Cow painter Veronica van Eijk is never short of inspiration for her cow paintings. Her Longleys Studio Barns overlook the Pevensey Levels and the Organic Diary Farm of Hook & Son, Hailsham. The herd is small and quite tame. Veronica is often seen amongst the herd observing the cows with a sketch book or through her camera lens. She finds that these cows have such wonderful personalities. The oldest cow, Hailsham Kate 90, is now 17 years old and is a really feisty lady. Veronica loves nothing better than observing her being the matriarch who checks out her herd regularly with a lick and a nudge for everyone.
Cows can have such strong expressions in their faces, they have a way of looking at you; curious, interested, haughty, frightened , timid, relaxed and this is what Veronica likes to capture in paints. Add a lovely low afternoon light and the cows look very sculptural to her. She loves the way the sunlight highlights their sometimes quite exaggerated bone structures. When she is painting her subjects- aiming at making them look quite 3-D- she takes great joy in adding and taking away the paint, building up the layers of watercolour : a process she likens to sculpting with paint. Other animals at Longleys also occasionally find themselves under her brush: guinea fowl, chickens ,pigs and even alpacas!