Diary Memory – March 2015

The old man wakes way before dawn.
He reads for a while.
He researches Tang Band full range speaker drivers, but only briefly.
The galahs awake in the trees outside.
The skies pinken.
He watches a bit of the news on ABC 24 using his iPad.
He allows his daughter to have first access to the shower so she can spend all the time she needs to get ready to set off for a day at university.
While she’s showering he tidies the kitchen a bit whilst looking forward to the warm trickling waters from the shower-head.
She finishes in the shower.
The sleeping wife springs from the mattress and enters the shower while his back is briefly turned.
Oh the cruel irony of it all.
Another week starts.

Memories and Awards

From my diary – November 2011

“On Monday I received an award from the ‘African Field Conference 2011’ in recognition for my service with the African communities (Sudanese ).

The citation reads -“For your contribution to the empowerment and commitment to the African Community“.

I have to admit that I was a wee bit embarrassed to be singled out in such a way and felt a bit guilty that I have been unable to continue my service with them.

But at the same time, tinged with the sin of pride, I am very touched and grateful for the award and my years with the Sudanese people.

(I have to say I do miss the Africans).

A good Birthday Present with lots of memories.”

The memories live on.

Michael and Me – The Dynamic Duo

Another True Story

The Compliment ….

She came up to me and she said –
“I’m not saying that you are completely insane, but you are more insane than anyone else I know”!

Thank you … I am reaching my goal!

‘The Aged Pastor Dreams He’s Free and Wandering In A Forest’
– coloured ink, pencil, and acrylic on a piece of unstretched canvas
– roughly 15 X 24 cm.

A Little Shard of My Former Life

JULY 10 – 2013

Morning light on my wall – 7.30am.
Sky pale blue … grass white … dog unnaturally enthusiastic (and hungry, he claims).
Wooly slippers – fingerless gloves … New Guinea mission beanie.
Last night meeting hangover – worse than alcohol.
A study to write.
Hospital to contact.
Meet with my colleagues.
Pretend to be not confused.
Darjeeling in a cup.

My Studio – July 10th 2013

The Awful Artful Case Of The Missing Mojo

I’m bored with my landscape impressions, expressions, and abstractions.
My oil paints and canvasses don’t have that tempting siren call they should have.
No need to bind me to a mast with my ears plugged with wax to stop me answering the call to spend my precious time doodling and splurging in my studio.
My brushes and knives sit idle. My turps evaporates alone.

It’s a post-mid-life-crisis… surely that’s what it is – introspective ennui.

The last exhibition was praised by a good number of people, both in words and by a few sales.

Yes, but for me, seeing my paintings hanging together was something of a let-down
– it’s not that they were poor paintings – people assure me that they are good, some “very good”.
It’s just that they made me feel a bit 😑
(flat, bored, disappointed, unsatisfied.)

An experienced artist friend tells me that this is normal. It’s the usual feeling experienced by artists after an exhibition, and it’s good news.

This certainly has been my experience after the few exhibitions in which I have participated.
But “good news”?
Maybe, maybe not.
Perhaps this let-down is the thing that keeps the creative juices flowing.
I hope so.

Really, I want to get on with painting new works, but I just can’t get my mojo working.
The blues are all very well, but I should use the yellows and reds too.

I’m thinking I should explore semi-figurative abstractions more like this one from 2016.

The Mamre Incident’ c 31X24cm (painted surface) – oil on Arches Oil Paper – Ant Fox 2016

… or even like this (but better, of course 🙂 )

Trees and Rocks … from my sketch pad – sometime in the 1970s

Or am I whining about nothing?
Just wasting my time?

Photographic Special Defects

For many years – From about 1969 until the mid 1990s I processed all my own black and white photos.
I toyed with colour processing and printing, but black and white was my passion.
I loved my Pan F and FP4.
I carried my Pentax cameras everywhere.
Occasionally I borrowed a large format camera (including, a couple times, a very nice heavy Linhof plate camera), but essentially I was a 35mm man.
I had access to a real darkroom equipped with a Leitz enlarger.

Joy in the Early 70s

Ah – those were the days!

Now I have no access to a darkroom, and I confess that I lack the spirit and will to set one up.
But nowadays, I have digital photography to amuse me.
I have an iPhone SE, which has a pretty good camera, a Pentax DSLR, and a Sony a6000 mirrorless (a lovely digital camera) … and an iMac computer to play upon.

Digital Sunflower

No, it isn’t the same as the good old film days but it keeps me happy, and some of the images are really very good.
The shooting limitation of film is gone – a two headed coin. With the ability to shoot hundreds of shots in any session we can get a bit careless, but at the same time good old aunty serendipity can present us with one or two sensational shots from all those many.

Digital Landscape

And the processing is so simple.
There are many apps and the like that let a fella like me do all the tweaking and bending and distorting that I would have once upon a time done with double exposures, maskings, chemicals, solarising, and all that fun jazz.

On Reflection, Joy is in Two Minds

Yes, it is cheating. Yes, back in the 70s I would have sneered. But now, I’m a happy wee grey haired digital photoist … having fun with a camera, computer, and cup of tea close at hand.

He’s cracked I tell you!

Who’d have thunk it?


I have been thinking about mice. In particular I have been thinking about the scurrying, furry, scrabbling, poo-laden, smelly mouse plague we had a few years ago when we were still living in the old manse in Tanunda, all too near the heavily moused wheat fields and vineyards.

I was so moved by the extravagant mouseness of that month that I wrote a wee poem to celebrate … an ode to Autumness and all its little wonders.
I call it “Autumn”


Oh to be in Tanunda
Now the season’s changed.
Autumn, the time of wonder
When rodents go deranged.
Autumn, mellow mousy time
They scurry without fear
Perpetrating pantry crime
Eating anything that’s near.
Oh to be in Tanunda 
With a mouse in every trap
A time of mellow wonder
Flavoured with mousy crap.

Breakfast Thoughts

When I set up the ‘Foxings’ blog, I said to myself, “When I have a thought worth thinking, I’ll blog about it in this blog.”
It’s been almost a whole month since I have set finger to keypad.
Thoughts don’t seem to happen very often these days …
My excuse is the heat – it has been very, very hot here this February, and the brain doesn’t work well when overheated.

The news on February 26th is that I still haven’t written down a blogable thought …
So here is a (bad) poem I composed at Mercato in Campbelltown South Australia whilst having a lovely coffee after a lovely breakfast a year or two back.

I call it – “Sixty Three Syllables Written In Praise Of Italian Breakfasts.
and it goes like this –

Uova Alla Napoletana
Never cold muesli with banana –
Rather an espresso heart-starter,
Then Pancetta Affumicata
With eggy sauce made with tomato
That’s the best breakfast at Mercato
Uova Alla Napoletana

OK – it’s not a prize winner, but what can you expect from a cafe doodle?