Foxy Loxy is a test in patience! However, as slow as the process continues to be, I am pleased with how he is coming along and am choosing to trust the process. It simply can't be rushed and this is a great lesson for me in our "fast food" culture. My usual pattern is to start a project and neglect everything else until it is finished. I am not doing that this time and it has been a refreshing pattern change. Each work period I begin by taping off the next layer to be painted, making sure that I cover any existing paint in its path. It is time consuming but I am getting the clean lines that I want and I simply wouldn't be able to do this freehand. And after 3-4 coats I peel off the tape (which is extremely gratifying - what is it about peeling off tape or the plastic on a new screen that makes you feel like you've accomplished something deeply satisfying?! Humans are odd.) Let dry, clean brushes, start mixing paint for the next layer, and repeat!
Some changes in plans kept me away from Foxy Loxy longer than expected but I was surprised to find that my first masking tape application wasn't a bust. The room where the sculptures are kept is right off the pool so I expected to find all the tape to have fallen off but somehow the humidity actually helped secure it! Right on! (Wow, not sure if I've ever used that expression before, but I like it.) : - )
I knew that the process would be slow but he's coming along. It will require taping and painting (about 3-4 coats for the yellows), letting these dry and repeat with the next colour. It's good to have a plan of attack and have the "big picture" in mind, but the secret to not becoming overwhelmed is sticking to that plan! (A note to self as I begin to become overwhelmed with how much there is to do!)
I don't think I've ever shared my work in progress, certainly not as I'm working on it, so this is a rather vulnerable but fun exercise for me! This summer I loved seeing the progress of the artists in residence and I discovered that many artists feel a little self-conscious about showing their work before it's complete. But there was so much value for me to see them at work and such a delight to finally see the polished pieces. I do confess I took a peek at the other foxes in progress and they are looking fantastic!
The Miquwahkesis Project: Day One
Last month I submitted a proposal for "The Miquwahkesis Project", where artists were asked to design artwork for fibreglass fox sculptures that will be installed along a public path. (Note: Miquwahkesis is the word for "red fox" in Cree.) I am thrilled to have been among those chosen to participate in this public art installation! Now comes the challenge of taking my 2D design and translating it to the 3D sculpture.
I began on Monday, acquainting myself with my new fox friend, who I have affectionately named, "Foxy Loxy". There were challenges I expected and others that I had to troubleshoot before I begin painting later this week. My design has many layers so careful planning is a must. I'll be sharing the journey over the next couple of months as Foxy Loxy becomes dressed up in my design. I am looking forward to seeing the other selected artists at work too - the designs I've seen are wonderfully eclectic. What a great time to be part of the growing art community in Fort McMurray!
P.S. The red fox is a well-loved photography subject of mine. Here are three of my favourite images: