Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Dollmaker

Last spring I was approached by some wonderful people, Lisa Cooper and Dan McComb of Visual Contact to see if I would be interested in being a part of their Maker series of videos. I get a lot of emails from people wanting me to participate in this or do that, and a lot of them never amount to anything. So before proceeding I went to check out Lisa and Dan's work and was totally blow away by the quality of their work. So I said YES sign me up... “sure I will somehow fit that in between this show and that conference.”  Just earlier this month that seed that was planted and diligently nurtured  by Lisa and Dan bloomed into an this amazing video. The Dollmaker is visually delightful  and also speaks to poignantly  to "why" I make the art I do. Thank you Lisa and Dan for the huge amount of work it took to make this video come into being.



It was nerve wracking to be filmed while working and seeing yourself on video not so much fun…. I was in total denial about the size of my double chin.  LOL

But the visual they captured of my studio are creepy and beautiful.  I do have to admit that my favorite part of the video if I had to pick one is the narrative. We sat down and did an interview for 45 mins while filming and then they edited it down to the parts that would work with the video.  The words that were chosen are PERFECT.  They really speak to why I make the art I make and what it means to me. I want to share some of my favorite lines with you…

“The doll is an icon of our humanness and we have idealized it but the reality is we are not ideal.

I want to give them the nitty gritty rough tough life they deserve

It has the energy of the people that have used it held it and those pieces speak to me

I was actually raised to more like the pristine pretty doll that sits on the cupboard and is revered and that doll is kind of…. boring

I want to be the doll that lives a life that isn’t afraid, that makes mistakes. That makes choices that aren’t the right choices.

It is the idea that sacred is also sexual, the pristine is also dirty.

That living life and having the scars of life is valuable.

We are afraid of death and darkness and dirty and shadow, we want to pretend that doesn’t exist we don’t want to talk about it we don’t want to look at it, we want to put it in the back closet and the reality is it here it’s with us all the time.

I want to take that darkness and shadow and that dirt and make it beautiful, because it is ….beautiful.”

If you or someone you know need high quality video word done I highly recommend Lisa and Dan.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bright Colored Art Dolls

During the Christmas season I am just head down making art and selling art!  which I am super grateful for.  I even enjoy the kind of feverish pace at least for awhile.

But with that said,  YAY JANUARY!!!

I made lots of new and interesting pieces during the holiday season but there was no time for sharing them with you all. So I am going to take some time to do just that….


Check out those bright colors…. Not my usual sepia and antiqued white! I am not going to say it’s a trend yet but I am enjoying playing with some brighter colors.


Suzy is a fun punk girl with dread hair falls made out of wired yarn and hand dyed fabric scraps. Her clothes are made out of scraps from 1960 turquoise lace dress. It was so fabulous it was hard to cut up but it will make for many many fabulous pieces of art

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Suzy is still available and looking for the right new funky home. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I am so happy with the spread of my art journal and article  published in Art Journaling Magazine Winter 2014.  Its on the stands now.


Art Journaling is not my primary medium as you know I am primarily a 3D sculpture and assemblage artist. However, art journaling was instrumental in my introduction to the Mixed Media world.  I remember finding Dan Eldon’s The Journey is the Destination and Sabrina Ward Harrison’s Spilling Open and feeling like I was coming home. It was art that was messy and raw about feelings and life. It was art that I could identify.  I first started art journaling in 1998, which is so long ago now its hard to believe.  I started journaling to cope with the residue of a traumatic relationship that had left my sense of self as a person and as an artist shattered. That first journal is ugly and real and filled with tears of self healing. I have only shared it with my closest loves.


Early journal pages

Over the years my journals have provided me with a safe place to play with art. As a self employed artist, it is pretty easy for art to become work. Work that is serious and has deadlines and pressure.  Which is not always great for the sweet sense of play.  So having a place with no rules, no guidelines, and no deadlines has been great for me.  Although I still struggle with making time for it.

Take a peak at some of my favorite spreads that were published in Art Journaling Magazine current issue

You can take a look at the whole journal and some older journals as well in my

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Winter Classes at Strange and Wonderful Studio

You know how to beat the cold dreary wish it was spring feeling? Come make art and learn new crazy fun techniques with me, Clarissa Callesen

The New Year class schedule for 2014

All classes held at my studio at 1920 Main st. Suite #8 Ferndale, WA. A lunch break of 30mins is included in the schedule. A sack lunch is recommended but there are fast food options located close. Full payment is required to register. 48hr cancellation policy for full refund. Some supplies provide. Call 360-305-9058

Art Journaling Weekend Jan 25 and 26th

Immerse yourself in the fun and gratifying world of Art Journaling. Take both classes for $120

Sat Jan 25, Chaos Journaling 10am- 4:30pm $70


Working quickly, using unusual materials, and nontraditional techniques we will breakthrough into the raw, beautiful world of chaos journaling and art making. It is so easy to get trapped in the art world of pretty, tidy, and nice. We will be shattering that mold with tearing, squishing, scribbling, dripping, sanding, and so much more. We will honor and celebrating mistakes as a foundation for original expression.

Sun Jan 26, Painted Images in Art Journaling 10am- 4:30pm $70


Take your Art journaling to a new level by adding original painted images. Painting can be very intimidating! But come and let me guide you gently through the process of creating your own original images to add to your Art Journal or other art.

Sat Feb 8, Junk Birds 10am-4:30pm $70

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Join me in turning a tacky decorative bird into a wacky original work of art. We will be engaging in some deconstruction and transformation of a mass produced object by combining it with fabric scraps, string, wire, and other treasures we will create a whimsical sculpture. You can either do two smaller birds or 1  larger crow 

Sat and Sun Feb 15 and 16, Gutsy Doll 10am-4:30 pm $160


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Come and explore a completely unique and versatile art medium! It is flexible yet strong. . It is an ancient medium with a rich history It can be translucent or opaque. It can be used as a primary sculptural material or as a textural accent.. It can be dyed or painted. Can you guess? Give up? Sausage casings or Gut as an art supply. We will be creating a one of a kind Art Doll utilizing this most unusual medium.

Sat March 1, Bricologe (Abstract Assemblage) 10am- 4:30pm $80

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Bricologe : construction (as of a sculpture or a structure of ideas) achieved by using whatever comes to hand.

What do artists have at hand usually in excess on or around our work tables?

Fabulous scraps and bits of amazing stuff!

This class will take those bits and pieces and turn them into a rich textural Bricologe. Through loose paint and collage exercises we will create a palette of objects rich in texture and color. Then using those pieces as color and shape elements we will delve into composition. I like to look at this technique as creating a three dimensional abstract painting.


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