The Making of a Fairy – Part One

I never met a real fairy, but I know people that have.

But this story is not about a real fairy, but someone that resembled a fairy so much that I was inspired to create a paining of her.

I met this ‘fairy’ when I was in Bali. She was in my Spiritual Healing Class and I noticed her right away. In class we called her Helen (ha ha … not a good name for a fairy!)

I’m going to refer to her as ‘the fairy’ because that is how I saw her. She had a sprite-li-ness about her, like someone who flirts with nature, full of life, small boned, with a twinkle in her eye. 

Trying not to stare, I watched her for many days, and then one day she caught me.

“You remind me of a fairy” I said.  I told her when I got home I wanted to do a painting of her.

I remember following ‘the fairy’ one day when we were touring the Elephant Cave near Ubud. The surrounding area included lush tropical vegetation, trees, gardens and a waterfall. The fairy was walking down the stairs in front of me. All of a sudden she stopped and exclaimed, “Did ya see that? There’s a big bug on a leaf!”

I looked at where she was pointing and noticed nothing. She positioned her camera to capture a shot, but decided she needed a longer lens for a close up. I continued to look from every angle for the big bug. It wasn’t until after ‘the fairy’ took the shot, and showed me the bug from the back of her camera that I could then find the bug on the leaf.

“Amazing” I remarked, “I don’t know how you possibly noticed that while walking down these stairs.”

In the span of the next fifteen minutes ‘the fairy’ found and photographed a spider with a large web and a beautiful butterfly. Interesting.  I consider myself an observant person, but I had walked past three of these insect type creatures and never noticed them.

 ‘The fairy’ had small features and a loving nature.  Some days it seemed she just squealed with delight. She would talk about how she loved to be in nature, and I just smiled at her and nodded, because I felt in some lifetime she must have been a fairy.  

Since I have been home, I have never forgotten ‘the fairy’. Many mornings I have awaken with her on my mind, contemplating how I would ever create a meaningful image while capturing her essence.

No, I haven’t gone bonkers, I know that she is a real person, and lives a real life some where in England. But as artists, we are inspired by life around us and ‘the fairy’ has inspired me.

So I will begin here … with you the reader … and my imagination.

I plan this blog as part one, and will add to it a series of smaller blogs so you can follow along, giving you insight about how I think and create images.

Thus far I have no concept (except a fairy in a nature setting). I can’t tell you how I will approach the subject, but I do think it will be an interesting thing to blog about.  Plus, there is an aspect of ‘telling the world’ about what you are going to do; it forces you to follow thru with your plans. I take a big breath and begin.

First, I located the pictures of ‘the fairy’ that I had taken when I was in Bali.  If I’m going to create this image of ‘the fairy’, then I need a reference to look at. I also need some references for a setting in which I would place the fairy. It seemed fitting to use an image taken in Bali for the background. I have narrowed my selection down to these two background images.


I can imagine the fairy instead of the bird in this image. And I can imagine the fairy sitting on a petal in this image.


I love, love, love this first image. In my study of fairies, most fairies are not smiling. But the whimsical image of ‘the fairy’ suits her better.


I also want to include the purple and white colors from this flower image for her wings. And maybe reference this butterfly to use in the painting.


I want the fairies clothes to be flowing and light. I found these two references on the internet.

After much consideration, I am leaning toward using the image of ‘the fairy’ smiling, because I checked Helen’s face book page, and she is smiling all the time (although I welcome your thoughts and input on which background image to consider). So please comment with your thoughts … I would love hearing from you.

3 thoughts on “The Making of a Fairy – Part One

  1. oh so fun! I like the simplicity of the flower with her sitting on a petal and a grin rather than a smile – I can’t wait to see your portrait of her!!!!

  2. Joanie, Love it! Reading the blog, I thought you were going to do her in front of the waterfall.

    BUT nowI would put the smiling/playful picture of her kicking on one of the pink flower petalsand wearing a see-through gown like the blue one! But not bluepurple, as you suggest.

    Cant wait to see what you decide!

    Jane Norling 952-472-7155

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