The first time I remember seeing a fox up close was while I was walking in Barrie along one of my 'get away' trails and I noticed several photographers stationed around a tree. The were armed with chairs, fancy cameras with huge expensive lenses and looked like they had been there for several hours. Curious as ever I walked over and to my delight found them watching a fox den.
Sitting down in the grass beside them to watch I started to see little heads peak out and then the most beautiful rambunctious kits start running and playing around the opening of the den. Needless to say, I was in love.
My next few visits I armed myself with a book, my camera (just a simple one but it had a zoom) a camping chair, chocolate bar and water and proceeded to wait to see my new loves. My heart lifted and fluttered every time I saw them and I knew I wanted to paint as many as I could.
In my career I have been blessed with meeting the most wonderful people that have helped me along my art journey. One amazing couple that will always be in my heart is the Smiths*. They are phenomenal photographers that happen to be friends with my parents and after seeing a pet portrait I previously did they had asked me to do a multiple pet portrait of the many beautiful canines that they had owned throughout the years. This is how we first met and connected and I am so grateful for that day. The Smiths* believed in my artwork and myself well before I did. Both of them are amazingly supportive and helped me to take my first steps into the limelight as get over my fearful shy ways when it came to my artwork. After a few conversations together about these beautiful foxes they showed me images that they had taken, one of them being 'Newt' the runt of the fox litter (as named by Joy Smith*). The reference photo was taken by Joy* and with pleading eyes I asked if I could paint it. Being the amazingly supportive women she is she gave me an instant yes. That reference photo is what I used for the pastel piece 'Newt'.
My love of foxes has only continued to grow and one day I would love to do many more fox pieces. As Newt just seemed to flow straight from me onto the page. As soon as I began the art-piece I could not stop and hours flew by so easily. I actually took a video of the entire process of 'Newt' which has been time lapsed and placed on You-Tube. CLICK HERE to view the video and see the process of 'Newt'.
This piece will always be the piece that introduced me to my love of foxes and will be treasured forever in my heart.
*name changed for privacy reasons