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One evening while we were still in Schefferville a guy named Jim came to the door asking for me. Jim’s a really fascinating guy; he lived in Schefferville back in the 1970s, working in the original iron ore mine. He had tons of great stories about Schefferville’s glory days.

Lately he’s been staying at the McGill Subarctic Research Station, helping out the owner, Oksana, with handyman-type things she needs done. Oksana has the two large paintings I did of her dogs earlier this year, hanging in her dining room. Jim had seen these, as well as the remnants of the mural painting I’d done 2 years earlier for Pocket Vinyl’s music video to “Field Day”.

One day he was installing some new siding onto a house that Oksana owns and rents out, and got it into his head that one section of the house kind of reminded him of a feather in a cap. Remembering my artistic skills, he hopped a few blocks over to my parents’ place and asked me to come look at the house with him. After some discussion it was decided that I would paint a huge feather on the side of this house.

A few days later he called me up to McGill where he’d laid out the pieces of siding and some house paint, that way I could do the work inside instead of hanging precariously off the second story of a house in -50° weather. For inspiration and reference I pulled down a dream catcher with a large beautiful feather attached to it that Oksana had hanging in a window, and got to work sketching out an 8 foot tall feather.

Untitled-2Jim had adjusted his idea slightly and decided that, since Oksana works at the school in Kawawachikamach, maybe the feather could also represent a quill pen, complete with ink well.

After I completed the work (the whole thing took only about 3 hours) a day or two later Jim popped the siding up onto the house. It is pretty neat. I enjoy how it’s such an unusual adornment for a house, and I love that Jim had the idea, sought me out, and we were able to execute it fully. I need more people with unique ideas like this in my life.

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