For many summers I volunteered as a festival steward for Oxfam at UK music festivals. If you have the time to help out and you enjoy festival life, I highly recommend it.
As an animal artist, I’m pleased to find that festivals, cattle and art can co-exist at some of these events.
Shambala Festival is held each year in a “secret” Northants location. It’s a music festival that also includes cinema, talks, workshops in various crafts and permaculture, and a wellbeing area with yoga, massages etc. Recycling and clearing the site afterwards are actively encouraged and one-use plastic bottles are not sold on site.
Also, for the last few years, all food offered by festival caterers is vegetarian or vegan, with a huge range of great food on offer. The cattle that usually live on the field where we were camping may have been relieved about the lack of meat on site!
These cows are a herd of British White cattle, one of the oldest cattle breeds in England. They are used mainly for beef, with some milk production. This particular herd of handsome cattle dates back to the 18th century, so that is quite some pedigree! They were in a nearby barn during the festival, so as an animal artist, I naturally spent some time sketching and photographing them for future art projects.
Here are a few of my sketches of the British White cows. I used some of these for a Christmas card range:
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You can see original paintings and giclee prints of some of my colourful farm animal art here.