Over a year ago with Covid-19 contagion all around us, political and social unrest and violence, and our world near ecological collapse I found myself enraptured with Willard and Curtis, twin Scottish Highland steers. They live nearby at Allandale Farm, a working farm (and a much-loved spot) where in the warmer months I buy local produce and plants for my garden. At first glance, these shaggy, tangled coated beasts appear out of time and place, like some mystical beings or prehistoric animals. (I did learn that Scottish Highland steers are the oldest cattle breed, originating in the Scottish Highlands as early as the 6th century). These old souls move slowly, are often still and silent. They are removed from our world. I went often to photograph and videotape them, fascinated by the way they looked and behaved and how they appeared in the landscape, like black mounds of earth. I would come back to my studio with the fresh experience of having just seen them, along with new images from which to base my paintings. I loved painting their tangled coat of hair - so suggestive of dripping paint, and their large, curved horns that defined and separated these beautiful animals from the landscape. Being with them, observing how calm and peaceful they were quieted my mind. Their presence was strangely comforting and gave me respite from my world of anxiety and uncertainty. I imagined Willard and Curtis as protectors, substitutes for nurturing figures.