“Boreal Huntress,” an acrylic painting inspired by a fox in the wild hunting for its offspring, is the latest offering from artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree.
It’s not an image from her imagination, but one she was able to home in on with her lens.
“I go out with my camera and animals are not always really cooperative, so you move around see what you can find,” she said. “So I pull into one of the parking spots on the Ingraham Trail, and she (the fox) is just at a distance. I put my window down and grab my camera then started to take a picture of her walking straight toward me.”
Lampi-Legaree was attracted by the composition of the fox trotting through the bushes as the lighting was advantageous.
“She was definitely out for hunting,” she said. “What appealed to me was I’ve got the light, which is flat. At that point, it made a really interesting composition.”
When she noticed the fox, it was still April and the animal was still retaining some of her winter fur.
“She is in a pretty interesting colour, so she must be one of the black kids, and you don’t get to see this type of colour here much often but only when they were kids, and that’s why I think I needed to start to paint this one in the first place,” she said.
A realist painter with 10 years of experience, Lampi-Legaree decided to go with a larger format, because she believes sometimes the image has to be large enough to convey a certain feeling. Her latest work was released on Dec. 24.
She got started in photography when she was 15. These days, she sees the camera as a great tool to help her capture moments that she can later paint on canvases.
”I spent a lot of time out in the wild taking pictures of the birds,”she said, “walking slowly, just listening, being patient — doing all those things and I got that amazing image so all the images have a story behind it, and I can tell you every single one. The final product wasn’t just a painting but part of the experience I had.”
Lampi-Legaree is planning work on another large format painting.