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I’m a huge Detroit Red Wings fan, so of course I had to find a way to incorporate that into my art, which led to the “Legends” series from June 5.

“Legends” – created June 5, 2021. Acrylic on canvas.

I wanted to see if my method would lend itself to using stencils to block off whitespace and if whatever the stencil’s design was would still be legible. For a first attempt at that, I figured numbers in the style used on the Red Wings’ jerseys made sense as there were no fine details that might get lost. Having decided that, I made it an eight-piece set with each of Detroit’s retired jersey numbers represented.

I didn’t want to freehand those stencils, so I got the Red Wings’ font, printed the numbers out, and cut them. I printed them on sticker sheet but the sticker wouldn’t hold to the canvas so I switched to spraying them down with pattern stick. Even that didn’t work well, so I’d likely try something else in a future attempt. It held long enough to finish everything, though.

It’s probably worth noting that I wasn’t trying to align everything perfectly, I was just eyeballing it. The 5 is low, the 7 ended up to the left a bit. That’s fine.

This was executed as an octaptych (actually, they were in a circle, as can be seen in the video below, so there aren’t really “ends” on it) but I don’t see it as needing to remain as such. Each piece stands on its own. Together, though, in numerical order, you can see patterns that flow from one canvas to the next. In particular, there’s one bold line that rises from 4, through 5, 7, 9, and 10. It’s there in 12, too, but not as prominent. Similarly, there’s a line that starts in 12 that can be traced through 19 and into 1. I really like that kind of thing.

I really love how this turned out and am already considering a companion piece, as I want to keep tweaking how those stencils work. I think I might do something entirely different first, though.

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