The Art of Idleness – Trinity College Fox Illustration

Fox and cub under the birch tree, Trinity College

Set under the Erman’s birch tree the renowned Trinity College fox sits idle with its cub amongst the wild grass and wildflowers. The title is inspired by Oscar Wilde’s quote:-

The exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach.

Oscar Wilde

I love stories around places two nature stories about Trinity inspired this piece, the story of Sam, the Trinity fox, on social media and news stories, and also a story about a rare orchid found in the main square. During no mow May in 2023 a rare orchid, the broad-leaved hellaborine was spotted. See RTE news story. Growing amongst the wild clover and forget-me-nots this orchid needs a particular type of fungi to grow and botanists have found that this is linked to the underground root system of birch trees.  This big old birch tree (This a great article about this Erman’s Birch in Trinity) is the perfect spot for the Trinity fox to chill out and looking at the Campanile, the centrepiece of Trinity College’s Front Square.

This piece uses a combination of detailed pen sketching for the foxes and buildings and digital illustration for the scene and foliage.