Thursday, July 2, 2009


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This post is in response

to a writing prompt at
Click on the link to join in or view other responses.

Many people expect artists to be brooding, dead-serious, nonconformists. I suppose I might be characterized as a nonconformist, but I don’t brood and I am rarely dead serious about anything. In fact, I love to find humor in nearly everything, including my own art work.
I spent several years creating a series of about 50 works of art featuring cows which I called ‘visual puns.’ They had titles like “Americow Graffiti,” “It’s Only a Paper Moo,” “A Line of Bull,” “The Dark Side of the Moo,” “A Streetcow Named Desire”---well, you get the idea.
Most of the time, when I create works of art, I start with images and then have to think of clever titles. While I worked on these pieces, I went through lists of phrases, movies and songs, looking for titles I could turn into amusing cow puns, then came up with images that fit.
I created my art in acrylic paint on canvas, colored pencils, ink, and in mixed media. I had several exhibits featuring my cow art which resulted in a few interviews with Pittsburgh TV and newspaper reporters. What surprised me was that, eventually, I had my fifteen minutes of fame when the Dallas Morning News, CBS radio in NY City, Stars and Stripes, a morning radio show in South Australia, and newspapers as far away as the Gulf News in Abu Dhabi ran stories on my cow obsession.
One day on my way to work, the idea to create a work called “Cow Pie” came to me. Being an art teacher, I didn’t have to wait until I returned home to create what I had in my head. I started to work on it at lunch time, then stayed an extra hour after the students left and my “Cow Pie” was almost complete by the time I returned home.
On water color paper, I lightly drew a pie with a slice cut from it. I painted the pie and pie pan with watercolors. Once the watercolors dried, I added a few details with colored pencils. Then I cut the image from the watercolor paper and cut holes in the top of the crust and in the part where one would see the filling, with an Exacto knife.
When I took the ‘pie’ home, I selected some of my cow photos. (To help me with ideas and also to have ‘models’ to draw from, I took lots of cow photos at farms near my home.) I cut up the photos and glued them behind the holes in the ‘pie.’ Then I glued everything on a green background.
“Cow Pie” has always been a favorite at galleries and I have sold many reproductions of this piece. I am pleased when someone looks at one of these images and bursts into laughter.

See more of my cow art visual puns HERE and HERE.

Find gifts and products with the “Cow Pie’ image HERE.

And if you are really into cow puns, find a post full of them HERE.

Please search on the right sidebar under CREATIVE PROCESS for more of my art work and how I created it.

(art © 2001, text ©2009, C.J. Peiffer)


Farmers Wifey said...

Visiting from mama kats. I'm kinda thinking this pie looks tasty......

Jenners said...

I'm totally loving this!!!! You just crack me up. I'm sure you are totally fun to hang around with ... and I've been pressed for time but I hope to stop by and work on the scavenger hunt later!!

MIITB said...

Visiting from Mama Kats... You are a great artist. Love the pics

Unknown said...

Have you seen the cow calendar from Chick-Fil-A? They have some hilarious cow puns and scenes on it as well. For some reason, cows are a good target for puns and satire. (I always suspected that it was because they are marginally smarter than sheep.)

BTW, can I get my pie sans hide and bones? {*grin*}

Claudya Martinez said...

I love the cow puns! Very witty. I laughed just reading the names.