Last week I went to the place where I replenish my stone stock and found this great piece of stone which was face-down at the time. As I turned it over this is the first thing I saw: an owl looking down.
After gathering a few more pieces that were interesting I went back home, and after unloading the stones, I decided to take this one right into the shop. Sure enough — I could see the owl as plain as day. So the grinding began. Once finished, I looked it over and saw that it needed a foot … a foot that was caught in a moment. I decided to have the foot with its claws curled toward the pads, as if he is just about to grab something but then hesitates.
Once I had the pieces completed it was time to inlay them. At that point I didn’t have any pupils added to the eyes, just plain pieces of wood shaped to look like the eyes. It wasn’t until then that I had this thought to paint the eyes… and it was me who hesitated at that point! I mulled the idea over for a few days and eventually decided to go with the painting idea, although I still wasn’t completely sure of the outcome.
As it turned out, I am really pleased with the eyes, as they give a stronger feeling to the expression. He is hesitating… hesitating at what? It’s kind of ironic that I completed this piece at the very same time the banks in the United States are going through their troubles — I guess people are hesitating on where they will go from here.
Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.
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