Saturday, December 22, 2007

Complementary Cow

Named because she's orange and blue, which are complementary colors. This is a simple line drawing in blue, on gessoed mat board. I then filled in the shadow areas with French Ultramarine Blue, and used cad orange over the entire cow. I picked out a few details on the eye and nose. I love cows noses.

She's varnished for protection, so she's very durable. The matte varnish gives the painting such a soft, glowing effect. She's aprox 8X10 in size.

I suppose it's because I've been painting cattle lately but I had the strangest dream last night. I was trapped in an extremely steep concrete stairway with a herd of holstein cows. Like most milk cows, they're so used to people, they get right up close to you.

In the middle of this staircase, was a hand rail, and there were hand rails on the side. It was so steep, I had to use the hand rail to pull myself up as I went along. The rail was covered with cow manure, the stairs were slick from the cattle being there. I was trying to get us all out.

As I climbed the stairs, cows would follow me with their noses at my back. Once in a while, a cow that made it to the top, would slide back down and come shooting by. It was a very weird dream! In my dream, they got dirty and wet, but they didn't get hurt.

I finally made it to the top, and opened a door. On the other side of the door, was a huge pit, it was only about 2 feet across it, but I was afraid if the cows jumped the pit, they might fall in and break legs. At the top of the stairs, two cows had calved and the calves were huddled on stairs, about to fall off. I knew I had to get them all out so I opened the door, jumped and held the door open for the cows.

The farmer who owned the cows was on the other side, when we all came out from the stairway, he looked so surprised, and he said, "So that's where they were !"

I told you this was a weird dream. I think it was prompted in part by Daisy, our donkey. She follows us so close when we're outside, if we stop, she bumps into us. I love to go walking along and stop about every 10 steps. She thumps into my back every time. It always makes me laugh that she doesn't pay better attention. So climbing that staircase, and feeling the cows noses at my back, had to come from the way Daisy follows me.

Years ago, I milked cows for a guy who had 300 cows milking. It took me all night to milk them, then the day guy came on board and the milking of the herd started over again. One night when I went to work, a cow was missing. I told my boss about it and asked if she was in a sick pen . He said he didn't think any cows were missing and if there were, how could I tell?

I was off work for two days, and came back to milk again. The cow was still missing. So I told him again, you're missing a cow. He told me again, he didn't think he was, and he doubted if I would know. So I didn't say anymore about the missing cow.

A month later, I came to work and my boss met me at the barn door. He said, "Do you remember that cow you told me was missing?" I said, "yes,", he said, "Well, I found her, she got locked in an old shed, the wind must have blown the door shut on her and the latch came down. She's dead."

So I think my dream came partly from that memory also, of knowing the lost cow was locked in a shed and couldn't get out. It was 30 years ago when that happened and I still think of her.

This painting sold.