It is known that I am a wine lover. For me, wine is not so much an alcoholic drink, but a nice addition to a good meal. Wine is culture. One of the collectors of my prints is the owner of a great winery in British Columbia, which connects with the wineries in Washington State. He explained that in his winery he often sees foxes who are attracted by the ever-present California quail. When prey is present, predators will appear!
The owner of the winery proposed that I do a painting of the combination of fox and grapes. I thought it was a very attractive subject. One important element attracted me to accept this commission and that was the memories I had of going to museums with my father. On these visits to the museums, I would admire the incredible, detailed still-life paintings by the old masters of the 18th century. As a small boy, I couldn’t believe that someone could paint grapes that looked as if you could pick them off the canvas. Now the chance and the challenges were there for me to do the same. It was a real challenge, much more difficult than other backgrounds. Working with sun and shadow effects didn’t make the job easier. Every grape had to be perfectly round with sharp edges. Lots of sketches and studies had to be done for the position of the fox in the scene. The orange of the fox makes a lovely contrast with the dark blue of the grapes. The color of the greenish support plays a big role in the scene and my enjoyment was complete by painting the leaves, turning yellowish, where the sun provided backlight.
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