In Ross Jones’ painting “Temptation,” the artist captures a poignant moment in the life of Alice, his 10-year-old Labradoodle. The scene portrays Alice marooned in a tree hut, yearning for her prized tennis ball lying out of her reach. The late afternoon light hints at the possibility that she may be unable to retrieve her cherished toy before nightfall. The title “Temptation” aptly conveys Alice’s relationship with her toys, particularly the tennis ball, as she succumbs to the allure of playing with them, often leading to the ball or toys’ demise.
The painting raises questions about Alice’s situation in the tree hut. How did she get up there in the first place? Is she the guard dog, watching over her territory from a vantage point, or is she the watcher, eagerly observing the world around her from the confines of her elevated perch? The answers are left to the viewer’s imagination, allowing for a deeper connection with the subject.
Alice’s attachment to her tennis ball is a recurring theme. Whenever she finds one during her walks, it brings immense joy to her world. However, this joy is often fleeting, as she has lost as many balls as she has found, turning her life into what the artist likens to a “ball library” with balls being constantly lost and found.
The story of Alice and the tennis ball began with the ” Fetch ” painting. As a puppy, Alice often spent her time in the studio getting into all sorts of mischief, and I have a great photo of her patiently watching me as I paint “Fetch”. The image serves as a memory of those playful times. Since then, Alice’s love for chasing and playing with tennis balls has grown immensely. She can skillfully strip the green layer off the ball and chew through its inner shell with determination.
Alice’s playful and show-off nature shines through in the painting. She boasts two entertaining tricks. The first involves bouncing the ball and catching it in her mouth, providing comic relief for anyone who witnesses it. The second trick showcases her love for football, but she must have another ball in her mouth. She “kicks” the ball, and the artist taps it back to her, resulting in a fun yet unpredictable game.
The title “Temptation” is a fitting choice as it perfectly encapsulates Alice’s struggle to resist the allure of her toys, especially the tennis ball. Despite the potential consequences and destruction that may follow, Alice is drawn to the tantalizing prospect of play, reflecting a universal theme of succumbing to temptation despite knowing the potential pitfalls.
In conclusion, Ross Jones’ painting “Temptation” portrays the complex relationship between Alice and her beloved tennis ball. Through intricate details and thoughtful lighting, the artist captures a moment of both longing and temptation, inviting viewers to empathize with the canine subject’s desires and impulses. The painting serves as a testament to the universal struggle of resisting temptation and the joys and consequences that come with it.


Temptation, Oil on Linen 125 cm x 95 cm

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