You probably remember Dave Fox and his wife Angela from their years as owners of Bassline Fitness in downtown Kirkland. You could often find Dave sweating and pedaling his spin bike on stage while motivating large groups of fitness junkies in their signature "Mash-Up" classes. This dynamic duo opened their first gym, Gorilla Sports, in 1995 and then continued to open 13 more gyms all over the US (and sold some along the way). This magical formula of challenging classes with great music and an upbeat, high-energy vibe created quite a local following. But things changed for Dave one day in 2017 when he suffered from a blood clot in his right leg that had gone to his lung. He stopped teaching to focus on his recovery and then, you guessed it, a pandemic shut us all down. Bassline included.
Covid did have a few upsides, one being the self-discovery and emergence of talents and exploration many of us never had time for before (you'd think I would be a better cook by now?) Dave always had an interest in art, but never before did he have the time to let this creative side of him unfold. Years used to go by between his art projects, so when he stepped away from the gyms, he was excited to give oil painting a go. He said, "the only way to learn how to paint is to paint." He started out doing YouTube and art instructional videos and is enjoying the evolution of his artistic style. Oil is a slow-drying medium and typically a piece takes him 3-4 weeks to complete. Dave starts with a photo that he edits digitally before using that as a reference for the final piece that he will layer and create with his brush. A spare bedroom in their home has been transformed into his studio where he puts on some music and can quickly lose himself in 3-4 hours of painting. His dogs, Kai and Kula (photo), seem quite content in this space also.
When Dave takes or finds a photo to paint he just asked himself, "can I see myself painting this?" It's whatever strikes his fancy. Then when it feels right, he builds his plan, starting from the back, then the forefront, and then refining everything at the end. Many of his works are from around Kirkland in familiar settings we all know and love such as T-dock, the stairs on Central, and the blow-up floaties at Via Lago. Some take more time than others, like the big bear (photo above, not a Kirkland bear, LOL) that has the detail of hairlike brush strokes to make him pop off the canvas. Dave also does commission pieces and lots of his art can be put in different formats such as bags, phone cases, etc. Check out his website at davefoxstudio.com. I was lucky enough to score a pack of Kirkland-themed blank greeting cards (final photo above, cards are $6/ea, and various seasons!), a great gift for a fellow Kirklander. You can follow Dave on Facebook here.