The vast sky of East Anglia, the flatness and loneliness of the fenns, and the beauty of the horse and the costume of the huntsman were what I wanted to bring to this painting. At this moment both the rider and the horse are alerted by the distant cry of the fox. Not hard to show for the rider, simply turn him towards the imagined sound. But for the horse I wanted to do something different. I needed to engage you, the viewer, by having the horse look you right in the eye while his right ear is turned in the same direction as the huntsman’s gaze. There is no fear in the horses eye, I am simply showing that he is aware of you.
Painting a dapple grey is an interesting problem. Describing the three dimensional weight of the animal is more difficult when the surface colours are varied and broken up. It took many tries before I felt that I had got it right.