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Fox Light

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Back at the beginning of October last year it looked like summer was never going to end and there were still flowers in the pots on our terrace. The trees were in full leaf and had yet to turn. Dawn and dusk produced spectacular skies.

This painting arose out of my recent memory of that time and is the second painting where I have experimented with blocks of colour without any graphic enhancement. I reduced the sky to a block of a single colour without all the streaking of colour that is there in reality and I eliminated the gaps and holes that allows it to peep through the edge of the trees when they are in full leaf.

This is the view from my studio. The shapes are graphically determined, so that the trees and sky occupy a 60 cm square at the top of the space and the terrace and lawn occupy two sliding wedges in the bottom 20 centimetres.

I have painted theses tree before. See my "Chapel View" and "Chapel View January", articulating the tree trunks and layers foliage, but here I have reduced the shape of the foliage to large elementary shapes framing the sky and hills. The curved backlit shapes on the left contrast with the severe wedge of dark foliage on the right. The various hedges run in a horizontal band above the bright green and pink triangles forming the lawn and terrace. At the left hand end of this band there is a cypress bush and in the gap between it and the yew hedge to the right a large dog fox emerges.

He is a more recent visitor as we get into the mating season but I have shown him emerging from a point where all the wildlife enters onto the lawn. Tracks in the recent frosts confirm this is quite a busy highway so he was probably using the same route back at the time when the sky went pink.

The rhyming between his coat colour and the colour of the sky gave me my title. In the back of my mind were the words Prince Philip is said to have uttered to his son as he was about to go on yet another royal visit… “Wear the fox hat”, but I did not want any trouble with Palace!

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