CowParade Austin Calendar – September – Partying with Pi-COW-sso

If you have my 2012 CowParade Austin calendar, you probably flipped over to September, saw a very colorful cow, and headed on over to my blog site to see what the story is with the cow named Partying with Pi-COW-sso, which was painted by Allison Gregory.

I count 14 artists that painted 2 cows, no artist painted 3 cows, and Allison Gregory was the only artist to paint 4 cows! I thought I’d use this opportunity to show all 4 of her beautiful cows in this one post. As you will soon see, Allison not only produced in quantity, she also excelled in quality!

You can visit Allison’s web site here, and you can see what she has to say about her herd of cows here.

Besides at the Preview Party in late July 2011, the first time that Dad and I found one of Allison’s cows on public display, it was on the very hot morning of August 20, 2011. It was a cow named Partying with Pi-COW-sso, and it was on display of the front lawn of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Obviously this cow’s name involves a play on words involving the famous artist Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973).

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This was the same bright, direct sunlight that I talked about in my previous post about the cow named Cowmaro.

I really liked the bright colors of this cow, but didn’t like how the harsh mid-day Texas sun was washing out those colors.

The next time we found one of Allison’s cows was 2 weeks later, on September 3, 2011. We found 2 of them that morning. The first one was named A MOO-sical MOO-saic.

This was one of only a handful of cows in the entire herd that were in the laying down position.

This colorful cow was located on the west side of Congress Avenue, just south of 6th Street, and at the front entrance of One American Center

Even at 9:35 AM, the Texas sun was wreaking havoc with my attempts to photograph the left side of this cow. When I went around to the cow’s right side, it was in the shadows, so I put on my external speedlite and took this photo.

I would have loved to had the opportunity that Kirk Tuck had to photograph a cow such as this using studio strobes and white seamless background. All of the specular highlights from the reflections on this cow really do an injustice to Allison’s work of art.

About 40 minutes later, we found Allison’s cow named “A Psy-COW-delic COW-ssword Puzzle”.

There is a discrepancy in how this cow’s name appears on the plaque underneath the cow, and how Allison spells it on her web site. The plaque uses the word “Crossword”, but her web spells it “COW-ssword”. I’ll assume that the plaque is incorrect.

This cow was located at 419 Colorado St. – at Emmis Radio (KBPA).

Wedging myself right up against the corner of the building, and looking at the cow from the other side, the bright background was incredibly bright. I dialed down the exposure compensation by 1 full stop, and took the next photo. I still had to use some Highlight Recovery (+20 in Lightroom 3) to somewhat tame the very bright background.

The next Saturday morning, September 10, 2011, about 10:30 AM, we found Allison’s cow named “MOO-sy In the Sky with Diamonds”. (I’m sure that’s a play on words from the title of a Beatles song from their psychedelic era.)

This cow was located at East 1st Street & San Jacinto Blvd. – at front entrance to The Four Seasons Hotel. There were a lot of cars, patrons, and bell hops between this cow and the front entrance, which made it difficult to get a photo of this cow without distracting cars or people behind it. I sort of got out in the drive between 2 cars and took this photo with a very bright background. I did use the Adjustment Brush to bring down the exposure by ¾ of a stop on the white car and pavement to the right of the cow.

After the car in front of me moved on, I was able to move a few feet to my right to get this photo with a somewhat more pleasing background. I still had to resort to using the Adjustment Brush to reduce the exposure of much of the bright pavement behind the cow by 4/5 of a stop.

After standing in the direct, hot Texas sun for about 4 minutes, I finally had a very brief moment where there were no people, and only the front of one car protruding into the background. This was my only shot from this side of the cow that was worth keeping.

It was a week later, on September 17, 2011 when we once again ran into Partying with Pi-COW-sso at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

This time the light was much more favorable. Even though it was 11:05 AM, it was overcast, and so the sunlight was very diffused. Here you can see the base of the large Texas Star behind the cow. This is the photo that I used for “Miss September” in my CowParade Austin 2012 calendar.

As you can see, Allison Gregory uses bright, bold colors. Her use of pseudo-psycheledic patterns and colors really seem to draw me in – about like a moth attracted to a porch light. I personally thought that all 4 of her cows were outstanding works of art!

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