"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Complete & Utter Gorgeousness of Pig’s Ears

I have a few new projects going on at the moment but one is going to be particularly delightful; drawings paintings and prints of pigs.

Chris is writing about pigs in his new blog Salute the Pig blog. Chris likes pigs.. a lot. He was brought up on a pig farm and has an affection for them as both animals and providers of delicious food. I should say from the start that we are not vegetarians but we like to know where our food comes from and  part of the reason for the blog is to find pig breeders who are kind and ethical.

We decided to begin with the wonderful Mangalitsa pigs because, as a close relative to the old Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig, it is the only pig I know anything about.  I was introduced to the splendid and sadly now extinct Curly Coat many years ago when illustrating Lincolnshire Country Food.  I will write more about it as the drawings develop..but you can read about the Curly Coat / Mangalitsa connection over at Chris’ blog.

We had a very encouraging start with a visit to Brian and Sylvia at Rectory Reserve, based appropriately in Lincs, who breed Mangalitsas. They have a wonderful and charming bunch of pigs who live in an idyllic spot. I have not really been up close to pigs before but they are quite captivating. They watch you with bright attentive eyes, are lively and friendly and are extraordinarily lovely to touch.

At this stage I am just exploring what a pig looks like so these are my getting-to-know-you sketches but what struck me most about these Mangalitsas are their fabulous ears; long, floppy and wavy edged in the mature pigs, pricked and alert in the young pigs, some with curls and wispy ends… they are just gorgeous.

Initial Mangalitza Sketches

bg mg1 bg mg2

Two sketchbook pages, pencil and pen and ink . A4

And Two Beautiful Ears ..

bg mangalitsa ears

A small study of the curliness. pencil  6 x6” in sketchbook

You will find lots of info on the internet about the Mangalitsas, also known as Woolly Pigs or (irritatingly) Sheeppigs.

They are handsome and very engaging…much more on these and pigs in general soon.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I love pigs too and always try to buy free range bacon or ham.

Haven't seen pigs with curly ears before, how wonderful.