Top Five Cow Encounters
As you know by now, my job is a little peculiar. Although most of my time is spent in the studio painting, I do occasionally pop out into the great outdoors and grab a few photos! After all I do need models! This is a really fun part of what I do. I always say that cows have such individual personalities and when I’m in the field with the cows I can experience these characters first hand. There’s been a few moments that have really stuck out along the way, so here they are my big top five….
The cutest of the Lauren’s Cows herd. I met this little calf at the Yorkshire Show. It was a very hot day when I met Ted in the cattle lines and his family were all looking rather grumpy. Ted however was bright as a button! He was so interested in what was going on and couldn’t get enough of the camera. I managed to get 2 or 3 nice photos before his hot an bothered mum got to her feet, sauntered over and stood directly in front of him. She gave me the tiniest sideways glance that said ‘OK, you’ve had your fun, now on your way’
2. Little Man
Certainly the most ‘forward’ cow I’d ever met. He lived on a friends farm near Halifax. She was incredibly excited for her to meet her herd and we started with her young bull Little Man. Well he was not shy at all, in fact he was probably a little to friendly, licking my legs, the camera, we even tried to remove my trainers! I didn’t get a single usable photo as they were just too close but we got some funny ones of him and me. Unfortunately those pictures went down the toilet with my phone however I have one for you!
3. Chieftain and Captain Bluebeard
I met these two Highlands, part of a small herd in Scarborough, on one of my very first outings as a cow artist. At this point I’d spent virtually no time up close to cows without a fence in between us and suddenly I found myself lying in a field!
I waited quietly for someone to come along and after 15 minutes maybe one cow started getting inquisitive. I was concentrating so hard on this one cow, Chieftain, completely engrossed in what I was doing that I switched off to everything else around me. That’s when I felt a little puff of air on the back of my neck and Captain Bluebeard the enormous black Highland was hovering over my shoulder. I couldn’t honestly tell you how I removed myself from that one safely but somehow I did! And let me tell you, I’m a lot more switched on and alert now!
4. Big Boy Lance
When filming BBC Countryfile we had a very close encounter indeed. We visited a herd of long horns owned by my farmer friend at…..They are a gorgeous placid herd in the Lake District and we were having a really great day. I was doing my thing getting some nice pictures of Holly, when out of nowhere, plodding along came Lance the huge Longhorn Bull. He stopped only about 1 metre away and just stood staring down at me. I’m not going to lie, my heart did start to go a bit, he wasn’t aggressive at all, but when you’re that big even a little curiosity can break a few bones! Everyone waited with baited breath and after a long minute Lance lost interest and wandered off the way he came. I don’t think the crew have recovered yet! They both said that this was the most surreal day of their lives.
5. Herding Madness
Again, a Countryfile filming experience. When interviewing the crew wanted to make sure there were always Cows in the frame however the herd had other ideas! What’s that saying? ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’! Well they certainly weren’t satisfied with our patch!
So as we filmed the interview it was Nathan the farmers job to usher the Cows back and forth making sure there were always a couple in shot! Usher too hard though and they’d walk straight through shot and then disappear off camera again! It was a very delicate art and highly amusing. ‘Nathan, we need more Cows!’