What COULD be better.
Yes, that’s me in the middle (ain’t I a doll), strolling down the Polka-Dot Road with not ONE Lee Oswald, but – TWO.
Yes, the Lee on the Left is my original – gosh, it must be going on two, two and a half years since I made him (in doll-world parlance, he is called a “re-paint.” Maybe even a “face-up,” but I am not into it as much as some…). His prototype was/is a character out of a movie, originally, a film I never saw, called “The Golden Compass.” I saw the figure of “Lord Asriel” (or something like that) on the site that sold said dolls and thought – “I can DO it, I think – I THINK he CAN BE LEE, I THINK HE CAN…” and I bit the bullet and shelled out ninety-nine virtual dollars for him in an “Ebay Store” (buying direct was too expensive, and I kinda want to say he was on the way OUT, as I recently learned he was discontinued in 2008).
Once here, I was almost afraid – well – I WAS afraid – to touch him.
There he lay, so neatly packaged in his sturdy paper-board coffin, tied down with satin bows and bolstered by custom-cut foam rubber packing.
He was 17″ tall. Far cry from my Wee Harvey Oswalds that stood anywhere from nine to 12 inches high (yes I have lots of Lees – more on that later).
He had rooted hair.
My other Lee Oswalds had molded-on hair, which I could supplement with hot glue (which, when dry, is virtually vinyl) and paint over to get the color right.
But this guy had ROOTED, BLONDE hair.
The very image I saw online some years ago, and felt I could alter for the better.
I knew I was going to have to color it somehow, but…
So I went with what I knew. Not being an expert at such things (I am a doll person, but not a Doll Person) (note caps), I just went with what the gut told me. Paint it. But keep it wet, to sort of stain it, so that the hair didn’t just harden into a blob, I mean, it was actual strands, like REAL HAIR, so why compromise the cool actuality of it by making it look plastic by globbing it up with Brunette Paint?
That’s about all I can remember, specifically, when it came to the creation of that doll, as I was SO happy with it when he was Done, when he was Realized, when he was MY Squeaky-Clean Wee little Lee Harvey.
(Before we go ANY further, just LOOK at that face – he wouldn’t harm a fly. Taken in 1961 in Minsk). (THIS was one of the many images that had me in love with him on a purely physical basis oh-so-long ago. And then later, – well – some other post, maybe.)
And damn how I have grown to love that doll. I mean, I made an even BIGGER one – a 28″ version – but I used a ridiculously uber-buffed big Army-man guy, and though it resembled Lee facially, he was a little too “Mug Shot”-ish and just – TOO damn buff. Lee was lithe, a slender lean model-type who could wear anything well, I imagine. To my delight, many people seem to KNOW this merely by having seen him in the infamous post-arrest film clips. I guess the Scary Mean Dallas Coppers in ten-gallon hats made him look small.
But somehow I knew in my heart of hearts he was diminuitive.
Not a great picture, but – he’s just so Wee.
Then there’s this one (yowza!):
I often will, in this forum.
And for that, I do not apologize…
So, let’s fast forward, and explain that doll on the RIGHT we see up there, the Clone…
Last month I learned I got accepted into a traveling art exhibit, called “The People’s Biennial, 2010.” In short, curators deliberately visited five off-the-beaten-path-as-far-as-being-known-for-art states, and Arizona was one of them, specifically, Phoenix.
At the urging of some friends who pointed out the fact that I fit the necessary criteria as outlined on their flyer (“seeking eccentric, unrecognized artists”), I agreed to attend a couple of their talks, and before I knew it two Fancy Curators were sitting in MY living room (one of my friends talked them into a “studio tour,” saying “if you think the downtown hand-painted sandwich boards outside the cafes are cool, you HAVE to see Paul Wilson’s house…”).
They were here a short time, and their interpretation/interest in my work was impossible to read, probably deliberate on their part, so as not to get any one artist (or sandwich-board sign-painter) too excited.
They thanked me, they left, and for weeks thereafter we mused, and in following weeks, we forgot.
At least *I* did.
It was a Thursday, and I had a local curator (NOT related to this biennial, but the Phoenix Art Museum!) over as well. How and why I was lucky enough to have her over is another long story, but she was here, was VERY cool and VERY Scottish and very perceptive, and registered visible interest in my work (I don’t do JUST dolls), however, politely left me with “…you have a large body of work here, and…I…”
And in my head I completed her sentence for her, “-just don’t know what to do with it…”
She ended it with another sentence suggesting it was indeed all fantastic and she was in no position to simply OFFER me a show, mind you, but she would process all she had seen here and “maintain a dialogue” (curators seem to love that word, “dialogue”) and if she thought of some way to amalgamate or configure it, or (again, I mentally added in ”pigeonhole?”) otherwise find an angle, she would be in touch.
I was rather down after that, VERY down in fact, as I had heard this all my life.
“Your work is so – gosh, well, you just- THROW yourself INTO it, literally, you ARE the art in, say, this amazing series of self-portraits where you dress as all the characters of a 1950′s family, or when you take on ALL the roles of the cast of “The Poseidon Adventure” and shoot a remake of it on VHS, and now this Lee-Harvey thing, it’s all so fanTASTIC, and from the heart, and so pure, and funny, and thoughtful and edgy and…”
While I adore the sentiment and the praise, I have heard it for years, and most of my stuff doesn’t go farther than my front door, although I have been lucky in some areas, getting a lot of the “E” word – Exposure – as far as being written up a gazillion times, having work published, having my home on the local news (it in itself is an art piece, some say), and even making it to three national cable shows. And while cool, it just. Doesn’t. Go. Anywhere.
(Hear me SIGHING, please).
But this does NOT stop me from doing it – I love to do it, I HAVE to do it, it really is what keeps me going, what fuels and nourishes me. And if someone takes to it, well, that’s neat…and I am flattered and all, and will only keep ON doing it, “it” being whatever I am obsessed with at the time, and, via artistic catharthis, choose to realize.
I have made more money poking my finger in pay-phones than with my art, but I am not really after Big Money. Sure, it’d be bitchin’ to get a BOOK, or serious gallery representation, or even a calendar; and if the money was REALLY big, buy my mom a new house, like Elvis did…
So. I was REALLY down after she left, the anticipation of having this ultra cool, really important individual in the arts community COMING TO MY HOUSE, and the actual time we had together, was much more exciting than what I was left with, that all-too-familiar feeling of “no-one-knows-how-to-display, let alone market, your stuff…”
I went to bed for about a week, then I got the call.
Actually an email.
Leaked from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, saying I had “made it in.” Into the Biennial, that THING where the fancy-people came to my house last March. The news that all the artists (five or six from each of the five states) had been selected, and I was on the list!
Friends and family alike were wowed and celebrated my fortune with me, all the while saying, “so what did they want? Like, for the show?”
To which I had to reply again and again, “I- I don’t KNOW, I HOPE something of my Lee Harvey Oswald Love Triangle stuff-! I mean, I heard that in one of these biennials they toured a Virgin Mary made of Human Waste, so surely a diorama of myself tearing open Lee Oswald’s shirt while another doll of myself dressed as a woman, holding a Black baby, ravages him too, couldn’t be TOO too controversial?!”
Well, the weekend went by, and finally I got an email and a call, and as it happened they had been taken with a body of work I did some time ago – in the early 90′s, a gigantic body of 2-D mages of myself playing all the members of an Ideal 1950′s Family, essentially done “the old-fashioned way,” using cut and paste of several photos of myselves as the different players, and then those images were placed in vintage scrapbooks, representing “family albums” of said fictitious 50′s family.
A Kimble Family Album. That’s me and me and me and me in the snapshot there…
Part of a “Flow Chart” I created to show the curators how images appeared in said albums. The snapshot I am pretending to insert represents the Nuclear Family Christmas. Again, any and all people are myselves. I even captioned them in that odd white ink they used in the dark ages…
I guess I hesitated a BIT too long when the curator in Scottsdale asked me if I was “happy with their choices?” I SO wanted Me and Lee to have been touring, but -
I recovered as fast as I could, saying “why of COURSE, gosh, yes, why, just to have it show in your gallery alone, in SCOTTSDALE, let alone a two-year tour to 4 other STATES, I mean, wow…”
Long story longer, later we spoke and I was informed I could include some of my newer work, as long as it was related, if I wished.
Well now! Maybe Lee and I had a chance after all…
One day I will procede, in another post (or six or eight) about the Hows and Whys of Me and Lee, and who and what “Dottie” stands for – Dottie is my 1950′s Donna-Reed alter-ego, my very own Mrs.-Beaver-Cleavor, and over the years she has endured. Since I created her in the 1993 or so (I remember coming up with her name while bathing one night, “either ‘Fay’ or ‘Gay’ or ‘Gaylene’ or maybe ‘Dottie…’), she was the matriarch of the aforementioned 50′s family I documented in faux 1950′s snapshots, she starred in my videos, also with the family (all myselves), and even did parties (Dottie made me $5oo one night at a Trade Show, just being herself at a corporate event for Campbell’s soup and other big food brands). Dottie was recognized in a line of advertising for the then-new Buca di Beppo Italian food restaurants, she (and some members of her family) represented the face of Buca, in the form of ads and postcards, posters and print ads.
Dottie, seen here in San Fancisco, 1957, loving the novelty cable car she just bought.
That happy marriage ended when Buca got BIG and went with other ad agencies and a whole new approach.
But Dottie never died. Nor faded away…
Since I got tired of physically appearing as Dottie, putting on the makeup, shaving my beard, squeezing into vintage dresses that weren’t fitting so well anymore, I started making dolls of her. THEY starred in the videos I did and slapped on Youtube, THEY acted as the fodder for a continuum of her never-ending mid-century antics. the Dottie DOLLS could do everything I did as Dottie and more!
Including shacking up with a handsome, hirsute, heavenly Lee Harvey Oswald.
An early shot of a Dottie Doll with a Lee. This was before I learned to make either Dottie taller, or Lee SHORTER, so his cute diminutiveness and my physical domination would be obvious.
But this wasn’t THE Lee Harvey Oswald, no, he was my reincarnation of Lee, the Lee that would now have a fun new lease on life, the Lee that so fancied Bunnies and Lollipops to Rhetoric and Wife-beating, HELLO KITTY to HANDS OFF CUBA, and Roses over Guns.
“MY” Lee was perfect.
Well. Not everyone’s ideal maybe, occasionally flushing a handbag down a toilet (quite by accident) or stepping on an errant bit of cereal while putzing about the kitchen and forgetting to use a wet finger to pick up the crumbs, and prone to sitting splay-legged on the floor with his fire truck and a plush toy; but macho enough to save me from everthing from overflowing toilets to the Joan Blondell Monster, a giant in the form of the actress circa 1964, who threw enormous dinner plates and cackled with wicked glee.
Lee was Dottie’s hero.
I mean, look how Protective and Husband-ish he looks up there, in his handsome red Eisenhower jacket in our cozy 1950′s time capsule. Who WOULDN’T want that.
Lee was Dottie’s hero, yes -
Since I invented Dottie, and I RE-invented Lee, of course I adore him too.
As it stands, Dottie and Paul and Lee form a bizarre union, a sort of Love Triangle, in which Paul and Dottie fight for his attentions, but not too much, as we are one in the same, of course, and whether Lee is able to figure it out is not relevant. He loves me, he loves Dottie, he loves me AS Dottie, and if Dottie is really a woman, or a man, does he know or care?
And then there’s our Black baby.
But again – another post.
So, I had really hoped some of my latest obsession would have made it into this show, I mean, I am so THRILLED to be GAY and BLATANTLY in LOVE with “my” version of a - om - (let’s say ‘notorious,’ I hate ‘assassin,’ I don’t think he is/was, and besides, there is none of that suggested in my relationship with little Lee) oddball like Lee Harvey and READY to THROW it out there and just politely smack the world in the face with it…
A recent incarnation of the New Perfect Family, using my Handsome Medium Lee doll (the 17-incher), a Large Dottie and a Large Paul doll. Oh, and I DID say Lee was hirsute, yes? Yes, yes I did.
Not that I expect a resounding cheer, or a groan, or anything, just, knowing people have to wrap their brain around it for even a few seconds in an exhibit would delight me beyond recognition…
So, after hearing I could put “something new” in with the 50′s Family stuff, and knowing full well Dottie was the Common Denominator here, as she is always in 1950-something, as was/is Lee, then why not-? I pitched it, and they seemed to “get it,” so, without any real carved-in-stone yay or neighs, I went and sought out ANOTHER Lord Asriel doll, because I was NOT surrendering my Handsome Hunky Lee for 2 years. YES I have other Oswald dolls, but…
However if he WERE to go on tour, well, I would certainly want to represent him with my Very Best.
And that meant the Lord Asriel-guy, IF I could find another…
It took some searching, as he was getting harder and harder to find now, the ONE that I saw on Ebay a few weeks ago was at two-hundred and sixty something (that’s not to say there isn’t one there now going for $3, but…) and simply unaffordable.
Finally I located one in a doll shop in some mall in Northern California, and snapped him up.
He arrived soon enough, and I opened him, and there he lay in his paper-board coffin, tied down with satin bows and bolstered with custom-cut foam rubber…
And he had rooted -
AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! The rooted-hair thing again! HOW exactly had I done that the first time arou – OH! And he’s seventeen inches tall, and my original was so lovingly detailed; and OH! This thing’s BLONDE and SMOOTH and MY Lee was brunette and hairy chested………….
I had to re-invent the wheel.
I had to re-build him, per the opening narrative of “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
Could I do it?
The image above, created prior to this writing, indeed shows I DID, but oh…
I was afraid to even take Lord what’s-his-face out of the BOX let alone try and recollect how I “dyed” his hair, configured the several paint colors to take his face from a way-too-youthful somebody-or-other named Daniel Craig; to alter him, to enhance him, to bring out and accentuate the lovely youthful musculature the doll company had endowed him with…
And the way Handsome Lee LOOKED at him when he arrived – like it was – some sort of THING -
In fact, after Handsome Lee took one look at this – this THING in a coffin with gay bows securing him, he flattened himself against the side of the box, his palms cold and sweaty, and TREMBLED:
Obviously traumatized, my Handsome Lee is a bundle of nerves. I held him for a long time and told him it really was okay…
It was like starting from scratch, to make a CLONE, for all intents and purposes, an EXACT replica of my baby.
My beloved Handsome Lee, a.k.a. Handsome Medium Lee (remember, there’s that 28″ one), a.k.a. my Wee Harvey Oddball (as I very recently re-named him). Sometimes Smallswald, but rarely. Lee is quirky and cute and odd. Oddball.
And this had to happen quickly, if he is to be accepted, as everything is packed and shipped away for the first leg of the tour in early August.
I started with the body hair.
THAT process is not at all unfamiliar to me, having done this for years with everything from the Common Ken to a recent incarnation of Anderson Cooper (though I know he’s plucked as a pale pink chicken, but *I* take license here).
It involves a brutal CARVING of individual hairs on the doll body using everything from sharp manicure scissors to an awl, then smooshing the desired shade of paint into the grooves, PRESSING it in to these grooves with all one’s strength, then wiping away the excess. Essentially a rub-and-buff method.
It works best with hard plastic hollow bodies, versus the solid rubbery-vinyls – though it CAN be done, I opt for a dremel tool with the latter.
Yes, it might seem like painting it on with a brush or even using a fine point Sharpie would be easier, but it rubs RIGHT off when you try and yank a pair of pants over their furry little legs. And Sharpie will bleed eventually.
Here’s a small (12″) Lee Harvey photographed in progress with chest hair carved in, and newly filled with paint:
I like his sideways-glance here – sort of like that curiously broooding 1959 Barbie.
So grooves filled with paint it has to be.
But Medium Lee (Asriel) is BIG, and oh, all that carving, it was just – so – DAUNTING this time around, and ya can’t just carve random slashes and think it is going to look good once painted, no, there is an art to male body hair. It grows a certain way. There are patterns. Even on the wooliest, most randomly fuzzy types (not MY types, but everyone has their favorites) have a PATTERN.
Try inverting your cat.
Peek at their tummies.
If they happen to be of the shorthair variety, you will note a distinct “line” running down their middle, almost like a seam, from their collarbones to inside their thighs. And from that line, on either side, blossoms a mirror-image of the fur growth. This is, in my opinion, very much along the lines of being Diametrically Opposed, only with fur.
Or, in the case of the human male animal, hair (but many of us like to call it fur…).
Same with legs, arms, thighs, etc, there is a METHOD to the mad random-ness, and one has to have some comprehension of it before leaping into body-hair carving.
Here is a perfect example of the Diametrically Opposed Chest Hair Pattern Concept, except not on a cat:
I know – eesh – extreme, but the symmetry is violently obvious here. And NO, this is not me, though it appears obvious the subject IS photographing himself.
So, with this in mind, hairs are carved – and it is NOT a quick, easy thing, even on a 12-incher like a Ken. The legs being the most difficult, and the intricacies of the Sexy Furry Arm -
Note the stunning way it “meets” itself – nice. And difficult to simulate on a doll’s arm which is about as long as your middle finger…
Gad, I am SO digressing, another post on Male Body Hair is obviously in order – but you can see a bit of what is involved, and I had to do this ALL TO LEE.
Lee Harvey Oswald, to the best of my knowledge, was NOT extremely hirsute – he had the token amount, but fewer than four pictures of him Totally Topless exist, and of course they are terrible, over-exposed, black and white, and unflattering – but he looks nothing like that chest up there, and I don’t aim to have him look like that, it just sort of – happens. I guess there is a bit of not-so-subconscious wishful-thinking going on, but BELIEVE me, I DO start him out with just a nice thatch, and somehow it gets out of hand…
I am thinkin’ Real Lee looked much like THIS image I dummied up using a slender, lightly-furred gent I found in a Suggestive Youtube video, which I then added the only-existing CLEAR color photo of Lee’s head to:
God I love that.
Even the Grumpy Puss. Total Bad-Boy look -
Some photos of him, sadly the Arrest and Post-Arrest photos are all I have to go on as far as Lee’s Fur Factor, like this delicious one in which he was being wrestled out of the Texas Theater by a mob:
When I found THIS picture, which I had seen a hundred times cropped only to show the faces, UNCROPPED, I nearly died on the spot – LEE HAS A TREASURE TRAIL, a.k.a. a PLEASURE Trail; a – a – HAIRWAY to HEAVEN, as a female friend noted (apparently that IS a real phrase, she and her little ‘tween friends used it in high school).
Again, another post on Lee’s Body Hair is ABSOLUTELY in order, and soon this will come.
Too, many of the post-arrest, being-led-down-the-hall-by-coppers images (similar to the black and white ones toward the top of this post) show a delightful tell-tale tuft emerging from the top of his bent out of shape tee-shirt collar.
He definitely had SOMETHIN’ goin’ on under there, he WAS twenty-four, after all, and Secondary Sex Characteristics had certainly had their way with him for a good several years-worth.
In a way it’s almost nice NOT knowing, I mean exactly what he packed under the hood and how much, so I can merely fantasize, and, if I want MY Lee a little (or a lot) furrier, than so be it.
My Lee might even be a little older, too, say, 29 or 30.
So began the hairing process, before I dared attempt the dye-process on his head-hair, LET ALONE THE FACE, which I was going to have to copy almost exactly.
I had gotten some new tools for this act, including some new dremel tips, a fresh awl, some new tiny scissors, and something I had never tried before (and will never try again), a wood-burning tool.
The awl and an old box cutter gave me the size and width of groove I needed.
Raw Umber acrylic paint was rubbed into the grooves, and he was done. I think I did a limb or two a night, then set him down and unwound a bit before moving on with other, unrelated activities.
I could not afford to mess him up.
This done, I then used a varying palette of flesh-colored paint to shade and enhance, so that the doll no longer has that all-one-color look. Often doll manufacturer’s molds have a lot of detail that sadly go unnoticed, dimples, forehead wrinkles and crows feet – because the “flesh” is all one solid color. By going in with a small brush and some contrasting shades these details can “pop,” and make all the difference as far as realism vs. a store mannequin goes.
I also “paint on” features, such as a suggestion of a rib cage, or veins on the arms and hands, and appropriate shading where muscles and ligaments lie. Much as I were doing a two-dimensional painting of a man, I am now painting these subtle highlights and shadows ON the man.
Lee had a beautiful neck, and that muscle leading from the ear to the center of the clavicle – I want to say “sternal mastoid,” but I think that is wrong (and I took anatomy and life drawing in college!), is just stunning, as was his defined adam’s apple. Lee didn’t have the strongest chin and jaw, but that neck…
And so, this step completed, it is time to move on to some further Manscaping in the Fur Department.
Or lack thereof…with my Fantasy Males, my jungles of Man Fur tend to grow a little wild…
As you have noticed, my Handsome Medium Lee has ACTUAL chest hair too.
This was something I do with the larger dolls, as it “reads” better in photos and videos (when light plays off of it) and also adds a terrifying aspect of realism to them that turns some on, while making others run away. Far away. It’s either one or the other, few are indifferent.
A photo of my Handsome Medium Lee taken last May, after a re-furring. Having him dressed in confining suits and even loose casual button-downs smashes down the vitally sexy nest of armpit hair, so if fluffing doesn’t work, I just – ADD MORE:
Yeah, well, some of that chest-hair “symmetry” flew RIGHT out the window here, but hey. I am seriously thinking of “trimming” this, my original Handsome Medium Lee, as the NEW doll’s chest TURNED OUT BETTER.
This OLDER image, while generous with the Fur, but before last May’s Fluffing, is probably a bit more accurate to Real Lee’s Fur Factor. In this image, Dottie is teaching Lee the Four Food Groups:
Obviously he is seeing THROUGH all this nonsense, as he knows full well all of the Four Food Groups are realized right there in that TV Dinner.
Tufts and curls are key in a Lee.
Well, with any studly doll, as far as I am concerned.
Some criticize my abundance of Fur on my Fantasy Males, but, as I say, one can love it or leave it.
Lee does NOT, and never WILL, have hair on his back, as I just simply don’t go there. There are those that do, however, and that is fine, but not for MY baby.
This Furring process uses actual “curly doll hair,” as sold in craft stores. It is available in black, brown, blonde, etcetera, and is just marvelous.
Though it appears I have just slathered it on, again, there is a method to the madness – tiny individual “locks” are cut and pre-arranged on the body before delicate dabs of hot glue are dotted on the torso and the locks quickly pressed into place (many a burn to the fingers has resulted from this act, so I now prep my digits with duct tape – rubber “fingertip gloves” will melt).
Often it fails, and I get a Glob. A messy clump filled with dried, whitish flakes of useless hot glue.
I yank it off (he does not cry out) and try again, and again and again, if need be.
Pits are the trickiest. I don’t EVEN want to enumerate the terrors of effective, fluffly pit-locks.
I mean, they have to look effective when the doll’s arm is down, AND up and splayed, and the way ball-and-socket dolls are built, not everything looks “real,” anatomically, so I have to adjust for this when it comes to pits.
In this Boudoir Shot of Handsome Medium Lee (yes, I love that doll so much we have PHOTO SHOOTS), the nice tuft of hair you see ‘neath his bicep was placed there for the photo, not actually glued down, simply because when the arm is down, that hair there would not make SENSE, and if arranged as it is here, his actual glued-down hair would not show at all. Hard to explain.
VIOLENTLY Sexy. Subjective, I know. And yes, there’s HELLO KITTY, this is MY Lee, the Softer Lee, remember? : )
So, I got his Actual Fur all in place, the most time-consuming process, and, what with a wicked hot glue gun dripping nearby, an often painful one, but not nearly as nerve-wracking as the FACE paint.
But there was the hair on his head to do yet (how many times DOES the word hair appear in this post, anyway?).
Thank heavens I did not have to STYLE it, Real Lee parted it severely on the left, and it just took some minor pushing and shoving to accomplish this on the Asriel-guy. And though the doll’s style is long in back, I wasn’t going to mess with cutting it, I just sort of pinched it together and held it in place with a lot of paint…
I did it like I sort of remembered doing it years ago, blotting and tamping and keeping it all very wet and fluid (I was standing over the bathroom basin), and running the paint (again, raw umber and black) through again and again, and if it clotted, I immediately worked it out with water.
I know REAL Doll People can color-dye doll hair like nobody’s business, but, I am not a Real Doll Person.
And this was not one of those that had a mere removable wig, as other dolls in this company line do, no, Asriel/Lee’s is ROOTED. So it was desperately important I not get any stray paint on his face or neck or ears, and if I did, all actions halted while I wiped him off with a Q-Tip.
I liked how, with the first Medium Lee, some of the blonde actually came through, not enough to look streaked, but enough to add a glistening highlight here and there, and I worked to achieve this again, and, happily, succeeded.
This time around I used a mustache brush to work through the hair again and again to ensure an even coat, AND keep the hairs AS hairs, that is, individual and combable – not that I would ever comb it any other way, or try and give him a mohawk one day, but because I wanted to keep the integrity of REAL hair. I mean, if he’s gonna have pit-locks, well, then, it’s only fair his more widely visible head of hair LOOK like hair.
This done, I capped the paints and went to bed, heaving a sigh of relief.
Only the face-paint was left.
This preyed on me, this was harrowing.
I mean, I have done MANY Lees (well, only like eight or ten), but each one was a different doll which required some minor variations in the facial expression by default, but this time I had to make an EXACT DUPE, and I could not afford to make a mistake, given how much this dang no-longer-produced Lord cost…
And tempest was fidgiting (or, however that phrase goes).
I think I did it a day or two later, when I was in JUST the right frame of mind, had gathered up my patience, was not keyed up about anything or otherwise hurried, nothing pending the next day that suggested I retire early, etc., conditions were FINE. So, armed not with photographs this time, but with my one and only ORIGINAL Handsome Medium Lee, I proceeded.
I guess in some ways it was easier, using the other doll (who was constantly accidentally h*mping his twin, but necessarily so, so that I could see them crushed side by side at all times) for comparison. This way I could see, up close and personal, and copy each brush stroke exactly the way I had placed them years ago. It was not unlike an abstract game of Follow the Leader, really.
The beard-shadow was a little tricky to emulate (I use a watered-down blue with a tad of umber in it), as it was at times too much or too little, but using my thumb as a either a sponge or an eraser, to tamp or to wipe away, I was able to get it almost exact.
And before I knew it, the hardest part was DONE!
AND I WAS HAPPY WITH IT.
And I had prepared in advance an exact set of dog tags (Lee had been a Marine, and whether he wore them all the time or not, there’s something to be said about them lolling around in all that chest hair), an exact replica of his outfit, his undershirt, shirt, everything, so all I needed do was dress him.
But of course I didn’t.
The look of the two of them Topless, standing on either side of the Paul doll, the literal DREAM of a Lee-Harvey Double-Date realized, was just too much.
Too Sexy for their Shirts.
So at this moment, as of this writing, we are all still arranged as seen in the opening photograph, strolling merrily down that Polka-Dot Road (which is, incidentally, my trademark dinner jacket, made in minature many times over for the three Paul dolls I own).
Twins the Lees may be, but BOTH are
The “Good” Twin.
So. He is done; the Mad Scientist succeeded in Cloning Lee Harvey Oswald, and is most Pleased.
The new one, as I said, is on the right. Though his watch is a bit too modern (that is the only thing I did not have an exact dupe of), the chest-hair is somewhat more natural, if he were a hairy guy that is, and he has a bit more of a smirk going. It just happened, and I liked it.
Friends and family alike asked and warned me, “what if you like the new one BETTER?” and I had said “no way. NO way, my Original Handsome Medium Lee is my one and only!”
I had talks with Original Handsome Medium Lee, as naturally he had jealousy issues from day one, when he saw that thing laying smooth and blonde and glassy-eyed in the box, assuring him that there would NOT be any favoritism, that the thing in the box was merely acting as an imposter, a dummy-Lee, an ambassador, a clone.
Still not entirely convinced, I told him, that if it made him feel better, I would NOT give the duplicate Junk.
Naturally, you have all been wondering if ANY of my Lees are thorougly anatomically correct, well, what do you think?!
Yes, it makes it harder to get his pants on, and by no means is he some vulgar H*mosexual Fantasy wielding an Enormous Member, far from it. It just – needs to be there, I’m going for realism, but don’t dwell in that area. Chest and pit hair are where my priorities lie, but I LIKE KNOWING he has – that stuff - in there – and it looks nice when he’s in jeans. But rarely do I see it, in fact never, save for when he is being completely changed. I know you don’t beleive me, but it’s true. I also keep him in white boxers at all times, so that boorish curiosity-hounds will have to WORK at it if they insist on trying to get a peek. Rarely does this happen, but on occasion he’ll get passed around after a dinner out, say, or maybe a tipsy wedding-reception guest wants to have their way with him. Generally they don’t get farther than lifting the cuff of a trouser leg to find the delightful visual feast of fur beneath (which really only serves to make them wonder what ELSE he has) and they don’t mess with undoing him, as it is work to unbutton a wee jacket, untuck the carefully tucked-in shirt, unbuckle the belt, undo the - well, you know. In fact it’s easier to perform this in the heat-of-a-moment with a human, and a lot harder to do in miniature…
When he is in casual wear, with a button down and a v-neck tee underneath, I ENCOURAGE petting of his peeking tufts, either to creep folks out or tease and impress them that he is REAL and not a toy. Often the curious politely ASK if they can touch his chest hair, what wee bit might be exposed, and I beam and comply, as I feel perhaps on some level this is appealing to some.
All agree, of all my Lees, my Medium Lee is the best-looking, yet STILL resembles, and could not be mistaken for any one other THAN, notorious little Lee Harvey Oswald, and this pleases me too. Sure, there are subtle aspects of other guys I dig in there, namely actor Joseph Fiennes, who has VERY similar features, and is Hollywoodishly more attractive in real life than real life Lee Oswald was, maybe, but…I like what I can’t HAVE! (AS IF I could have Joe Fiennes…) Others see a tiny bit of everyone from Harrison Ford to Parker Stevenson (all past crushes) in Handsome Medium Lee, and it only makes sense, I guess, since they are all my “types.”
So yeah. New Medium Lee has Junk, but it’s only PAINTED ON. It is satisfactory as a token attempt at dolling him up with male dirty-parts, and indeed, his pants DO slide on easier, yes (which is GOOD because the zipper on the pair of slacks I want him to wear BROKE OFF in my hand, so…).
Original Lee’s goods are NOT er*ct and naughty, merely – there. I was not even sure what I USED as a _____ until I poked around in some of my “spare parts,” and found a few Naughty Key Chains I had gotten in an adult store in Chicago ages ago. But how I adhered it, whether I used super-glue or somehow affixed it with a tab inserted into a tiny hole drilled into the doll’s mound, I do not recall.
Which is what makes Original, Handsome Medium Lee unique. Not like any other.
And though I may re-work his chest to look a little more natural (my work HAS gotten better in the past few years, I guess), he is NOT leavin’ this house, even if the Met or the Guggenheim wanted him concurrent to the biennial tour, nope, nope, nope.
I love my Handsome Medium Lee.
I love his Clone too, in that “he worked,” and beyond that, well, he’s ready to go. IF they decide indeed to take him. Yes, things are still a bit in flux, as one day they love the Dottie/Lee/Paul triangle, then the next day they think the family-album concept stands alone.
THAT is fodder for yet another post.
But for now, I have a Lee on each arm, and am happy as a Pig in P*o.