One thing that turns me off on a lot of cloth dolls is that you see the same style of face used over and over again. I’m sure it has something to do with the medium, and how hard it is to paint on cloth, but I think it’s also caused by too few artists teaching all the others how to paint faces. Today’s artist, Linda Danielson, suffers from a bit of that problem, but she more than makes up for it in the lush costumes and intriguing characters of her dolls.
Danielson has a background in fiber arts, and you can see it in every one of her cloth figures. They are costumed in a brilliant array of colors and textures, showcasing a variety of needlework including beading, dyeing, knitting and tatting. I’m not sure if these are all examples of the artist’s own work or if she’s merely using found items to good advantage, but either way they express a sensibility for fabric that is stunning in effect.
Each of Danielson’s dolls is a character who makes you want to know the story of its life. Many of them carry shells, baskets, pine cones or other natural objects, and their costumes derive their colors from the natural world. Danielson lives on the west coast of North America and draws much of her inspiration from the changing of the seasons around her.