Nellie"s Needles

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Fairy for Vero

I was the fourth of six contributors to Vero's Exquisite Corpse Fairy project and had chosen the center space on the unworked side.
My work is rarely populated with recognizable forms whether human or mystical, but it often features flowers. So hiding a fairy among flowers was the most natural and easiest choice for me.
Creating the fairy was experimentation and play. I drew several versions of her. The chosen one's outline was traced onto freezer paper. I cut away her form to get an outline of her face and shoulders. The waxy side of the paper was ironed onto a piece of hand-painted silk. A flesh colored oil stick pastel was used to shade her skin. I ran the pastel across the rough surface on a piece of paper, then used a stiff bristled paint brush to pick some of it up to color the skin area exposed within the freezer paper template. I kept applying the pastel until it was built up enough to be seen against the background. I used a permanent pen to draw her facial features. If I were to do this again, I would use a light brown ink rather than black. However, black is what I had at the moment. Then her wings were traced from my drawing onto the silk with that same pen. I ended up painting them with a mixture of silver and white acrylic paint plus Gloss Medium to make them shimmer. Yarn, roving, and thread form her hair.

Days before Vero's piece arrived in the mail I had purchased a stem of silk hydrangea flowers just because it was so beautiful. I loved the multiple range of coloration within the flowerettes. A few of those were scattered around the fairy along with free form leaf shapes cut out of various batik fabrics. The centers of the flowers are made with "balled up" strands of silk and cotton threads. A few Angelina strands were sprinkled overall. Tulle netting was laid over all and it was machine quilted with just a thin layer of batting. Vero's background was a wonderful piece of linen that I didn't want to completely cover up. I cut away excess background from my piece around the outside edges and attached it to Vero's corpse with more machine quilting. The irregular edge gave opportunity to my fellow creators to fill in the dips while the extended pieces could interact with their edges.

Go here to see and read about Vero's whole piece. Go here to read about the various contributions to this other Exquisite Corpse pieces.


verobirdie said...

Thank you so much Nellie for this square, and for explaining your process. The result is really beautiful and mixes well in the piece, especially with mine that is adjacent to yours!
It was really a pleasure to participate in this RR.

teodo said...

Nellie, I really like this work and I think that the black points out the face next to the silver wings.
I've seen the other contributes, they look really good together.
ciao ciao