The Yorkshire Shepherdess is the focus of artist Anita Bowerman’s Christmas card collection for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Harrogate-based Anita has illustrated four paintings for the charity to use on this year’s Christmas card designs. In addition to two snowy scenes and one depicting York Minster, famous hill farmer Amanda Owen features on one of the cards with her flock of sheep and sheepdog.
Amanda, 43, is also a writer, photographer, public speaker and mother of nine! She lives with her husband Clive and their family at Ravenseat in Upper Swaledale, North Yorkshire – one of the highest, most remote hill farms in England.
Anita, who is an avid supporter of the YAA and has undertaken many illustrations for the chairy, said: “I immediately thought of Amanda when creating a wintry Yorkshire scene and was so pleased when she agreed to be the focus of the painting. She felt she could help promote the invaluable work the Yorkshire Air Ambulance does in rural areas.
“Amanda and her life as a shepherdess in this stunning scenery perfectly captures the essence of the Dales. I absolutely adored illustrating this winter scene featuring Amanda, her beloved dogs and sheep at Ravenseat in watercolours and gouache. I too, love animals and spent many hours working on each sheep and dog.”
After being featured in the ITV series The Dales, Amanda began documenting the incredible story of her farming life, before publishing two bestselling books The Yorkshire Shepherdess in 2014, and A Year in the Life of The Yorkshire Shepherdess in 2016.
Amanda said: “I am thoroughly delighted to be able to offer my support to the YAA. It was an incredible honour to be painted by such a talented artist as Anita and collaborate with her for such a worthwhile cause.
“It does make me smile wondering what exactly happened after the picture was painted, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance is hovering above….I wonder whether I was trampled by the sheep or savaged by a sheepdog? The picture is already hung up and very high it is too, out of reach of the many grubby fingers at Ravenseat!
“We are very much aware that living as remotely as we do the YAA is a vital service than can make the difference between life and death. We have had our fair share of medical emergencies, though are fortunate to have never yet ourselves required the services of YAA.
“I’m very impressed with the quality of Anita’s artwork, she really has captured the individual features of the dogs and sheep which is very important to me – for all are very different characters and the picture reflects this personally.
“Hopefully this is just the start of an excellent fundraising project with Anita which I would love to be involved in.”
Abby Barmby, Director of Marketing & Communications at the YAA, added: “We have worked with Anita for a number of years now on our annual Christmas Card collection and each year they grow in popularity. This year, having Amanda included on one of the designs has just added something extra special to the collection, and we are absolutely delighted to have her support.
“In fact, Amanda’s card has been one of our most popular selling designs ever! Thank you to both Anita and Amanda for such a wonderful collaboration to support the YAA.”
Amanda’s 2,000-acre working farm, has more than 1,000 sheep and nestles in stunning landscape, about an hour’s walk west of Keld. It is exactly half way on the hugely popular Coast to Coast walk – but a two-hour drive from the nearest hospital.
The profits from the sale of each pack of Christmas cards is donated back to the charity, helping them to raise the £12,000 they need each day to keep both of their helicopters in the air, and helping to save lives across the region.
Christmas cards can be bought directly from the YAA website: www.yaa.org.uk £4 for 10 cards and envelopes and includes postage.
The print and cards are available at anitabowerman.co.uk and yorkshireshepherdess.com or call into Anita’s working studio The Dove Tree Art Gallery & Studio, Back Granville Rd, Harrogate HG1 1AB. Telephone 07760 157046.