Yorkshire Shepherdess’s happy Christmas is on the cards for air ambulance charity

The Yorkshire Shepherdess Gathering Her Animals And Children In Time For Christmas: Anita Bowerman’s new charity Christmas card for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

YORKSHIRE Air Ambulance ambassador Amanda Owen and her farming family feature in a new charity Christmas card painted by Harrogate artist Anita Bowerman.

Owen, alias The Yorkshire Shepherdess, is at present drawing more than 1.5 million viewers to the second series of her Channel 5 documentary Our Yorkshire Farm on Tuesday nights.

She was first the focus of a Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) charity card last year, showing Amanda surrounded by her beloved sheep and dogs on a harsh winter’s day.

Crimson Glory Vine (Vitis Coignetiae) at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, one of Anita Bowerman’s 12 paintings from her artist-in-residence year

Painted by Anita, it became the charity’s best-seller, with cards flying off around the world.

This year’s card for the YAA already is proving more popular than ever and once more all the proceeds will go to the charity.

Harrogate artist Anita Bowerman painting Amanda Owen, The Yorkshire Shepherdess, at her moorland farm for last year’s Yorkshire Air Ambulance Christmas card

“I’m absolutely delighted to feature again on the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Christmas cards,” says Amanda. “Anita Bowerman is a fantastically skilled artist who has a unique ability to depict children and animals in wonderfully intricate detail. 

“I’m hopeful that these cards will go worldwide and raise much-needed funds for this incredible charity. 100 per cent profit goes to the YAA.”

Amanda, hill farmer, mother of nine, photographer, public speaker and author, lives with husband Clive and their family at Ravenseat in Upper Swaledale, North Yorkshire, one of the highest, most remote hill farms in England.

Maytenus Boaria Tree at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, September, by Anita Bowerman

She has always supported the work of the YAA, given the remote area where they live and the nature of the charity’s work, but it was an introduction through Anita that brought Amanda and the charity closer together.

“I was contacted by Anita last year to ask if I’d be happy to collaborate with her and the YAA by painting me and my sheep as a scene for one of their Christmas cards,” says Amanda.

Travelling Home For Christmas:, one of Anita Bowerman’s Christmas card designs for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

“Obviously it was a real honour for me to accept, and the card went on to be the Charity’s best-selling Christmas card.

“I hear they were sending them out all around the world, and as far away as Canada. We have kept in contact since and when I was asked to be an ambassador, I was absolutely delighted. I genuinely couldn’t think of a better organisation to be involved with.  I was very emotional when they first asked me.”

The Winter Walk At RHS Garden, Harlow Carr, December, by Anita Bowerman

Amanda adds: “I’m aware that living as remotely as we do, the YAA is a vital service that can make the difference between life and death. We have had our fair share of medical emergencies, though we’re fortunate to have never yet ourselves required the services of the YAA.”

Painting Amanda and her family and animals is always such a joy for Anita. “In the card you can see Amanda with some of her children, sheepdogs, a robin, Tony the Pony, an owl, a robin and much more,” she says.

“The holly hanging above them is kept in this ancient barn all year. The original painting can be seen in my Dove Tree gallery and studio in Harrogate.

The Snow Lays Deep And Crisp And Even: Anita Bowerman’s third design for her 2019 Christmas cards for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

“It’s a privilege to be able to support the vital work of the YAA through the sale of these cards, and having Amanda as an ambassador is a bonus.” 

Priced at £4 for ten cards, they are available at yorkshireairambulance.org.uk/product/Yorkshire-shepherdess-2/ or from Anita’s gallery in Back Granville Road, Harrogate. (Visit anitabowerman.co.uk for location details and opening times.)

Anita has illustrated two more cards for the YAA this Christmas: Ribblehead Viaduct and Malham Cove. Meanwhile, copies of last year’s card are still available at yaa.org.uk/shop.

The Tarn At RHS Garden Harlow Carr, November, by Anita Bowerman

If you are seeking Christmas presents or cards, Anita will be hosting champagne and canapes events to mark the eighth anniversary of her gallery on December 5 from 6pm to 8pm and December 7, 10am to 3.30pm.

“I’m also artist-in-residence this year at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, in Harrogate, where I’ll be appearing in the shop there every Saturday, from 4pm to 8pm, during Harlow Carr’s Glow winter illuminations until Christmas,” says Anita, who will be doing mini-demonstrations and chatting to visitors.

Glow: the winter illuminations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, pictured in November 2017

“I’ve finished all 12 paintings of the gardens, one for each month, all made using moss, twigs and leaves, and now have my prints and cards in the shop.”

The Glow winter illuminations at Harlow Carr light up the gardens after dusk every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until December 28, from 4.30pm to 8pm, except on Boxing Day, with last admission at 7pm.

On those days, special lighting effects transform Streamside, the Queen Mother’s Lake, Winter Walk, the Doric Columns and Alpine House.

New for this year, as part of the Glow adventure, you can enjoy illuminated sculptures, such as a silver angel; meander through a tunnel of twinkling lights as you enter the Kitchen Garden, and finish the trail at a festive-themed marquee with Christmas carols.

Glow tickets can be booked at gardentickets.rhs.org.uk/

Did you know?

Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves five million people across Yorkshire, carrying out more than 1,500 missions every year. The charity operates two state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters and needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.

Charles Hutchinson

Chris Gorman’s film footage of Anita Bowerman at work at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, during her year as artist-in-residence.