Part of what I have found interests me with my American Landscape series is the life that a bovine or two adds to a country scene. In my Grazing Alongside Spring Creek painting, I feature a small herd of cattle including a Hereford and Black Angus. I just completed this oil painting on board, entitled The Watering Hole, which features a number of black and white Holsteins.
On my last excursion to rural farm country, I rounded several bends, coming across several breeds I was unfamiliar with. I’m anxious to research the different breeds and to paint them in their surroundings.
As I photograph the large bovines, I notice the personality in their faces. I get a kick out of how they start coming over to me when I approach. Watching them chew their cud, swish their tails and graze captures my attention to the point where it’s hard for me to move on. Whether it’s a Hereford, Angus, or Holstein, I’m enjoying painting them thoroughly and I believe they add life, personality and interest to what otherwise might be a lovely but somewhat lifeless landscape.
I hope you enjoy this quiet setting of the Holsteins by the willow and watering hole. This bucolic landscape was one where I could have spent hours observing the cows, studying cloud formations and observing how changing light would affect shadows and color.
At the same time, as I took in the moment, I was reminded of a funny memory from many years ago, when my good friend, my brother and I were fishing at a farmer’s pond. One of the cows seemed to take a liking to my friend and cornered him at one end of the pond, standing in the water with only a small evergreen shrub leading interference. My friend would move one way and the cow would move with him. He ended up dropping his fishing pole and eventually made a mad dash for the fence! ☺
So this painting has a double meaning to me. The captured moment is of tranquility, without the disturbance of man. But in my mind, I can visualize my friend in the far right corner of the pond, standing in the shallow water in his waders with a large cow, full of “personality” cornering him and daring him to come out from behind the shrub. ☺