Vixen (Inari)

Vixen (Inari) cut paper art by Patrick Gannonsize: 17.2 x 29 cm ( about 6 3/4 x 11 1/2″ )
medium: cut and torn paper on wood
private collection
click here or the image for large-scale foxiness

Blinded by cleverness into seeing only cleverness, undone by our own cunning.

The fox makes a great symbol, from Aesop on up ’til now. No other two-legger or four-legger embodies that same complicated and conflicted mix of clever, cunning, hunger, pride, independence and nobility. They serve beautifully as both hero and villain, sage and fool, in just about every culture. Look at Inari, Japanese god…or goddess of…well, just about everything. Plus, they just look awesome.

Like Words of Carrion Comfort, Vixen is a little bit of an experiment with shape and texture. Where I used mostly color combinations to try to bring out a softness in Carrion, here I combined that with a little bit of torn paper and some translucency.

Vixen (Inari) is also part of The Way of Flow running from December 4, 2009 – January 2, 2010 at C.A.V.E. Gallery, Venice, CA.


  1. benconservato’s avatar

    I haven’t come to visit for ages, but I am always confronted with the most amazing things when I do. Wonderful! I love the translucency it makes it very interesting.

  2. studio lolo’s avatar

    This is a beauty patrick! I haven’t seen you for a while.

    happy holidays to you and your family ;)

  3. Colin’s avatar

    Dear Patrick,

    A very pretty companion piece! Excellent work on the interweaving of the tail and the hair (and the grain of the wood seems to be perfect for the way you composed the face).

    I was wondering…do you use any sort of lacquer or resin to cover these when they’re mounted on wood? It seems like it would dirty or weather easily, when something like this ought to last generations.

    1. Patrick’s avatar

      Thanks Colin,
      A lacquer, resin, or acrylic medium would protect the piece, but they would also alter the colors and ruin the texture and finish of the paper. It was a tough choice, but in the end, I decided not to coat them with anything.

      Happily, the paper tends to be pretty resilient if you treat it nicely. I follow the same rules as for gremlins: avoid direct sunlight, don’t get them wet, and no food after midnight. For a piece like this, I’d probably frame it in a shadowbox, maybe uv resistant glass for the long haul. Happily, I’ve only had one piece get wrecked in the 10 years I’ve been doing this (my god…it’s been 10 years?!?). I spilled ink on that one… (,_,)

    2. Nancy Bea’s avatar

      Super! If you haven’t already done so, you might enjoy reading “Lady into Fox” by David Garnett. In fact, at first I thought this was an illo for a reprint of that little masterpiece!

    3. Patrick’s avatar

      Thanks for visiting, (or re-visiting) Emma, Nancy, and lolo!
      Great to see y’all again. I’ll have to check out “Lady into Fox”. I’m always looking for new books to have no time to read ;) !

    4. Jasjyot Singh Hans’s avatar

      Exquisite! I love all the detail on the fox!

    5. Jean’s avatar

      Patrick, I’m a long time lurker, always enjoying your art, and I managed to see your show in Venice last week. It was great! I loved your images and the paper is gorgeous in real life which doesn’t always come across looking at the screen.
      I only wish I could have afforded something more than a print. (There’s only one left, btw, after I bought the Fertile Breath.) Most of the originals have sold too. The CAVE gallery is a good match for your art and I’m putting it on my list of things to do again when I’m in the LA area. Great work! Jean

      1. Patrick’s avatar

        Thanks Jean! It’s so nice to get an update on the show. I wish I coulda been there to meet and great and talk about the work. Oh well. And I couldn’t agree more; there’s a subtlety to the paper that a scanner can’t grasp and a monitor can’t project. I think it has something to do with the way the papers reflect light and how that changes as you move around the work.

      2. damon’s avatar

        wow that is very nice

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