In the beginning...
I grew up in a North Wiltshire village where I was surrounded by the countryside, animals and creativity. Roaming the lanes and fields was a way of life as were the cows, pongy pigs, cow muck, horses and donkeys.
After leaving school I went on to complete a four year graphic design course - I was after all going to get a job designing David Bowie album covers, wasn’t I?!
Well, No! but I did go on to work in the print and design industry for a number of years until going freelance.
And then there were cows...
My love of painting cows started a long time ago when I moved back to the village. In my early work I mainly used gouache and coloured pencils but soon changed to watercolour.
One of my first watercolour experiments was a painting of the cows in the field next to the garden and it’s then that I realised that I loved the paints and really loved painting cows. They are still my favourite subject. I will always have a soft spot for these magnificent creatures (even after the occasional, unscheduled visit into my garden!). They have their own personalities, are intelligent, playful and naughty, powerful and gentle.
Cow Parsley Studio...
While my surroundings and the animals that live here continue to play a significant role in my work, my subject matter is now more varied with my source material coming from further afield.
I often visit farms or specialist breeders to gather information and reference material for projects and thoroughly enjoy this part of my job. I love seeing the animals in their natural surroundings and meeting the owners who are passionate about what they do.
I mainly work from photographs but do sketch too if possible. After choosing the appropriate paper, my paintings are gradually built up with layers or ‘washes’ of watercolour, this process builds up depth of colour and also detail – and I do love detail! I still find it a thing of wonder when the picture starts to take shape and the character of the animal comes to life.
I sell my work at various country fairs and exhibitions throughout the year where it is always lovely to meet my customers face to face. You can’t beat a day at a show talking about COWS… and of course, other animals too!