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Driven to Create: All things between heaven and earth…

are encompassed within the art practices of these two fascinating artists, Christine Long and Del Foxton. Their introductions to the art world came later in their lives than most and arose out of more complex motivations than to express themselves creatively.

Del Foxton found herself appalled at the extent of waste generated by a family, from the vegetative matter in their gardens to the ubiquitous paper waste in their household. She eventually turned her recycling efforts into a repurposing venture and embraced the ancient Chinese art of papermaking. This then led to her exploration of creative expression using her hand-made paperas the medium for her sculptures.

Adagio Studio, Del Foxton’s arts business, follows her to three countries where she continues her recycling and artistic endeavours as she and her husband migrated from Mono, northeast of Orangeville, to the Grand Bahamas, then back to Florida on an annual basis. She is celebrating the 17th anniversary of her arts practice and setting up of Adagio Studio this year.  

As Del reflects on seminal influences for her arts journey, she remarks on the friendships as Vitamin F. From welcoming her into the papermaking field to the artists encouraging her, she has been sustained by the artists and arts communities. Likewise, her involvement with children has fueled her own desire to explore as she revels in the freshness and fearlessness of children’s approach to creative expression.

The art pieces of Del Foxton embody visual textures and organic shapes. While made to hang on a wall, they are extremely sculptural in nature, dramatic and compelling in their presence.  

Christine’s introduction to visual arts came through a cousin, a renowned printmaker and recently deceased. She encouraged Chris to learn about printmaking as a form of therapy for rehabilitating her cognitive processing following her sudden onset of Multiple Sclerosis. The vastness of choice for expression within the arts field was perfect for Chris.

She has gone on from printmaking to acrylic pourings and acrylic painting. Colour is the predominant element in Chris’s work, followed by bold, gestural markings. Her assurance and measure of comfort in spontaneous expression pull the viewer into her world.  

Her current body of work just released is Colours of Grace, a new series of nine paintings that represent Christine’s deep faith and thankfulness for the grace she has experienced in her journey with Christ. Whilst in the throes of creating this body of work, she needed to think deeply about colour.  

Part of her research was spent mixing and searching for the colours used to make some of the old, illuminated biblical texts and icons. During this phase of the process, she felt like a chemist. Then on a more personal note, it became which colours best represented her journey? Were some truer to her experience than others? Which conveyed solace while others gave that sense of strength? In the end, Christine chose colours that were deep and rich; then, she let the paint and the Spirit take over to create The Colours of Grace.

Del Foxton shares, “I am delighted that in my small way I can lessen my carbon footprint while creating wall sculptures to enhance the homes of my friends and family. I invite like-minded people to share in my journey and if I can create an environmentally friendly masterpiece for you please let me know delfoxton@gmail.com. My artistry is online at here and in art galleries in Canada, USA and The Bahamas.”

Christine’s work may be viewed with the ArtTrendZ Collective on their Facebook page. She may be contacted by email at long@rogers.com.  

This small retrospective of these two artists’ journeys shows us indeed what beauty there is to behold in all things between heaven and earth! 


Driven to create …© is a column Connie Munson, local photographer, artist, and writer, has developed to share an inside look at the creative process as it manifests within its larger community. She is a director on the board of Headwaters Arts, which has their gallery in the Alton Mill Arts Centre in Caledon, a member of several other arts organizations, and may be reached at ellie73m@gmail.com.


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