HARROGATE artist Anita Bowerman has created a new painting of The Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen, the hill farmer and mother of nine from ITV’s The Dales and Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm.
Painted in watercolour and gouache, The Hay Meadows In Summer At Ravenseat is available in a limited-edition print run of 450 and as a mug.
Each giclee print is signed by both Anita, who runs Dove Tree Art Gallery & Studio at Back Granville Road in Harrogate, and Amanda, who has featured previously in Anita’s fund-raising Christmas cards for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The idyllic scene captures Amanda in her shepherdess’s smock coat in the Yorkshire summertime in the ancient Hay Meadows with her nine children, animals, wildlife, insects and flowers and husband Clive on his tractor in the distance at their Ravenseat Farm in Swaledale.
“It took me a long time to create this scene using watercolour and gouache, a thick watercolour,” says Anita. “I love adding detail and telling a story in a picture. Amanda and her sheepdog Kate look adoringly at each other, the children play happily, picking flowers, chatting to each other and racing through the fields.
“There are some sheep, Tony the Pony with three girls surrounding him, a curlew, mole, hares, butterflies and lots more besides.”
Amanda enthuses: “Anita has illustrated a beautiful design featuring my family and animals at home in the hay meadows. She manages to capture all the details so intricately, from my favourite smock coat to the backdrop, animals, flowers and even my children.”
Anita then designed a fine bone china mug showing the same foreground scene, made for her by Duchess China in Stoke-on-Trent. “Amanda has served tea out of some of the mugs and sold them directly to walkers who visit her Ravenseat farm,” she says.
“Then, during one episode of Our Yorkshire Farm, the camera honed in on Raven, Amanda’s eldest child, who had just gone to university. She was holding one of the mugs as the interviewer asked her if she was missing home and her eyes welled up with tears.
“The camera held the pose for a while…. and Amanda started to get requests flooding in from viewers to buy the mug. Another order from Duchess was needed.”
Amanda, who has visited Duchess China with Anita, loves the mugs! “They are very special, they make a pretty gift and are not only collectors’ pieces but being fine bone china, they also make a jolly decent cup of tea,” says The Yorkshire Shepherdess, author, photographer and public speaker.
Although Anita’s studio and gallery in a refurbished 19th century former coach house in the French Atelier style has been closed for much of the time since the first lockdown last March, she has continued to paint throughout the pandemic.
Not only her Yorkshire Shepherdess prints and mug have been proving popular, so too have Anita’s elephants and boxing hares, all being posted out during lockdown.
The Elephant Family decorations, in hand-polished stainless steel, are inspired by the Painted Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India.
“They’ve become a symbol of families struggling to get together during the pandemic,” says Anita, who has been donating ten per cent of the proceeds to the Elephant Family Charity to protect Asian wildlife and its habitat.
Anita’s signed limited-edition giclee print of Boxing Hares at RHS Garden Harlow Carr was inspired by this enchanted Harrogate garden, depicting the willow boxing hares at the moonlit Glow event held there.
First making her name with her papercuts, Anita was the official artist of the Tour de Yorkshire and latterly an artist in residence at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens.
Last July, her commissioned Tree Of Life art installation of 191 stainless steel wellies on a Lime Walk tree at Castle Howard raised funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Give Cancer The Boot appeal.
Looking ahead, Anita is planning to paint cherry blossom over the exterior of her studio in late-April to coincide with the Harrogate Stray’s cherry blossoms. “It’s an idea that seems to be catching on,” she says. “Damien Hirst is focusing on cherry blossom at the moment too!”
For more information or to acquire a print or mug, go to: anitabowerman.co.uk.