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The Cow Parade

Robert Sievert

 
Robert Sievert working on "Harbor Park Cow"


"Harbor Park Cow" on site (1)


"Harbor Park Cow" on site (2)


Susan Rocker's "Greenhorn" in her kitchen


Finished "Harbor Park Cow"


"Harbor Park Cow" with adoring fan


 
During a very busy spring a brochure arrives in the mail. It is from something called New York Cow Parade. Just color in one of the cowforms and you may be chosen to paint a cow. $2000 and all you can paint. There were to be parties, web sites and promotion.

The first catch however was that the artists had to sign away any rights to their designs. New York Cowparade would own the artist's designs. A most unusual situation, never heard of my anyone previously.

I called at least four friends to tell them the news. You could download the entry form from a web site. They were paying money and it sounded like fun. Enthusiasm waxed high in the art world where everyone suffers from under exposure.

When the first N. Y. Times article appeared and I was not yet selected, I became so agitated that I threw the paper across the room and then got up to stomp on it.

They said they would let you know by the end of April and just possibly in the early May . I finally got a call about May 20th and the cow was to be ready May 26th.

I visited Susan's cow painting site, her kitchen, several times during the painting. In her kitchen the cow seemed enormous. It seemed to fill the entire space. One had to squeeze and gyrate to get a view of the various parts, and a total view was really not possible.

Needless to say like most of Susan's work, her cow was the epitome of neatness and precision. She painted black zebra stripes onto the cow with a daunting exactness. One horn was painted green which gave it its name. I asked her how she had gotten such a terrific stripe pattern and she told me she had found a site on the web with many different kinds off zebras.

Her cow was finished like a Buick, no spots or drips, each line and shape exactly what it was meant to be.

Back to my experience, I originally designed a cow based on a series of paintings done last fall, a series of harbor paintings. I called it Harbor Cow. Dividing the cow's anatomy into three zones, horizontal bands as it were, the top band was a skyline that wrapped completely around the cow. The middle zone was the harbor, with all the kinds of boats and objects, and the bottom which included her legs and udder was painted green with figures of people. The landscape part was clearly a park and I painted bridges around the udders. Under The bridges I added aquatic life.

The Cow Parade suggested using a "cow kit", a set of speci