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Ian Stephens - Pigs


‘“Those are good pigs,” he said, “aren’t they?”

If he had said they were bad pigs I should have agreed with him equally. Their shape meant nothing to me.

“Good length,” he explained, “broad in the back and not too much head.”

I strove to see it, but no person can appreciate the points of a pig till he has dwelt long with them.
Looking back, I cannot tell at what point I began to know a good pig from a bad one.

The farmer’s eye is as subtle as the artist’s.’


When Adrian Bell left the bohemian life of London to work on a Suffolk farm, he had a lot to learn. But he grew to know and love the land, and the animals that lived on it, as he explains in his memoir Corduroy. Artist Ian Stephens has spent a lot of time exploring the countryside too, and these pigs, which first appeared in issue 27 of Slightly Foxed, look very good to us.


About the contributor

Ian Stephens was born in North Buckinghamshire in 1940. He studied illustration and lettering at Northampton School of Art and started engraving immediately on leaving. He has worked as an art teacher, a graphic designer and illustrator. His main concern is landscape and its form, uses and denizens. He says ‘I try not to let the medium or process get in the way. Though I enjoy engraving and printing wood blocks immensely, it is only the medium through which I choose to explore my ideas; a secondary rather than a primary consideration’. He is now semi-retired but produces drawings for The Jackdaw and is still engraving.

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