Sunday, April 24, 2016

What is it About Cows?

I painted my first painting with cows in it a couple weeks ago.  Cows seem to be a favorite subject of artists, in particular landscape artists, but why?  I enjoy seeing cows in the landscape as much as anybody but I've always resisted putting them into my paintings until now, maybe because it seems a bit clich√© to me.  Cows are interesting animals, more intelligent than they appear.  I remember sitting at Wheeler Farm trying to sketch them a couple times, like anything when you take the time to observe and sketch you learn about the subject, I learned that when cows aren't just relaxing in the shade or grazing they often do interesting things to entertain themselves, even playing games with each other. Cows are also very curious,  I remember trying to get some photos once in a rural area of a cow lying in the shade of a tree, the darned cow just had to get up out of the shade even though it was a hot day and come over and see what the heck I was up to, ruined my photo op.
Anyway, what was the point of that bit of rambling, I'm not sure, just a preface to the introduction of my latest landscape painting I suppose.

art painting rural cow Bear River grazing agriculture

"Grazing by the Bear River"

16" X 12", Acrylic on panel

The painting is based on a photo I took in Cache County, Utah, near the town of Smithfield and that's the famous Bear River in the background that meanders through this lush agricultural area known for its dairy production.  After under toning the panel I used a palette knife to block the whole painting in then refined it with brushwork.

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