Awhile back I wrote a blog post on the “Making of Frida”, so I thought it would be fun to talk a bit about how I created Hazel. As an artist I like to see how far I can take the medium I’m working with (in this case foliage) and get it to do what I want it to do! So with Hazel I wanted to work with having her be a different color than the background and create some perspective. I’ve made all my portraits with foliage never using any glue, tape, staples or anything else that would secure the foliage I use in place. Each piece is just Mother Nature balancing on herself, like a house of cards! Hazel was no different.
Hazel’s background is black foam core board and a simple cut out of white paper for her head and neck. In this photo I’m also playing around with tree placement, or really, branches from a bush in my yard!
From here on out it’s a balancing of the twigs to make the outline of her face and neck, which was much harder this time because the twigs kept rolling off the edge of the white cut out paper! Next the eyes and lips go in. This is when I'm careful not to sneeze, that would mean destruction and having to start over.
More branches go down, then a "full moon" made out of dried, pressed dusty miller.
This time of year vines of bittersweet are easy to find and it ended up being the perfect color and shape to mimic fall leaves! Again, just balancing small parts of the vine on the branches. I loved how the bittersweet gave the ‘leaves’ the windblown look.
Most of the time I do a lot of fussing, working and reworking the dresses or tops of my girls. Here, I’m just playing around with some eucalyptus leaves for the collar and will fill in with fresh flower pedals for the body of her sweater. Her buttons were made of acorns stuffed with cut eucalyptus leaves, and her hair, fallen honey locust leaves I picked up right outside my front door. For me, foraging for all that goes into a piece is one of the most fun and special parts about creating it.
Now Flowers start to go in her hair and some dried babies breath make the perfect starry night!
Here you can see, I just couldn’t leave Hazel alone, and instead of rolling her off the board, she HAD to have a Halloween costume. That’s when I remembered I had cattails, so a Halloween costume was born. A cat, a bear, a werewolf, we don’t know what she is but we know she’s cute!