Halloween paper dolls 09.07.16
Scissor cut paper dolls, 8×12″
One day about 9 years ago in The Virginian-Pilot newsroom, George Tucker — talented columnist, historian, widely recognized Jane Austen authority, artist — came by my desk as he often did to tell funny stories. “Hand my that piece of paper and those scissors,” he said. I watched in awe as the cheerful 94-year-old sat down, folded the paper in half length-wise and began cutting in an uninterrupted arcing gesture… When he’d finished the main figure, he went in and snipped the paper here and there, adding details where desired. When he unfolded the paper, a beautiful folk art masterpiece was revealed – a symmetrically squatting devil smiling at me!
Now that the weather has changed a bit — finally, there’s a nip of fall in the air — my thoughts turn to Halloween and that wonderful feeling of mystery and creativity fills my heart once again…
I try to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year by making simple decorations — made of inexpensive materials such as construction paper, cardboard, crayons, newspaper, pipe cleaners, scrap metal — like my parents did when I was little. These were made in the same manner exhibited so masterfully by Mr. Tucker. No preliminaries or sketches. I was just thinking of him as I made them, trying to channel his uniquely American sense of wonder and generosity of spirit. George passed away within a year, still creative and curious as a child.