Today I revisited the home of the Welborne herd of English Longhorn cattle belonging to Lt Col and Mrs Hodges, delivering 'a well overdue' drawing to say thank you for their generosity in allowing me to sit in their fields for long hours at a time.
It was a moving and somewhat cathartic experience. It was some 10 years since I was last there, and amongst the lovely herd of 10, I think only one cow....Delia.... remained of those I had sat with, drawn and grew so fond of.
This new herd consists of sons and daughters of my old favourites who have appeared many times in my work over the years, dear Challenger the bull... teddy bear like, soft and gentle, my favourite model. Archie, the huge, sweet natured ox, Garbo, with amazing and instantly recognisable horns, Coco the beautiful young bull who had been vigilantly nursed back to health after breaking a horn, Delia with her small calf, and Lancelot the youngster who interfered constantly, ate my pencils, paints and tipped everything over.
It was so wonderful to be there again, amongst this primeval breed, whose energy is very different from the domesticated bulls that I grew up with. I feel close to nature, peaceful and untroubled when in their presence.....but for now, this marks a lull in my Bull era.
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