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Interview by H. Candee Photographs of Artist by Edward Acker

Did you ever look a cow in the eye and want to just say I LOVE YOU you, you! Wonderful beast!? Are there any animals you will not paint? Caryn King: Exactly how I feel! You obviously have been in my mind. And it surprisingly seems we see more cows, goats, sheep and farms here than we did in Vermont. Since moving here in February we have done a lot of exploring by car, and as the better weather is here, on our walks. It is amazing to go around a corner or over a rise and be surprised by the gentle giants. Gorgeous large cows sashaying across the road to their barn, or grazing in fields by the edge of the road often stopping to stare at us as we are staring back at them. Cows are the easy ones for me to love. I’ve always had trouble painting or wanting to paint reptiles and amphibians. That is until the other day, when one of a few turtles, a very large snapping turtle made its way up to my yard last week to lay eggs. She became frightened of us, and our dogs who were on leashes noticed her first. The snapper retreated under the car and was there a few hours. 8 • JULY 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

We tried to encourage her to leave because we needed to use the car. I spent much time looking into her face, especially her eyes. I was surprised how I felt her timidness, her predicament, and how she struggled for what to do next. Gently poking to move her along didn’t cause a snapping type of reaction, which I thought it would. Eventually we got her to move, and she quickly took cover under our front step. She moved on after we left. What is your true relationship with animals? … I think “we”, as humans, grow to love animals more deeply as our lives progress and change and make a home on this planet. Do you agree? How was it all for you? Caryn: Little bits of the past remind me of how my feeling for animals hadn’t been nurtured in my home. I don’t think my mother liked them. She did share her favorite artists with me always to make an impression - Louise Nevelson, Andrew Wyeth, and Paul Newman! I was on my own; drawn to the dogs in the neighborhood and to the little stories my father told me about pigeons he kept on the roof

of the three-story building he grew up in, and the horses he cared for during the war. Art and animals have been my passion and go back to my earliest memories. I was always an observer and never wanted to ride a horse though I always appreciated them. My first pet, a long-haired cat, came to me after I married and moved to Boston. Since then, we have always had dogs and cats. I grew up in a suburban New Jersey town close to New York City. I always enjoyed the pets of neighbors and friends and would volunteer to walk dogs. Around 10 years ago, I was called upon to save a poor chicken who couldn’t find a flock to accept her. Susie Wilson came with a name, but very few feathers. We promised her a peaceful home and built her a castle and then brought in other needy chickens but no roosters! We always considered our chickens pets. If we figured out the cost of each egg it would be at least $10 a piece for all the organic food and special year-round care we gave them. We were a ‘hen retirement home’ when the girls were done with eggs. When we moved, we couldn’t take

Profile for harryet candee

the artful mind july 2019