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!

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!

3 comments:

  1. When we travel through the darkest hours we often wonder, "Why?!" or "When will it end?!" and "What purpose did that serve?!" Your story is a powerful message to everyone. For me it is "soul food". I needed to read this to remind myself where I've been, where I'm going and how much I have grown.

    Sherry you are a light in the dark alleys of sadness, grief, fear and pain. I would have never known you had experienced such heart ache. Then again... your work is so healing and full of joy it could have only come from the shining diamond of your heart. I adore you for being who you are and treasure the bond we have.

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  2. Sherry that story was from the heart and so dear. And you told it beautifully ! I know you miss your sister and your Dad. But thru your art they are with you . Every smile you draw, every time you hands sculpt, it like holding their hands. It is funny how I found you, and how the bright color drew me to your work. It made me laugh and feel good. I know that people always say, sound like me...but your story is so near to my story. I worked for a department store dressing windows...I lost my Dad and my Aunt and Brother-law in 3 years back to back. So I do know how you felt ! Then my health went south...I was told I had Fibromyagia. And a few more ailments.I needed my art to bring me out to the cloud I was in. Not for income...just to make me strong again. I found a friend here online (Lisa) and she has held my hand all the way thru it all. So... Hold on to your friends. And put your feelings and love into your art.
    Know that God never gives you more than you can stand !
    Hope I did not write to much...just my 2 cents!

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  3. Thank you so much, Lille Diane and Sandra. I have so much respect for each of you and your own personal journeys. Your kind comments mean the world to me!

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