I tried to imbue the whole of this painting with a sense of the beauty of continuity and flow of the natural world, and something about the wondrous inter-connectedness of the natural world. (A constantly recurring theme in my work.) But I don’t have the words to describe this, which I why I paint it.
Back in 2012 I had been observing autumn more closely than ever before: the conkers, the pine cones, the birds arriving from Scandinavia, and of course, the unmissable change in the trees from green to red, yellow and orange and finally leafless.
These observations, together with a few trips to the local bird reserve at Otmoor, chiefly to watch starling murmurations, inspired me to attempt a landscape almost without any green. ‘Autumn fox’ is a large canvas (for me) at 999mm x 405mm.
In it you can see a small deceit of lapwings flying in to roost as the day turns to night. Three greylag geese rest in a muddy field near the riverbank. A big red fox seeks out a meal, perhaps some tasty blackberries? The bulrushes are in particularly fine form.
The stalks and dried seed heads of umbelliferous plants (wild, carrot, cow parsley, angelica and the like) have intrigued me hugely this year and so these feature prominently. I only know they are ‘umbelliferae’ because my late father, a botanist, often referred to plants using latin family names. Yes, dad, I was listening!
The original painting is now in a private collection in East Sussex.