Hello!!! It’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog post. I won’t get into details, but after not painting for longer than a year and a half (due to fires, a bit of overwhelm and a flower obsession I had to get under control) - I finally have an animal painting to share with you.
It’s not like I haven’t been creating this past year and a half. I’ve been creating tons - just not like I normally do with paints, brushes and farm animals - (which is why you’re probably here and why you became interested in my world in the first place!)
To be honest, I was kind of dreading painting again. Not that I don’t love painting (I do love it - I seriously believe it’s what I was put on this earth to do), but I was wondering if I could actually remember HOW to paint.
If you aren’t familiar with my story - I’ve known since before I was 7 I was going to grow up to be an artist. So - I’ve painted for a lot of years. But - not painting for almost two years? That’s not something I’ve EVER done before.
Would it be like riding a bike and as if nothing was any different? Or would it when you haven’t exercised for a long time - and when you do, you feel like you’re going to DIE?
Good for me - when I picked up my brushes and paints, it felt like nothing had ever changed.
Well - that’s not entirely true. I was so nervous to start painting again that when I did grab my brushes - I dropped them all over the floor and then I tipped over my water dish so water went pouring down my cart and all over the floor and dropcloth. Once I gathered myself, shed a few tears and got into the actual work though, I think the painting went a little quicker because I wasn’t fiddling with every single line and stroke.
In April of 2021 - shortly after our first fire - my plan was to paint a baby pig. I’m working my way through baby animal paintings and a piggie is next! Brigid, who works for us at Steel Cow, has pigs along with many other farm animals on her family farm. So, Eddie, Harry, Ellis and I went to Brigid’s family’s farm to meet up with her to get the perfect photo of a baby pig.
Baby pigs like to be warm. They’re babies and don’t have a whole lot of protection from the elements, so their barns are very warm. When we got to the farm, Brigid let us check out the pigs. I honestly don’t have a whole lot of experience with pigs. (I’ve been around cows more than these guys.) They are so loud when they squeal!!! And oh how they squeal when you are trying to catch them.
Brigid helped me pick out a few pigs I thought would look good in a painting, and then she caught them. I was no help in catching them. They are close to the ground, quick, loud and so strong! After I fell over a few times and came up with nothing - I let the pro do the pig catching.
She caught three different ones - and held them up for me to grab their photos. By this time, my boys were bored and were off chasing the other farm animals and playing with the cats and dogs.
I grabbed a few hundred photos - then off we went. I was fully expecting to start painting on the baby pig just as soon as Brigid the baby goat was finished (yes, I named the baby goat painting after Brigid the person.)
We had thousands of tulips that were starting to pop, then Mother’s Day was crazy as we harvested and sold 5,000 tulips and got them into the hands of moms and grandmas all over town.
Then, of course the growing season began and all I could think about was ignoring Steel Cow fire cleanup and growing thousands of flowers. Fast forward a year to Feb of 2022, and we had another fire on our block. Urg. So, the process of cleanup and then flowers happened again.
When things were cleaned up the second time (We even had to get a whole new tin ceiling on our second floor - where my studio is) and settled down in December of 2022, I finally got back to painting.
I started William in the studio - then took him with me when we went to Florida to visit my sister and family this past holiday season!
During this time, I painted on him in the closet office of the spare bedroom! I actually liked to paint outside better, but the kids were running all over the place chasing lizards, and running all around me - so I came inside for some quiet.
After we had a wonderful visit with my sister in the sun and warmth, I brought William home to Iowa and finished him up last week!
He is a super sweet little guy. Here’s his official introduction:
He’s available in 5 sizes of canvas prints as well as 2 sizes of paper prints.
And, because he’s flipping adorable - I couldn’t help myself.
I dressed him up in flowers too. Here he is in flower form.
Because who doesn’t love a baby pig in flowers? Not me…..!!!
It’s quite absurd and I absolutely love it!
Thanks for following us along on our adventure! It’s been almost 19 years since I started Steel Cow, and I feel like we are just getting going!
PS If you bring William into your house, I guarantee he will make you smile. And we can all use some more of that 🙂
Love the whole blog thing Valerie did about William the pig. Enjoyed the pictures of your trip to Florida. Keep up your good painting and your flowers. They are beautiful