This subject and its treatment immediately suggest the inspiration of Palmer and Blake. Craxton has pointed to his first sight, in 1941, of two works by Palmer as one influence on this work: 'Palmer took the essence of something and paraphrased it so that one had a poetic image of it. It was a distillation of nature.' In the 1940s Craxton drew and painted landscapes which included shepherds or poets: 'as projections of myself they derived from Blake and Palmer. They were my means of escape and a sort of self protection. A shepherd is a lone figure, and so is a poet'.