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Nature’s Path of the Inari Fox by Carly Robin

Original Acrylic Painting on Canvas 16" x 16"

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Nature’s Path of the Inari Fox

Carly Robin

Acrylic on Canvas

The deeper significance behind the title of my original abstract artwork is incredibly important to me as an artist. A gloomy, calming emotion came to me as I walked the pathway of the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto, Japan. I learned about Japanese folklore and legends from the tour. As an artist, this message inspired me to add the fox as a major theme in the artwork. The fox, known as the kitsune (?) in Japanese, is known for its messenger abilities, agility, and cunning intelligence in its natural habitat. The legend itself truly speaks to me. It demonstrates the value of bonds that are formed with animals and humans. Like the kitsune, I wanted to establish a great connection with the polite Japanese citizens during my stay. The kitsune is represented as a god who safeguards against harm and negativity. The fox established a connection to Shinto traditions and values. Examples are those associated with Japanese food and drink delicacies like rice, sake, and tea. I find it fascinating and heartwarming that the Japanese look up to a beautiful animal. The rain in Kyoto provides a connection to the natural world. This establishes the theme of the relationship between the paintings. Another message that my painting conveys to appreciate nature as much as you can. Japan is a great opportunity to view sights of nature that I will never forget. Nature reminds me of the moment I wanted to tear up happily at the sight of the shrine. Regarding my artistic components, I wanted to position the shrine off to the side, asymmetrical to the fox. I added a trace of the painting's contrasting red tint to the natural backdrop. I added the color of the red bib to the fox, as the color red symbolizes pushing away all evil. I was inspired by Becky McNabb’s work, as she explores movement and emotion throughout her work. Her physical way of utilizing textures opened my mind, I do not use texture often in my art work. Textural elements that I used were: drywall compound, sea salt, and various hues of green or yellow for the leaves, sponging/bubble wrap for the trees, and dry brush for the rocks. A common principle that I see is how abstract artists use shapes inside their artwork. I experimented with using cardboard to mold my asymmetrical shrine rather than painting to create it two-dimensional. Finally, to bring my paintings together in harmony, I used green tape to create a triangle. Triangular shapes are a key element if a fox were drawn geometrically. I believe that I have somewhat grown into a style of art that I do not often experience. I could not stop worrying that my paintings wouldn't turn out well. I learned that creating with progression and taking it one day at a time assisted me in creating my best abstract work.

Bowness High School 

4627 77 St NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2N6

PICK UP: Monday June 5 - Friday June 16 in the school's main office 

8:30am - 3:30pm (mon-fri)


Contact: Alison Martin
Email: avmartin@cbe.ab.ca
Phone: (403) 805-2546