After finishing several large cow paintings in my current "cow" series, I was inspired to go in the other direction and work small. (I often go through these phases, as do many artists; it tends to keep at bay the bordom and insanity.... well, mostly!)
Thanks to a client of mine, who has very little wall space left, I was motivated to do a small painting of a Hereford (or Herefords). The result is here, above, "Two Young Herefords", 6x8, proudly held in reserve for said client. (Thanks, Kathy!)
This was followed up by "Two Black Mottleface" (I had to research the name of these, as I have no cow-knowledge, but I've been learning a lot as I go) and "Springtime in Texas."
Both of these 6x8's sold last weekend in Kerrville at the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair.
With the success of those little gems, I was excited to work on these during the Fair Sunday and Monday. I had some 4x6 frames I needed to use up, so I thought "How can I fit a cow on a 4x6?" Of course, as a portrait artist, I reverted to my portrait "mode" and came in close for single head-shots with simple backgrounds.
This black cow was first, and had a buyer before it was finished!
I continued with "Brown Calf" and
"Brown Cow" (below) I did on Monday. (I could use a better title for this - anyone know what kind of cow this is?)
These last three are still available and will come with me to Dallas for the City-Arts Festival June 12-14, 2009.
I love working small. I like that it's quick (relatively.) I like that it can be priced accordingly (aka: affordable!) It's a quick way to get a better understanding of a subject without using up a lot of materials. But mostly I like it because I can satisfy my natural urge to work tight and realistic, but the painting still looks wonderfully loose if it's blown up. I believe this kind of small work has helped me achieve a looser impressionism in my (later) larger works than I would normally have. Plus it's just plain fun and the perfect antidote to large-work burnout!
Right now I'm hoping this fascination lasts long enough to do several more. I have enough cow photos for at least 3 or 4 .... hundred!