10-year-old Chesterfield artist uses recycled items to create portrait of Kobe Bryant

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A 10-year-old from Chesterfield County is expressing herself through a unique form of art called textile art.

Ashlyn Nelson creates portraits using recycled items and other random items you find around the house.

The future-artist attends Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School but learned how to create textile art while attending an art camp in Richmond last summer.

From a distance, the eye sees a person, but if you zoom in you can see items like paintbrushes, spoons, beads, G.I Joe men, tree bark, feathers, rocks, burlap pieces, clothespins, and so much more.

Nelson created Aretha Franklin as her first project. The 10-year-old says she learned of Franklin after she died and wanted to honor her legacy. Since then she has taken off and grown into quite an artist. She recently finished a piece on Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.

There is a process to her masterpieces, Nelson picks a person she admires, projects a picture of them on a canvas, copies it, and goes to work choosing different textiles and recycled pieces to fill the canvas.

Once the canvas is covered with all the right pieces, her parent helps her with the glazing process to clear coat the picture, which takes about three days to harden.

Finally, Nelson gets the artwork professionally framed.

In light of the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant, Nelson felt inspired to create a memorial piece of the NBA legend.

Nelson is a basketball player herself and spent more than two weeks creating his portrait.

Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash last month.

A public memorial is being held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24.

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