Today's colour palette is brought to you by the creamsicle - and boy, did I ever have a hankerin' for one! This week's challenge has been in mixing new colours and precisely re-mixing previous colours for touch-ups. It has been very rewarding to fill in those final empty spaces on the top half - almost there! I think I should have bought shares in painters tape before I began, though. The taping process has been time consuming but it's worth it to get the results I desire.
Make a trip down to the gallery at MacDonald Island tomorrow night to watch me tackle the rest of Foxy Loxy's knobbly head and the method behind all this taping madness! There will be a number of us at work as well as an exhibition of finished foxes in the gallery. You will find the opening in the Community Gallery - the hallway just off the fitness centre upstairs. The artists at work will be in the Syne Room, the last room in the hallway. Looking forward to seeing you there!
I am tickled pink to be included as one of four local artists featured in the latest issue of YMM (Your McMurray Magazine)! David Ball, Liana Wheeldon, Russell Thomas and I had the honour of creating artwork for the Top Ten Newsmakers of the year. Last Thursday evening was the Holiday Party and unveiling of the issue at the Gallery at Frames and More. Pick up your hard copy of the magazine, check out the stunning portraits by my fellow artists and find out who made the top ten list!
I painted the inside of a fox's nostril today. True story.
The adventures with tape continue and I can finally see the end of stage one coming around the corner. Taping takes nearly as much time as painting - it's like a puzzle and as long as I stick to the plan, each piece falls into place. I had a bit of a marathon session today, which I've been doing my best to avoid. As I contorted my body into all sorts of unnatural angles and held it there for a while, I thought to myself, "This is why I workout - so I can paint." Today I created a system to help me remember all my colour mixing for when I have to remix and touch-up, as well as decided on a three colour maximum for reusing tape before it gets too difficult to discern where the lines are.
Plus, I got a thumbs up from a cute little passerby, so my approval rating looks good in the 3-5 age category. A thumbs up and a nostril full of paint (the fox's not mine) - pretty good day, I'd say.
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!
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:
10" x 20"
acrylic on canvas
Erin Stinson 2014
“We condemn a man for stumbling this morning, but we didn’t see the blows he took yesterday. We judge a woman for the limp in her walk, but cannot see the tack in her shoe. We mock the fear in their eyes, but have no idea how many stones they have ducked or darts they have dodged.
Are they too loud? Perhaps they fear being neglected again. Are they too timid? Perhaps they fear failing again. Too slow? Perhaps they fell the last time they hurried. You don’t know. Only one who has followed yesterday’s steps can be their judge.
Not only are we ignorant about yesterday, we are ignorant about tomorrow. Dare we judge a book while chapters are yet unwritten? Should we pass a verdict on a painting while the artist still holds the brush? How can you dismiss a soul until God’s work is complete?”
In The Grip of Grace – Max Lucado
Last night "Hope in the Art" marked the beginning of Homelessness Awareness Week. The event took place at the Keyano Art Gallery and was a flurry of creative energy and activity. I arrived to see quite the variety of work displayed on the walls, people connecting, others contemplating and creating, as well as a number of musicians performing.
With every art focused event I participate in I am amazed at the creativity and talent in our community - and how hungry our art community is for these opportunities to connect and collaborate. And as the event wrapped up my thoughts transitioned from the stigmatization of homelessness to the importance of community. When we have a place to belong, just as we are, it can make a world of difference. This goes for every last one of us, no matter the struggle, no matter the battles and baggage, no matter the triumphs and successes.
I am thankful to have been a part of "Hope" - it never ceases to amaze me how the arts can reach out and bring people together. And I am feeling particularly grateful today that I have experienced true "community" in my life - places and people that have accepted me as I am, forgiven my weaknesses and encouraged me to stay true to my unique self. We need to do that for one another and we rarely do. I feel both inspired and convicted.
Can you imagine a world where grace, patience and forgiveness ran freely?
The Aurora Borealis is incredible - colours dancing across the dark sky, in their silent choreography. As all beautiful things in nature do, it causes me to reflect on a loving God. I believe that all things are created with intention and purpose and value. Awesome displays like the Northern Lights serve as a reminder of a Creator who cares for all that He has made. I was continually reminded of this as I worked on the oil painting above, hence it's title, "You Know Me".
Living in the north, I do not grow weary of seeing the aurora. Lately I have been particularly swept up in intrigue, happily working on aurora pieces. I have been experimenting with different interpretations of the way I "see" the lights. The Northern Lights are an experience that is a challenge to capture in any 2D form but perhaps that is part of the attraction!
On display @ MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery now through April 10th