View at Bogay near Derry (river Foyle in distance), 1997, oil on canvas, 120 x 85 cm
This is one of the loveliest and most impressive views close to Derry/Londonderry. It is the view at Bogay, just over the border in the Republic of Ireland. We look down towards the village of Killea situated just behind the low hils forming the middle-ground. In the distance to our left can be seen the river Foyle at St. Johnston. In the distance to our right but invisible in the haze is Letterkenny. Behind us, should we look over our right shoulder, we would see the stone age fort of Grianan perhaps a half mile away. I painted a picture of Grianan in 1998.
Night is coming and the sky above St. Johnston is darkening. That over Letterkenny is still bright with shafts of sunlight streaming through the regularily spaced summer clouds. The patchwork of yellow green lights and dark green shadows emphasise the rolling surface of the land. It is a landscape of grass and hedges and trees in hedgerows and small woods. One such is in the foreground of the picture. It is a square copse originating from trees that had once been planted, as was the custom here, around the farm house to protect it. Now the copse is a phesant hatchery.
I had spoken with the farmer once when drawing the trees from close up and he took me to have a look. There within the trees are large wire mesh cages where the young phesants are kept. The cages are needed to protect them, from foxes and the buzzards which abound here. Five of these may be seen circling the copse.