When we moved to Vermont in 1964 there were still more cows than people in our county.
My High School boyfriend lived on a dairy farm; he'd get up at four to do the milking, go to school, go to basketball practice, get home for milking again, than play baketball. There was no break on the weekends-- milking continued always. He'd come over to my house and fall asleep.
I begged him to let me watch a calf being born and so he called me early one morning. I rushed out of the house--my Dad said, "Ah yes, the miracle of life." The mother was still locked in her stantion--the apparatus that held her in place. I persuaded the hired hand to let her go so she could nurture her baby but as soon as she was free she took off for the feed room. The baby was a boy so he was off to become veal.
So I'm not romantic about cows but I still love them and I especially love to draw them.
This is the little town we lived in.
Here's a barn scene; I still have to finish the nest in the rafters--full of the Barn Owl's eggs. I had some vague idea of writing a story about two cows named Elizabeth and Jessica who yearn for life beyond the farm. They hate it when the farmer calls them "Bess and Jess."
Here they are setting out on their journey.
Another imaginary space inspired by Rome and the Fountain of Trevi.
The cows look pretty small here but I still call it a cow picture.
This was a lot of fun to draw. the larger mermaid is actually
a carving on a settee in a book about the great houses of Britain.
Can you imagine curling up on this settee?
Here's a collage with that image. I think I pushed the edge of propriety, but it was fun.
The hand belongs to the image of an awakening Adam in the Sistine Chapel.
Working in collage, with the random images and the "Oh, whatever" attitude I brought to it, pushed my drawing in new directions.
I like mermaids and maybe some day you'll see more. But I digress; this is a post about cows.
A cow with c;assical archetectural elements.
I've also thought about a series of animals in stately settings-making triumphal entries.
I'm not the only artist who loves cows--these images came from an ad for an exhibit of paintings by William Beckman at the Forum Gallery in 2003. His cows are gorgeous.
Now I live in New York City and the closest I get to a cow is the dairy aisle at my supermarket. For the milk in my coffee, cheese, yogurt, ICE CREAM may I always remember to thank my friend, the cow.