Painting Adventure #1 Out Of The Idea Box (jersey cow)

jersey cow painting

"Brown Eyed Girl" 5" x 9"

A friend of ours has a large barn and pasture, which she rents out to a family raising a small herd of cows.  One day I wanted to create some paintings of cows so we went over to take a few photos.  On the advice of my “cow-wise” husband (grew up on a dairy farm), I was instructed not to look them directly in the eyes and maintain a quiet, non-threatening demeanor since we were unfamiliar to them.  I thought…I’m threatening??!  He’s kidding, right?  At 5 feet and 3 inches, I barely reach the top of their backs, they weigh well over 1000 pounds,  and frankly, could “take me” in a matter of seconds.  So, in what I deemed appropriate “non- predator” body language, I slowly made attempts to get close enough for photos.  Turned out, these cows were extremely curious and would bravely approach me.  From behind.  The moment I lifted or turned my head to look at them, they would bolt away in a panicked stampede as if the hound of the Baskerville was after them.  After several frustrating encounters like this I was finally poised to take some good photos when I heard (and felt) a warm moist snort of breath directly on the back of my neck.  The next thing I know, this cow licks me from the bottom of my shirt and all the way to the top of the back of my head.  Think a cat’s tongue is rough?  Well, it’s about the same way, just A LOT bigger and wetter.  I couldn’t help but let out a yelp of surprise, which naturally sent them galloping for safety.  I did eventually obtain some photos and even managed to make friends with some well placed pats and scratching behind the ears.  Er…their ears that is, not mine.  It was well worth the effort…the big babies!  I set aside a couple of photos for consideration, and the result is this first painting to come out of my “idea box” this year.

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