Happiness is a cow, with really really big eyes.

I don’t really know anything about art.

I know the difference between a portrait and a landscape, I know Van Gough cut off his own ear, and I know Picasso liked his women with quite an unconventional aesthetic. Other than that, my appreciation for great artwork is fairly non-existent. I even went to The Louvre and headed straight for the gift shop. Because the Mona Lisa…well I’d rather see her printed on a tea towel than hanging up in a gallery. No matter how iconic she is.

But while I might not be too well educated in the appreciation of great works of art, I am an expert in the field of what makes me smile. And, as it turns out, one thing that makes me smile is paintings of cows with really, really big eyes. Paintings like the one above.

It was produced by Caroline Shotton; a very talented artist who paints cows. Cute cows. In more ways than you could ever dream to find a cute cow.

I can’t pretend to talk about her use of colour, or her choice of brush stroke – much less about what inspires these works, or if there’s any deeper metaphorical resonances to them – but I can tell you this: they don’t half make me smile. In my dreams I’m in a room, completely surrounded by these cow paintings. I’d admire them everyday, and everyday they would make me smile quite unashamedly.

I don’t know much about great art, but I know that if something has the capacity to create that level of smiling it surely has to signify some degree of greatness. (And if you don’t believe me, then try looking at this without smiling. I promise – unless you’re a real misery – it’s virtually impossible 🙂)

csgc105-that-s-amor-hay-bc1