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Anyone else feel my pain?  Do you go to the all-knowing global community to find the definitive answer on a matter only to discover that the definitive answer is pretty much split down the middle?  Daddy used to tell me, “Ask ten people, get ten different answers.”  Daddy was very wise.  I wonder if he knew that I knew that before he left this life?  He certainly grew wiser the older I got.  Funny how that works.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the great oracle Google or his understudy Bing or their friend Ask in order to find information to make my life as an artist easier.  In almost all cases, I come away more confused than when I began.  My latest venture has followed the pattern.  As a doll artist, I push myself or allow others to push  me to learn new skills.  I cannot remain static.  I must improve, grow, change, learn.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglass

I certainly struggled a bit with my most recent “Plastic Surgery” doll project.  (see past entries)  But, the struggle was worth it.  I emerged changed and enlightened.  I was looking for that same fix this morning.  Apparently, this particular struggle is going to continue for a while longer.  I have used the same fabulous liquid matte sealer product for over five years to protectively seal my fashion doll/action figure repaints and face-ups.  Prior to becoming a devoted fan of the product…Winsor & Newton Acrylic Matt (sic) Varnish…I did hours and hours of research and asked just about every doll artist I knew at the time about sealers.  I did, of course, receive a variety of answers, but W & N got the most recommendations, and so I went with it.  It’s not easy to find in the U.S.  Many art and hobby stores carry W & N products, but the Acrylic Matt (sic) Varnish is elusive.  For awhile I was ordering mine from the art supply store at the University of Texas!  However, they have since stopped carrying it.  W & N has always worked well for me.  I have no complaints.  However, I’d like to move on to a better product if there is one…one that leaves a truer matte finish or one that takes less time to apply.  And that is why I have locked horns with Google, Bing, and Ask.  So far, in my quest, I have found just as many folks who say “nay” to the product about which I am inquiring as those who highly recommend it.  As I said in my subject line…six of one, half dozen of the other.  That outcome isn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  It doesn’t surprise me.  But it does frustrate me.  Therefore, I will continue to use W & N but will most likely buy the new product I’m researching and do some experimentation of my own.  My goal is not only to have great results in the short term but to have great results in the long term.  The last thing I want is for damage to result months or years down the line.  I have been collecting dolls/figures in both 1/6 and 1/4 scale for over a decade.  I don’t have any dolls in my collection showing any wear and tear from time.  As a doll artist, I want to make certain, with as much certainty as possible, that my own creations will not deteriorate over time.  My joy is generated not only from the creative process but also from knowing that OSS creations have brought joy to others.  And so my research continues…