Strange new work

I know that I haven't posted in ages but I have been so involved in a new series of paintings. I've been sketching out ideas for a long time and a few weeks ago began the first paintings. They are portraits of ventriloquist's dummies, a strange subject for me considering I have always found them frightening. I had been researching antique doll and mannequin heads for another project and began saving photos of vintage ventriloquist dummies. There is something about them that intrigues me. Something about their wide, staring eyes and their innate muteness that makes me feel they are trying somehow to communicate with me. Now you would think that I would be even more put me off by these thoughts but it has had the opposite effect. I've even ventured further into my fears by painting a clown! I can't explain the deep psychological motivations just yet, maybe something will occur to me along the way... None of these are actual existing dolls but rather combinations of different characteristics with lots of artistic license. They are all oil paint on wood panels. I know they are strange but I thought I'd share them as I go and see what kind of reaction I get! Here are the first 2 finished...