August, 2015

Animal magic

News Release: Coniston artist to capture animal magic on eight foot canvas at Westmorland County Show.

1Artist Jo McGrath will paint an 8ft high horse portrait at Westmorland County Show

An animal portraiture artist is swopping her Beatrix Potter farm studio for a day to paint an 8ft canvas of a Grey Mare at this year’s Westmorland Show (Thursday 10th September).

Work by Jo McGrath from Yew Tree Farm Coniston has been exhibited at The Mall Gallery in London, is regularly on show in the county and attracts sales from around the world.

Tackling anything from paintings of pets to domestic livestock, the one day agricultural show provides the perfect impromptu studio setting for Jo; as she explained:

“The Westmorland County Show is one of the largest and oldest one day shows in the Country. The fact that it is still going from strength to strength is surely testament to our enduring love of animals besides being a grand day out.

“In my 20 year career I’ve produced portraits of most animals, including the sort you can see at the show – cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, horses, goats and dogs. However I rarely work on a canvas of this size so it will be challenging and interesting.

“I am keen that people see me at work as I can explain and show how a painting or a drawing, beyond any other medium, can really capture an animal’s personality. It’s something which surprises most people although artists have strived to do this since the time of cave art.”

Playing host to Jo’s pop-up studio are a trio of businesses; Carter Jonas, Tennants Auctioneers and Harrison Drury.

Julian Lambton from Kendal’s Carter Jonas says that many of the landowners he knows show a great fondness for their animals, with portraits often found in estate offices or living room walls. However he’s never met anyone as eccentric about them as the character P G Woodhouse created – Lord Emsworth who doted on a pig called the Empress of Blandings.

Anyone wanting to see Jo in actin can find her at Stand C71, between 10am and 4pm, on Thursday 10th September at the Westmorland Show.


Image shows animal portraiture artist Jo McGrath who will be painting a horse on an eight foot sized canvas at the Westmorland Show. More images are available on request – all taken by Steve Barber.