to feel loved on these dark times. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all about what is going on on my latest blog post, CAPUT MORTUUM.
Both the Fund Raising Sale and the GoFundMe campaign have been receiving sales and donations, so much that I decided to extend the fundraiser sale on my online shop until 07/22 to continue raising funds to help pay for my Nephew’s medical bills.
To continue with the extended part of the fundraiser, I am releasing a collection of TOTALLY NEW PRODUCTS on my shop. I was planning to make a big announcement about it, but you know, life gets in the way, plans change and I decided to tell you about it today. Are you ready?
CERAMICS BY IDANIA SALCIDO
Ceramics has always been my end goal in art. I am in love with the concept of transforming something as simple and humble as clay into a beautiful work of art using only the four elements: EARTH and WATER help you build your dreams, then FIRE and AIR turn them into an object that you can touch and enjoy. And, in my case, everything is coalesced by the fifth element: LOVE for what you do.
I really can’t find anything more poetic in this transformation. It’s been a long dream for me to be able to make my own pottery. And today, I am very happy to announce that finally, this dream is coming true.
That’s why I am releasing my first pieces ever to you, my friends and art patrons. Made with locally foraged clay and with a warm, fuzzy and intentionally handmade look that makes them very easy to love them at first sight. I am very happy to share with you the joy I get when I make them, and I hope you can see the love I put in each one of them. They mean a lot to me, and it’s a big step for me to let you seem them today.
I was hoping to release them in a bigger announcement where I told you the story in depth on how I started with this, but, like I mentioned before, life got in the way.
Today, I’m showing them to you, hoping that you can adopt one of them so that I can help my little nephew and his parents on an uphill battle. He’s doing much better every day, and I’m happy to be able to do a little bit to make his fight a win.
I really hope you like my latest art adventure. Starting over, learning and experimenting when I’ve been doing art for 15 years was not easy. But I have found find the journey extremely rewarding.
Touching the clay, painting and sculpting the pieces and then watching them glow red in the kiln before they are cooled down and again and waiting for the results of my hard and loving work is a source of joy to my artist’s core.
I really hope that new beginning is blessed by your love and support. It is for a great cause. And I hope that every time you touch and use one of my pieces, I will bring back the same joy and love to your life.
I want to share with you one of the most meaningful paintings I’ve made in my entire life, and the nightmare that inspired it.
You know how I have been really inactive lately, and I told you how I’ve had insomnia for weeks now and felt totally depressed and out of touch with the world? It’s like a dementor took a hold of me and will not let go.
It’s been a very rough month for my family, and I think I’m finally ready to share why. My youngest sister had been trying to get pregnant for 11 years with no success. She and her husband finally had enough and decided they would not try anymore, it got way too expensive and the emotional drain was too much to bear, so they stopped trying. And then, just like that, without even thinking about it, she got pregnant. With twins.
This has been the best news our family has had in many years. We were all celebrating and making plans and teasing them about the challenge of having twins. We were all very happy and hopeful and excited. We already knew they were two boys and they already had names for them: Ezequiel and Benjamin.
And then, a month ago, my sister had her routine checkup. She had to be in bed rest since the beginning of the pregnancy and was doing really well. The babies were moving and she checked their heart beat twice a day. She went to the doctor as usual for her 7 month checkup but this time the doctor couldn’t find one of the twins’ heartbeat. She was sent immediately to the hospital and had an emergency c-section. And one of the babies was dead. A bacteria snuck in and he had an infection he couldn’t fight. Not only that, but the other baby had it too and my sister had it very rough at the surgery since they had to clean up any trace of the infection or she would get it too.
In a matter of hours, the whole family went from celebrating and joking and making plans to being devastated and worried and living one hour at a time. The baby went straight to the NICU. The funeral services for my nephew happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was hard to choose, which one was Benjamin and which one Ezequiel. Benjamin lived.
There was no touching, no hugs, no more than 5 people at the cemetery. And then, straight back to the hospital. Undoubtedly, It’s been some of the worst days of our lives. There are no words to help someone in a situation like that, and we couldn’t even hug the parents or hold the baby.
A situation that should have been pure happiness and joy turned into a nightmare. Baby Benjamin is still at the NICU and we have our hearts torn in 2 pieces. One is still grieving and the other is happy because he’s making progress. He’s finally fighting the infection and gaining weight. And now that a month has passed, it’s time to deal with reality and the problems that undoubtedly come with death and sickness: money.
Their medical insurance did not cover the initial NICU Services because the nearest hospital was out of network and once admitted, the baby couldn’t be moved because his survival was at stake. As soon as the doctors gave them green light, he was moved to another hospital that the insurance is now covering, but they were left with a huge debt. And I mean, huge. They live in a city 250 miles away from me, and they’re doing what they can to raise funds, selling food during the weekends with the help of friends and family.
I want to help them too, and believe me, I would be there helping them making food and setting up a popup store if I could, but this pandemic makes it impossible for me to travel and help my family.
There are Original Paintings and Dolls, and beautiful signed prints from my previous paintings, including this one, the feature of this charity event.
I made this painting the same night that I heard the terrible news. For me, art has a cathartic effect and many times it helps me express what words and tears cannot, I made it while my heart was a storm of emotions and tears and It is now in my sister’s hands.
The joined birds are my nephew’s souls, the one with eyes closed is now feeding a new cycle of life. It turned out that Ezekiel took the blunt force of the infections so his brother could survive, and in doing so, he sacrificed his life force.
The painting is called caput mortuum, an alchemy term used for the iron oxide that remains after metal transmutation. It has spent all its energy helping the alchemical transformation and now it’s dead, never to be used again. In its death, it brought life. It is a fitting tribute for a beautiful sacrifice.
I had not painted in a while, and I had not done mixed media collage in a LONG time, and I felt the urge to paint, so I decided to create a new series of paintings and thought it would be fun to go back to my old style for a while. And I loved the results.
Cats have always been part of my art, I love to watch them move graciously, their eyes full of wisdom and their tiny little noses and all that makes cat mysterious and beautiful. My latest series was inspired by some of my cats, their markings and their personalities, and I will be opening commissions for your own cat on my style if you like what you see. Just drop me a line for your very own cat!
So, without further ado, let me show you the first three cat paintings:
Do you like them? I hope so! Let me tell you a little more about them… I’ve always been kind to animals, but I was always afraid of them in one way or another. A long, long time ago now, I used to be terrified of dogs. There was no way I would get close to one, much less pet it. Then, one day my beloved Lennon came along and it changed my world. I loved dogs. They are great friends!
Then, it was cats. Although they’ve always been on my art, I never had a cat before in my life and I thought they were beautiful, but distant aloof creatures that would not make good pets, but I was so wrong.
My daughter got an emotional support cat last year and we fall in love with it, it was a cuddly monster that was always looking up to her. Until one day, he suddenly died. We were devastated and she asked for another cat, so we got Echo, the tuxedo cat.
He’s cool and acts like a cat. But in that, I discovered they have very deep personalities and bond with their owners. He too, loves my daughter and spends time with her, and I really like him.
Then, one night on thanksgiving, we heard noises in our door and a black, hungry cat was standing in our door. He decided that he was going to live with us and nothing would stop him. So, we adopted him and called him Loki, God of Mischief. And he’s the greatest cat ever.
He lets my son pick him up like a rag doll and pet him all he wants. He loves to watch me work on my art, and follows me everywhere around the house, and I really, really like him. He’s so majestic with his black fur and his silent steps, it’s like having a living sculpture walking around me. He made me fall in love with cats.
And that’s why we also adopted more stray cats. There’s Missy, the neighbor’s cat that decided our porch is the greatest place to hang out and now she has a water and a food bowl and a corner to sleep in.
There’s Tailess, a white cat with a stubby tail and tabby markings that started to hang around and is slowly warming up to us. There’s also food and water for Tailess to hang around.
And then, there’s Cloud. An tiny pure white kitten that is living in our tool and water boiler shed. We hear it meowing and see it bolt in and out of there in search for food and we also started feeding it, and as soon as we can catch him will probably be our next adopted cat.
I guess you can say that I am cat lady now. It makes me happy to see them hang around my house and wait for me to feed them, and I love to see my inside cats move like ballerinas and sleep in my reading chair. They are all part of my furry family, and they make me very, very happy.
My secret forest is not only inhabited by beautiful mushroom faeries and other dolls, but also by furry friendly little creatures that are always looking for a forever home where they can be loved and hugged and fed yummy things.
And today, I’m very happy to present you a new series of these little furry creatures, ready to be adopted on my online store and gallery, danitaart.com
My woodland critters have a very special and fiery beginning. They start as locally sourced pottery clay from the mountains nearby my studio.
I love to use it because of it has a rough and textured quality, and I am totally in love with the process of making their faces. Smelling the fresh clay, touching the cool material in my hands and hearing the tools make tiny noises as I mold them makes me very, very happy.
Each face is individually sculpted, painted, glazed and fired by me, and each of them carries a little piece of my soul with them.
After each one gets their face, it’s time for me to dye fabrics with natural pigments of my own making.
Using rust, avocado seeds, eucalyptus leaves, coffee and many other organic pigments, I create one of a kind fabrics that mimic the natural world and make for amazing textures that give each doll a unique personality.
Sometimes I will go as far a creating the fabric if I don’t have it, just like I did with beautiful hedgehog. I did not have a fabric for his quills, so I improvised by fraying some of the fabric from his body until I created the perfect texture.
Assembling is next. I cut the fabric using patterns of my own, giving them a rough, vintage like feel to them. I love to make them look like if they were made a long time ago by a child, or maybe a loving parent who did the best with the materials available for them.
That rough, timeless quality makes them very beautiful in my eyes, I like to play with them as I make them, so I love adding details like posable arms and silky ribbons to embellish them even more.
Once they are assembled, I sew the ceramic face to their heads to complete the beautiful handmade doll, and they are off to their photo session.
Posing and styling them to bring their best features is always a lot of fun. I talk to them, give them directions to stand and look one way or the other as I capture the unique beauty in each of them.
He looks so handsome and adorable! After I finished him, I gave him a big, big hug and sent him on to his furever home. The rest of the family is waiting to meet you at my online shop and gallery, danitaart.com
Well, the launch of SPECIMENS OF THE SECRET FOREST, my latest online class came, maybe, at the worst of times.Maybe not, I don’t know. The world is going crazy. But I decided not to give in to the madness.
For me, this amazing opportunity to be a part of Jeanne Oliver’s network made my day. I’ve admired her for a long time and now, after working for months on this project, it is finally released and you can sign up to escape from madness for a while and visit the enchanted forest and their beautiful inhabitants when you click on this link.
After I got the news that the class is ready for enrollment and I should start letting you know about it, I started thinking and debating internally if I should be this happy when the world is on fire, and after a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusion that, yes, we ALL have the right to be happy, even in these days.
Because happiness is force of nature. Happy people have hope, and with hope comes the will to overcome things. And we will overcome this. Together, let’s create more happiness and spread it to the ones around it who need a ray of light to brighten their day.
Go and hug your pet, tell your love ones you love them, make art, help the ones in need. I promise you, it will be worth it.
Once upon a time, an artist stumbled upon a great discovery, It was called the Secret Forest. Many creatures inhabited that place, and she became friends with them. Knowing she had to go back home, she began a new adventure of documenting and replicating the creatures she met using thread, fabric and clay. And then documented her discovery with a beautiful ink illustration.
I really admire her and when she contacted me with an invitation to teach at her site, I was all head over heels 🙂 I’ve been working on this for a few months now, and every time I posted new dolls and you kept on asking if I was going to teach a class, I had to resist the urge to tell you I was working on a very super secret project!
But today it’s time to reveal it! Yay!
In this course I’ll guide you step by step into the process to make a handmade mushroom doll. You’ll learn how to transfer the pattern to your fabric, how to sew the doll, some tips and tricks to make the stuffing easier as well and dyeing the fabric and adding the grungy look. For the face we will be using polymer clay but you can also work with air dry clay if you prefer. You’ll learn how to sculpt a face and paint it to give it a lively look. Then you’ll learn how to give it some finishing touches to make your creation look more authentic. After you have your specimen ready, it’s time to document it! Using ink and coffee you’ll learn how to draw your doll and it’s components to give it an old, authentic look.
The universe sends you unexpected gifts, and it’s up to you to accept them or not.
My son had been asking for a cat of his own since we got Echo, my daughter’s emotional support cat. To be honest, we were putting it off because we already have one cat, but the universe had other plans for us.
This void started showing up at our doorstep, meowing loudly and looking hungry, so decided to feed him and didn’t think much of it, the neighborhood cats hang around our house so we thought he was looking for a free meal.
He kept hanging out at our front porch for a week in the mornings and cuddled to my son before he left for school, then came back looking for him after he came back from school in the afternoons.
The day before thanksgiving was very rainy and cold and he disappeared, but on thanksgiving he showed up cold, wet and super hungry… He ate two cans wand asked for more! We setup a shelter for the night and decided to take him to the vet the next day.
Our vet said he was in good health, had no fleas or ticks so she gave him his vaccinations, some pills and wished us on our merry way. My son was grinning all the way home, even more when the cat wanted to get out of the carrier to sit with him and purr really loud.
His name is Loki, AKA The Void. He is so dark that if he closes his eyes all you see is a cat shaped hole in the fabric of reality. This was their first night together. He curled up next to him and slept, and slept, and slept. You could hear him purr all across the room! To be honest, I had never heard a cat purr that loud!
I had never owned a cat before, much less two so I had no idea what to expect, but Loki settled up very well and Echo accepted him well, so now I have a shadow that follows me around everywhere I go in the house.
He kinda knows how to cat. He never had toys so he didn’t know what to do with them until Echo showed him his catnip trout, and the laser pointer is a total mystery to him. He does not climb much yet but is very curious and my plants and furniture are under attack, but it’s OK, he’s learning the rules of the house. He took over my laptop as soon as I sat to work. The god of mischief demands pets.
Echo took over my favorite chair and now Loki took over the one in front of it. Now I’m going to need to buy another one so I can read at night! I am truly in love with this cat, his dark fur make me think of magical powers and he will truly be an inspiration on my work. I am already studying the movements of my mini-panther and you will see him and Echo in my work very soon.
And you know what else has been funny? Since he arrived I have been getting lots of good news and opportunities that will make 2020 a very interesting year. Black cats bring good fortune after all.
My new upcoming big event is the 2019 Handmade Holiday Show, running from Dec 1st to Dec 9th, where I will show my newest Art Dolls, Paintings and more.
I’m making experiments with the new Danita dolls for Sale on the event. Besides using polymer clay for the face, I’m daring to to a little bit further in the construction of the body, specially the limbs. Since some of the dolls will be mushrooms, I want them to have a “just pulled out of the earth” look.
I’ve made mushrooms before but they had normal bodies with a mushroom cap. This time I’m daring to go more with my vision and less with the “safe” version, the one I know most people will like. I’d decided that I’m going to be more authentic with my creations from now on and I hope they’re well received. Going for the look I know people will like leaves me in a grey zone with a nagging feeling that I should have dare more and see where it takes me little by little.
The process is always painstaking, not only because of the labor I have to put into each doll, but also because there is an incredible amount of time devoted into researching. I take trips to the forest, look at my reference books and create lots of sketches until I am satisfied with my vision.
Even more, now that for this series of art dolls I will be truer to myself and my vision, and I will take more risks to create what I have in my mind instead of making what will be a safe, easy to sell creation.
You can tell from the look of this assembled doll that I am pushing my ideas to a new level, using more organic shapes for both her legs and hands.
I am aiming for a grungy, “Just pulled out of the earth” look that will make her look like I just harvest them during an autumn walk in the Danitaland woodlands.
Adding mossy details, organic pigments that I brew and distill in my studio and new fabrics for the Mushroom crowns, this daring new creation filled my heart with joy.
Make sure you get a reminder by going to the 2019 Handmade Holiday Show page and click on the GOING button. Facebook will remind you when the event is active and you will be able to adopt your favorite Danita Hand Made Mushroom Art Doll there.