FROM THE ARTIST
painting cows many years ago while spending a year in a rented
barn in the countryside. It seemed natural to be working on
subjects found around the barn. The series began with all
kinds of barnyard creatures, but after a few months of portraits
of animals I began to concentrate on the ones I enjoyed painting
the most. The cows were at the top of the list.
I would go deep into the farm country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania
and stop wherever I saw a herd grazing by the road. I began
to sketch the individual cows and realized how different each
one is from the rest of the group. Each cow has her own personality.
I started photographing them, and have literally hundreds
of photos now which I use for reference for my cow paintings.
with these noble beasts grew. At first
my paintings were small in size. Canvasses were usually about
14 X 18 inches. They quickly grew in size as my interest in
cows increased. I have to admit, I am the most comfortable
when painting them almost life sized. Many of my canvasses
exceed 45 inches.
part of the appeal in these animals is that I found the females
SO female and the males SO male! There was such a beautiful
contrast between the two sexes, sweet and nurturing as opposed
to powerful and strong. Oddly enough, I don't dwell on these
differences in humans. In fact, with human company, I am more
fascinated by the individual sexes when they have a strong
balance of male AND female. But I do realize that in order
to be happy, everything must be in a carefully nurtured balance
in order to achieve richness in life. Seeing the differences
so obviously in the bovine world is my own way of visually
expressing the difference in males and females, yet in my companion
portrait series the balance of both produces a powerful image.
years ago, I began the study of Russian iconography, which
added yet another dimension to my life not only as a spiritual
being, but also as an artist. As my studies and
number of icons written increased, I found my life reflecting
that serenity which the art brought into my life which has extended into my cow paintings. You may
see by my website that I have worked in many different media
over my lifetime. But nothing brought the inner peace and
harmony to my work that was brought by the icons.
continuing studies in iconography, I have also
continued photographing and painting the cows, which also
bring me a tremendous amount of peace and joy. Recently,
I began a series about which I am most excited. These are
the Gilded Cows, which can be found at the beginning of my
painting pages of cows.
series combines some of the techniques of classical
iconography as far as the surface upon which I paint (wooden
panels), the simplicity, and the gold leaf backgrounds. It
has elevated their portraits to a more spiritual level, I
think. And since the cow portraits are in a sense, my own
journey into the make up of each one of us, it seemed natural
that as the journey of life continues a higher level of spirituality
is reached, or at the very least, should be sought.
you will enjoy viewing my work. Its is exciting to me to
work in my studio each day and see how the work evolves as
I evolve with it.