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Festivals, Cattle and Art

British White cattle, reference for Caroline Skinner's art projects

Each summer I volunteer as a festival steward for Oxfam at several music festivals in the UK. If you have the time to help out and you enjoy festival life, I highly recommend it.

Last month I went to Shambala Festival, 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, 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 (paintings to follow!): 



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You can see original paintings and giclee prints of some of my colourful farm animal art here.

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Pet Portrait Prize Draw

yorkshire terrier pet portrait, acrylic pet painting

I recently ran a free prize draw for someone to win a unique pet portrait. The prize was an original acrylic painting of one of their lovely pets, worth £150. I thought it would be a great way for one of my followers to start 2018!

The prize draw closed on 31st December 2017 and a couple of days later I randomly drew a name out of the metaphorical hat (it was a box) from the hundreds who had entered.  I was very nervous! I had no idea what type of pet they might have, where they lived, or how demanding they might be… 

I needn’t have worried, Jessica the prize winner, was absolutely lovely. She sent me lots of photos and details of the character of her gorgeous Yorkshire Terrier, Maggie. We agreed on a pose for the painting, and I then sent her some photos over the next few weeks so she could see how her painting was progressing.

Here are some of the work in progress photos:


pet portrait, prize winner, yorkshire terrier



Jessica was thrilled with the finished painting and she said: ” Thank you so much for sending our amazing painting. We love it!!”






New pet portrait commissions now include a 10% donation to the RSPCA at no additional cost to you. When you commission a pet portrait from me, you support animals who aren’t as lucky as your favourite pet.

Go to my Pet Portrait page for further details, and follow my art page on Facebook