Meet 'Parker', a true reflection of our spectacular landscape...14 March 2016
`We asked local artist Mandy Allan to tell us all about the World Heritage inspired ewe she created for the Calvert Trust 'Go Herdwick' Trail, which starts later this month.
"As an artist living in Cumbria, I am not only in awe of my surroundings but it is a huge inspiration to my work. I draw pastel portraiture of British wildlife and livestock and try to capture the spirit of the animal, whilst contrasting the detail of its features against striking block colour backgrounds. My portraiture techniques are also applied to commissioned portraiture of people and pets. The Lake District National Park is rich in wildlife and where possible I use photography myself to capture images of many of my subject locally whether that be red squirrels in the forests or Herdwicks in the hills.
When I heard about the Calvert Trust and their planned charity Herdwick Trail for such a fantastic and worthwhile cause, to raise money for their new centre; I instantly felt that the Herdwick could reflect everything that makes the Lake District what it is, what makes it fantastic for so many!
The Herdwick is already a breed that for so many, is a representative of Cumbria and reflects the farms, and many produce available. So why not literally reflect its amazing surroundings?!
The Herdwick could be placed anywhere in the Lake District National Park but wherever it rests it will reflect everything, whether that be the stunning scenery, the buildings old and new, wildlife or the visitors with their cameras. All of these things make the Lake District National Park what it is. I was inspired to use circular mirror tiles in my design to represent the texture of the fleece and to paint the head and legs as they would naturally be coloured, as I would in my animal portraiture.
I felt that sponsorship by the Lake District National Park was the perfect partnership for this design because it is representative of all aspects of the Park, hence the chosen name "Parker".
The first and main part of this project was the application of the mirror tiles, many many mirror tiles!
This took a great amount of time (approximately 60 hours) involving four different sized tiles varying from 10mm to 25mm.
The next step was to grout between the thousands of tiles, with grey grout to represent the natural
colour of the Herdwick fleece. Parker now reflects not only her surroundings but also reflects light in a very impressive manner, this will mean that the ever changing and often dramatic weather of our wonderful Lake District National Park will have a progressive impact on how Parker looks on any given day, whether the sun may shine or the dark clouds roll in!
Next, on to the painting. As the Herwicks have white and grey colours in the faces and legs, this was a case of defining Parkers features, as opposed to a wide use of colour.
I thought she might like to meet some friendly locals on her journey to her new home at the Lake District National Park Visitors Centre so she stopped off in Backbarrow to meet some (see top pic)
May I be the first (of hopefully many!) to take a #Parkerselfie and raise awareness for the Go Herdwick trail and the Calvert Lakes Trust in partnership with my fantastic sponsor the Lake District National Park.
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