Defending the Paint (2014)

At nine my brother and I fell in love with basketball, quickly moving up the ranks in city leagues, leading our teams to championship wins. But as short, white, Canadian kids, over time we realized our NBA dreams were unrealistic, so basketball gave way to art, but I still enjoy shooting hoops. For a few years I had the idea of painting an old basketball net with a bird perched on the rim, a sight I often see from my studio windows on the half-court in our backyard. I chose an American Goldfinch, whose striking yellow colour would complement the navy backboard square, and positioned him metaphorically guarding his key on a forgotten basketball court. While it's not too Canadian of me to have basketball as my favourite sport (instead of hockey) the game was actually invented by a Canadian, Dr. James Naismith, in Springfield, Massachusetts, over a century ago.
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Defending the Paint

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