The Art of Sherry Dole

I am a painter of Fantasy and I'm all about making the world a better place for every one of us on this fragile planet.
I create images of cats and butterflies, dogs and birds, alligators and raccoons as well as possums, turtles, bears, tigers , lions and any other critter you know -maybe even some you haven't yet met!

My original paintings are created in acrylics or watercolors and ink. They are sent to a printing company that photographs or scans them, then reproduces them in Giclee images on heavy archival paper or canvas.Intricate details and strong color saturation are hallmarks of my work and one painting may take several months to complete. All my life, I have been fascinated with Costume and Fashion history.Prior to becoming a professional Visual Artist, I spent years as a designer fashion buyer for large department stores. When I'd had enough of the corporate life I decided to combine my lifelong love of animals with fashion and theater, stir them all together and VOILA! You have The Art of Sherry Dole.
I always donate a percentage of my sales or my art to animal rescue or welfare groups.

Welcome Yall!

Thanks so very much for dropping by today! I really appreciate your spending a little time with me here in my world of Faery Tales and Whimsicality. Please fix yourself a cup of tea or a glass of sweet tea like we love here in the Deep Southern USA and just sit a spell. I have been looking forward to meeting you! If you are one of my precious friends already, I am so pleased to see you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Creativity Rules!

          While I have always considered myself to be a creative person, I really had no idea how creative I could really be if I tried. When I picked up my pencils and brushes again, after many years of just keeping them around, I was thrilled when I painted a mouse that looked like a mouse or a cat who looked vaguely familiar. I had a few ideas I thought might be fun and I kept drawing, each time I began a new project I challenged myself more & more. I realized early on that I needed to learn to look at things in new ways in order to follow my plan of getting people to see animals and nature as important being. So I worked at opening my mind to the endless possibilities of critters in clothes and critters not in clothes and wild, enchanted gardens. I even created my own wild, enchanted garden which is an endless source of inspiration.                                                                        For me, working constantly to keep an open mind, to not place judgments on other people, to be positive about my life and others all adds up to keeping my levels of creativity churning on all cylinders. The minute I let myself feel discouraged, I have no clues about what to create next or even how to finish the projects I have started.                                                                It is also mega-important for me to surround myself with positive people. These are people who love life and who love what they do.                                                   As a working artist who must be creative almost all of the time, negativity and nay-sayers are luxuries I simply cannot afford.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Art Heals

       Years ago, I was a fashion buyer for large department stores suffering a severe case of corporate burn-out. My sister, Jackie, was the first woman police officer in our hometown after she graduated  from the University of Southern Mississippi. Together, we created a plan for me to move back and I would open a store. It was to be in an old building downtown and it was showing its age. Not having the money to make extensive repairs, I decided to paint it bright peach with cerulean blue accents. My plan was to make it so bright & happy no one would notice the defects. Merchandise consisted of all of the fun stuff like gourmet coffees & foods, luxury bath products, stuffed animals, pottery, original art, cards, books and lots more. A large portion of the inventory was devoted to cookware, gadgets and cookbooks because Jackie was a super cook & loved it so.                            From the day it opened, Sherrys StuffnSuch was a huge success! Every month we had art shows, book signings and fabulous parties like the Mad Hatters Tea Party. We expanded the kitchen department. We had incredibly talented employees who could do anything from making $1000 sales to sweeping floors to entertaining at our Gala events.                                                                           The fun went on for several years. There seemed to be no limit to the exciting things happening there. Jackie loved it because she called it her therapy. It gave her something joyous to focus on when she was not involved in her police work. By this time she had become a detective dealing specifically in sex crimes & child abuse. She never complained, but she told me there were no happy endings for the victims. She co-founded the rape crisis hotline & worked extra jobs to earn money to provide Christmases for families she met in her work.       Then one year at our Christmas family dinner, she announced to our parents that she was leaving the police department and going to Law school. She had already made top grades in the LSAT and had enrolled in Mississippi College school of law.               I was so happy for her. She knew she could accomplish so much more to help people with a law degree.                                                                                                         She made her big announcement on Christmas Day. On New Years Eve she was murdered by a man  who snatched a patrol officers gun when they went to serve a warrant on him.                                                   At that moment my entire world was shattered to pieces. I lost not only my sister, but the closest friend I ever had and my confident. Her death was so public and the city grieved for her loss.                                            Ultimately, Sherrys Stuffnsuch was no longer a happy place, but it served as a reminder to everyone of their grief.  So no one shopped there anymore,at all, no one.                                                                                                                                                           In March, my dad was diagnosed with breast cancer & within two years he was gone in January.  By May, I had to close the doors of the store forever.                                                                                                   I had no idea of what to do for work. I had been out of the fashion markets too long to go back. I had been  reading everything I could find at the library about grief. One book suggested remembering something that was an escape as a child. For me it was always art, but art was not a REAL job so I never considered it as a career. But I began painting again. I discovered the world of artdolls & started creating them. Through library books I taught myself to paint and to sculpt. I lost myself in the process of creating a new life, a new me. I have sacrificed much, but I am happier now than ever before in my life. I am a different person and I love who I am a lot!                                                                                                                                               I really hesitated to write this blog because I did not want you, Dear Reader, to feel sorry for me. I had to go through the process to become who I am today, so it is all okay. But, I remember, when I was so devastated & grabbing for any fragment to help me survive, it helped enormously to find a survivors story. So that is why I wrote this even though it has been excruciatingly difficult. If my story helps just one person know that they can not only survive hard times, they can actually prosper, then this writing exercise was totally worth it!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

There is Joy in Hard Work!

In case you have not heard, there is a major disaster going on in the Gulf of Mexico with a hideous oil spill happening as we speak. The Gulf has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember & it has been a great source of inspiration for me in my artwork. I live in the Piney Woods part of Southern Mississippi, about 60 miles north of the beach. My family has always had a home on the bayous, so almost every weekend we were there or on the beach itself. Katrina was horrendous, no question, but this monster of an oil spill is destroying so much more! OK enough of this, the whole point in writing this entry is about not letting ourselves get all mired down in the gunk. I am amazed at the wonderful artists and other folks I have met on line who are working through this by donating portions of their sales to help the wildlife rescuers & the ones who are helping to keep us aware of what is going on. I created a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/GulfCoastArtists and a twitter page http://www.twitter.com/GulfCoastArts so the artists can link on & people can write encouraging words to them. I personally have spent the last two months while this thing is happening to get seriously lost in my artwork. I truly love what I do and as long as I am creating something new I manage to keep a smile on my face. I must admit that a lot of the joy I get out of my paintings is the fabulous feedback I get from Yall! It means so much to know that something I created will bring a smile to someone who otherwise might not have been having such a great day themself. I love my detailed, complicated paintings because they present me with a long list of technical problems. For instance, where am I gonna find a gator in a long blue dress along with her handsome boyfriend to model for me? or, for that matter, it took me forever to convince those two frogs to sit in that little boat one stormy night! Anyway, you get my drift, so to speak. Just know...I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole life, creating these paintings for YOU!