On Donkeys..... | Steel Cow

On Donkeys.....

For my second official Steel Cow blog post I thought I would give you guys a “behind the scenes” glimpse at Sawyer – my newest (and so far only) Donkey painting.

I’ve not spent much time around donkeys (as I usually spend all my time around cows), but as I am painting more farm animals lately I decided that needed to change. So I recently made a trip to the country to meet and take some photos of a few donkeys for a new painting.

Donkeys are so funny and so sweet! And I just love their ears. I brought Eddie (our almost four year old) and my mom with me for the adventure (in addition to being fun for Eddie - I think it’s important for him to see what I do.) I brought mom to keep an eye on Eddie so I could make sure to get the photos I wanted.


The donkey’s owners brought them up to their arena so I could get some good shots of them – which worked out really well. These donkeys were so friendly it was tough getting photos, as they really just wanted to be petted. So, I put my mom and Eddie to work keeping them occupied a little ways away from me so I could take some good photos.


My mom ended up being a huge help as she quickly became a donkey whisperer. Eddie quickly became not a huge help as he just ran in circles outside the arena. And, of course, the donkeys were happy to run in circles with him. Not so good for photos - but it was sure fun watching a little boy and three donkeys run in circles! Eddie quickly became tired out, and once he sat down I was able to get a few good shots for the painting.

Here’s the painting during its first hour or so when I first started working on it in July– I’m actually painting in my mobile studio (our camper) on a camping trip to Colorado. I finished the painting in my main studio, and then thought I needed a few shots of the finished painting in a “real life” environment.

Last week Eddie was visiting his other grandparents in Illinois, so it was just me and Harry. I thought I could do a bit more work during the day without Eddie than I normally do with Eddie, so Harry came with me to the cabin I used for the photo shoot. At first Harry was content to just wander around, not really getting into much as I moved furniture and hung paintings on the walls.


Then he started getting fussy, so I gave him an apple, sat him on the chair and asked him to feed the apple to Sawyer (the donkey), never thinking he actually would. (Harry is not quite one and a half so he sometimes understands us but most of the time not.) But, this time, Harry ever so gingerly turned around and offered his apple to Sawyer and I was quick enough to capture it on my camera. He only did this for a second before he tossed the apple, the pillow and then was done – but I got what I needed!


Hi my name is Sawyer. I adore turquoise jewelry, wool blankets and yellow daisies. I can stargaze all night long.

You can find all of Sawyers items including mugs, pillows, canvas prints, paper prints, clocks and totes here:  https://www.steelcow.com/collections/meet-the-girls/products/sawyer

Thanks for being a fan of Steel Cow and I hope you enjoy the new donkey painting!

Valerie Miller

Valerie Miller
Valerie Miller