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Alison Litherland is based at Cambridge Artworks, Greens Rd, Cambridge.
The question I get asked most often by visitors to my studio is “Why cows?”. I don't have a quick answer as to why cows feature so strongly in my paintings. I don't know much about them, I don't think they're cute, I don't have a long-standing liking for them, and I don't live in the countryside or on a farm. But after doing one painting of cows a couple of years' ago, I was hooked , and cattle have been one of my favourite subjects ever since. They make wonderful subjects. I find them very beautiful. Their bodies are incredible sculptural shapes, with bony hips, wide rounded abdomens, and improbably narrow legs. And their colours – especially in sunlight – are gorgeous. As a subject for painting I find them really interesting and full of possibility. And the paintings certainly that. I don't paint the cows against a conventional background of green fields and trees, but put them against a background of loosely painted colour. The placing of the cows and the colours I choose for the background take a lot of thought and change a lot until I am happy with the result.
I was born and brought up in Burton on Trent and remember it as being full of large blackened redbrick Victorian brewery buildings. This series of paintings is based partly on these memories and partly on old photographs of the buildings that are no longer there.
I love the wide open watery spaces of the Scottish Western Isles, and these paingings are based on memories of these places.