Join me on an excursion into the “virtual” farmland of New Jersey where the beauty and innocence of animals often inhabit such spaces. As a practice I haven’t been drawn to painting animals too much over the years. I have preferred the open, uninhabited landscape. Although I think I’ve resisted painting animals due to a belief that said they would be too challenging to interpret.
What ended up inspiring this painting was a stroll through some of old photographs. I’ve always taken photos of the landscape and nature. There was a time when I thought I might pursue photography but it wasn’t my first love as things turned out. In my curiosity going through the old albums, I came across some photos of farmland and cows that were taken on a drive many years ago with one of my sisters. I remember these cows and the desire to get close. We stopped the car to do so and then with the hope of savoring the moment my camera came out.
Cows have been of interest to me since early childhood. I have memories of writing a report about some different kinds of cows. I think I might have added a picture or two created with my crayons. Then there’s the hands on experience in elementary school and a visit to a dairy farm where I got to stand next to the farmer as he milked the cow and then try for myself. It was so amazing!
This painting is infused with all those memories and more as I look at it. It’s opened me to the possibility of painting more farm animals and capturing the wonder and tenderness I often see in them.