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Art Show: Tangible: Art as Object

Mildred the Bag Lady

by Connie Black Foster Bissell

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Art: Mildred the Bag Lady by Artist Connie Black Foster Bissell
Status - Private Collection...Mildred was sculpted in 1995 after selling every possession I owned for a different way of life in a new career field of driving over the road. After finishing trucking school, life existed in a big truck rolling across the United States highways. I saw for the first time all the destitution, poverty, and homelessness around the country and it saddened my heart. I had been feeling sorry for myself because all I had left of my former life was the clothes carried in the truck - and these people had only cardboard boxes to protect them and no money coming in to feed themselves.

It made me wonder what circumstances had turned the events of their lives around so drastically as to leave them on the streets without shelter.

Once I decided the life on the road wasn't for me, I returned to my art and this piece is the result of my grand adventure as a trucker.

I will be ever thankful for every little iota of anything I have, no matter how insignificant it may appear to others. This is the result of my inspiration and I would like to introduce you now to Mildred, the bag lady.

Creation of Mildred included using a soft stuffed body to which I attached her head, hands, and shoes which were sculpted using Cernit flesh colored sculpting clay. She stands 24 inches tall and is approximately 10 inches diameter (including blanket). I used Cernit for its fine porcelein like quality. The eyes are glass doll eyes inset into the head prior to baking, the hair is from a neighbor's sheep herd, the eyebrows are taken from my father-in-law's beard trimming. I made her clothes, blanket, and hat from scrap material. Searching flea markets and garage sales, I located the correct size of little "finds" for her shopping cart (made from a wire basket I found which I made the wheels and handle for out of clay).. Total time to complete Mildred - 4 months. More time was spent just locating the right sized items than the actual creation of the doll!

If you are interested in a commission piece, please feel free to contact me or visit my website. Thanks for looking!


Detail Images


Detail Image for art Mildred the Bag Lady

Close up face

Detail Image for art Mildred the Bag Lady

Showing her cart full of

Detail Image for art Mildred the Bag Lady

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