Treeman Holding the Fox

TreemanHoldingTheFox_KirkhamThis image was based around the Treemen’s woods idea. Following on from the sketchbook images and pieces that were inspired by the combination of “Who Killed Cock Robin?” and “The Swineherd“.

When all this is over, said the swineherd,
I mean to retire, where
Nobody will have heard about my special skills
And conversation is mainly about the weather.

I intend to learn how to make coffee, as least as well
As the Portuguese lay-sister in the kitchen
And polish the brass fenders every day.
I want to lie awake at night
Listening to cream crawling to the top of the jug
And the water lying soft in the cistern.

I want to see an orchard where the trees grow in straight lines
And the yellow fox finds shelter between the navy-blue trunks,
Where it gets dark early in summer
And the apple-blossom is allowed to wither on the bough.

© Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Acts and Monuments. Dublin, The Gallery Press, 1972.


The image of the yellow fox and the navy trees inspired me to draw a lot of blue trees with foxes running in and out of them. The characters of the Fly, the Beetle and the Owl come into the background of this image, joined by some other insect friends. The surface is 2D but I wanted the turquoise beetles in the trees to have a cut out feel, as if they had been collaged on. The turquoise of the beetle is based on a turquoise ceramic Egyptian scarab beetle that was given to me by a friend returning from a visit there.