Alexandra Klimas (Born 1970)
About my work:
With my cow paintings I want to give people the opportunity to look carefully at these beautiful animals again. Pets are pampered and adored, but we are spared of images of animals for the meat industry. I want to shed light on this group of ‘forgotten’ animals. I try to paint my cows so lifelike that they look at you and a kind of intimate relationship is created. But it is and always remains a challenge to properly reflect the mood and individual character of each animal.
To me every cow is unique. They all have their own characters. In the summer I visit the farms. I like to have my pencil and sketchbook on hand when I am among the cows to observe and get to know the unique personalities of these exquisite animals. As a result my sketchbooks are also full of short pieces of text describing the personalities of each animal. In my atelier I work out my sketches into oil paintings. I soon start painting the eyes, which reflect the soul, and with them you feel the connection.
How did I start painting cows?
The story started many years ago when I often visited my grandparents’ farm. A farm which had animals. Thus, my love of farm animals started to develop at an early age, as well as the need to draw them. There has not only been a drive within me to create these studies because of the strong attraction of the subject. But I have also been driven by the concern for how such animals, that are inevitably destined for our consumption, are being treated. This concern is not only for the quality of the animals’ lives while on the farms, but it is also for the way animals are transported as well as how their lives are ended. I want to inspire people to pay more attention to the ‘forgotten’ animals that are used for our consumption. That’s why my models have to look like they did when they were alive. It is a tribute to their involuntary sacrifice to us humans. It reminds us to feel empathy in this increasingly hard world and helps us to re-establish contact with nature.
About painting Nancy, A Yearling Calf and how that work developed.
Nancy the yearling Calf. It's great that she unabashedly licks her nose nicely and looks you in the eyes. I want to share that with people. She was an ideal 'model' for me. For a yearling calf she stood patiently and licked her nose for a long time. Ideal for me to be able to sketch well in detail. Later in my atelier I worked out in oil paint this composition so that a lot of attention went to her eyes and nose. I want a connection between her and the people. I hope you get a smile on your face for this lovely animal.