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Buying at art festivals and craft fairs.

This seemed like an appropriate time of year for me to re-publish my article about what to look for when your goal is to purchase real handmade gifts for the holidays. Enjoy! and beware! 

 

The truth revealed-why I paint cows

My last blog post asked and answered the question, why so many cats in my art?

People are always asking me why I paint the cows too and asking me if I grew up on a farm. Well, I grew up about as far from a farm as you can be in Trenton, New Jersey. I never worked on a farm, spent much time on the farm or at petting zoo's. I did have one experience milking a cow at the 4-h exhibit at the state fair once, but beyond putting them on the grill, my contact with cows has been very limited. 

 My standing joke when asked why I like cows so much is to respond with "because they're really cute and they taste good". I know-groan- and vegetarians hate me, LOL.

The deep down dirty awful truth is that I painted my first cow when I was ginormously (is that a word?) pregnant with my daughter. I guess you could say that I was so big that I felt like one! 

Being primarily self taught, my first attempt at painting a cow, which I tried to do realistically, ended up with a look that was somewhat disturbing as I didn't really know how to paint the cow eyes and they came out more human and just a bit angry looking.

Mad Cow
 

 After that, I attempted a few more cows in the field realistically and even a Van Gogh style painting with lots of impasto texture, but hadn't really found my own voice or confidence in painting them. 

  

Red Cows                                                       Too Bloo Cows
 

For one of my birthdays someone sent me a T-shirt that had cows on it and the spots were all different colors. I really liked it and thought to myself, "Hey wouldn't it  be fun if all of the cows were all different colors."

I agreed with myself and that's what started me off with the colored cows. I liked painting them in sort of a balloonist fashion without eyes or much detail being able to express the cows thoughts, emotions or attitudes without getting into facial expressions, so they became sort of abstract. My first ones were a little rougher around the edges than those that I have painted in the years since. They were acrylic on board illustration board whereas later works are on canvas. 

  

                    Fairy Cows                                              Angel Cows

The more of them I painted, the more I found my mind kind of reverting into the corners of my childhood imagination, putting the cows in all types of impossible situations and in places where cows can't possibly be. I started to call my style- "Folk Art Meets Surrealism."

 

                    Bookends                                                   Tulips

In my world, the cows can do anything that they want- things I can't do and things that are pretty funny. They've taken on a life of their own and keep expanding they're territtory, even wandering into my "People on the Couch" paintings and stampeding onto my pottery.  They really are just out of control!

  

                        Red                                                     Dancing Cows

 

See more cow paintings here. This is just the tip of the iceberg but all images listed thus far are available as 8x 10 or 11x14 matted prints. Please inquire.

 

Cats, Cats, Cats! Why so many cats????

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My long sumer hiatus. Part 2

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As I was saying in my last post, I had the privilege of doing a lot of traveling this summer and not much else. I have finally returned to making art at this writing (you have to wait and see) with fresh ideas and inspiration. 

Mothers Day-Artist as Mom

Longwood Gardens-A haven for inspiration

One of the jewels of the Brandywine Valley- Longwood Gardens

A surprise opportunity to throw clay with a Nicaraguan potter.

I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to Nicaragua with my family on my birthday this year. We spent four nights in San Juan Del Sur taking in the beach and the beautiful Nicaraguan landscape and sunshine. From there we moved on to the beautiful Spanish colonial town of Granada. When most people think of Nicaragua they remember the days of the Sandinista- Contra war of the 1980's, but that time is well over and Nicaragua is a peaceful, warm and welcoming place.