Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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The Mockers and Lionel Edwards

the mockers.lionel Mockers, 1925, by Lionel Edwards, gouache (click painting for a larger version)

In a recent Country Life article, Michael Clayton proclaims The Mockers by Lionel Edwards to be his favorite painting.

Clayton is former editor of Horse and Hound, author of numerous books, and well-known as Foxford for his long-running series of hunting reports in “Foxford’s Hunting Diary.” Clayton has probably hunted with every hunt in the UK over his long career as a sporting correspondent, and has personally known certainly all of the British contemporary artists of note. Because I respect Clayton’s opinion, because I’ve loved Lionel Edwards’s work ever since I first started hunting, and because I was sufficiently struck by the drama of the scene, I thought that Foxhunting Life readers might appreciate the painting as well.

“I have seen foxes ‘mocked’ in this way by birds,” says Clayton in the Country Life article. “It symbolises just how tough nature can be.”

Indeed, the fox is not only running from a pack of hounds, seen as mere white dots in the far distance at the left, but is being cruelly mobbed by the diving, swarming crows. The masterful rendering of the landscape under a somber sky, typical to the English Shires, was one of Lionel Edwards’s special talents. What was not so typical was this view of quarry and birds in the foreground, with horses and hounds—Edwards’s usual subjects—mere suggestions in the background.

JoAnne Helfert Sullam Fuses Art and Activism

the foxThe Fox, bronze. See more examples of Ms. Sullam's art on her website; she is represented by the Chisholm Gallery.Born in Brooklyn, New York, JoAnne Helfert Sullam is a celebrated animal and wildlife artist. Her award-winning works have been featured in the New York Times, Who's Who in America, Art Business News, “The Best of Sporting Art” in Polo Players magazine, and on the on the cover of The Chronicle of the Horse. She received Special Congressional Recognition for Work in the Arts from then U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ms. Sullam's paintings and sculptures have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and cultural centers thoughout the country.

An advocate for conservation, Ms. Sullam also writes, lectures, and produces films about wild and domestic animals. She is the author of a children's book and has interviewed personalities such as Richard Gere, Bobby Kennedy Jr., and concert pianist/animal activist, Helene Grimaud.

Beth Carlson's Fox Paintings

fox tales.small.carlson

Look no further than Foxhunting Life’s Bookstore for a collection of Beth Carlson’s fox paintings in coffee-table book format. Each full-page painting—many in private collections and reproduced in full color on substantial, coated paper stock—is accompanied by a short essay by the artist explaining its history.

Reviewing Fox Tales for us last February, Martha Woodham wrote, "It’s not often that art lovers get to spend time with an artist to learn about the background of a painting, to discover insights into the thinking behind the work. But a lovely new book by Beth Carlson is like a walk through a gallery of her paintings with the Maine artist as your guide.”

William Dunlap: The Walker Foxhound as an Allegory

dunlap“Dunlap” by William Dunlap; foreword by Julia Reed, essay by J. Richard Gruber; Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2006; available at Amazon

William Dunlap is an important contemporary artist of the South with a powerful affinity for southern landscapes and Walker foxhounds. Dunlap’s work may be seen in many prestigious collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Corcoran Collection of the National Gallery of Art.

His book, Dunlap, features more than one hundred works, produced over a thirty-year period. It is published in a trade hardback and a limited edition of two hundred signed, bound-in-linen covers, housed in a matching linen-covered clamshell box. A signed, numbered print featuring four Walker foxhounds is included in the box. The book's cover features a surrealist landscape with a white Walker foxhound, Delta Dog Trot, appearing ready to climb right out of the painting, a nod to nineteenth century trompe l’oeil techniques. The painting, “Delta Dog Trot, Landscape Askew” hangs at the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Dunlap’s grandfather was “a foxhunter of the old school,” Dunlap writes. “He bred and hunted generations of pure blood Walker Hounds. With names like Lucky, Mary, Speck, Sally and Bo, these dogs were all legs, lungs, nose and heart. They lived to run, but spent most of their lives laying around the kennel, eating, sleeping, stretching and occasionally giving off the deep-throated mouth that would send any fox in earshot scurrying for the nearest hole.