Prior to this series of paintings, I spent several years focused on complex naturally occurring harbors in winter landscapes. As that series neared its completion, I began to feel the pull towards painting a subject gayer in tone, lighter somehow. Whereas as the Winter paintings were purposefully void of any living presence other then nature itself, I felt the desire to introduce a breathing being into the work. The Winter series asked the viewer to identify with nature; for these paintings, the cow is surrogate for the viewer.
Cows are an everyday presence in my experience of Vermont, but they are largely peripheral. It was the desire to examine more closely that which is peripheral and overlooked that lured me to look more closely at a being that shares my space and ecology.
I grew up in the city of Montreal with only the occasional weekend or camp experience in the country, so cows are in many ways as foreign to me as a camel. The first thing that overwhelmed me in the presence of cows was simply their size, and this has translated directly into the size of my canvases. Next was the strange experience, repeated again and again, of having them look directly at me. I had the unshakable feeling of being seen, and seen deeply. One can get lost in their eyes and so the gaze has become an integral part of the series, expressing the relationship between the witness and the witnessed.