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About Jo

I’m based at the famous Yew Tree Farm in Coniston where I’m surrounded by constant inspiration for my drawings and paintings! Yew Tree Farm was once owned by Beatrix Potter, and I love the idea that I’m following in her footsteps, specialising in the character of our domestic and wild cumbrian animals.

What I do

On the creative side, I draw and paint, creating animal portraits for prints and cards and I take on commissions for portraits.  More recently I have helped set up Herdwicks Coniston, a café serving delicious food and drings and using beef and lamb from our own farm. On the Land, I help my partner, Jon Watson, to manage the Herdwick sheep and Belted Galloway cows that graze the 700 acres of Yew Tree Farm. I even turn my hand to butchery on occasion in our farm shop…never thought I’d be doing that when I was in my vegetarian, student days!!

 

 about jo

Variety of jobs

I haven’t always been a professional artist though. I trained and worked in countryside management and farming for many years. I loved my work which was always interesting and very varied.

I worked in some of the most beautiful spots in Surrey, Hampshire and Lancashire. One day I’ll have been  designing information boards and leaflets, giving guided walks and undertaking surveys of rare plants and animals. Another day may have found me dry stonewalling, hedge laying or building stiles and boardwalks.

 

 Jo-McGrath

Other day jobs!

Other jobs saw my days occupied by lambing sheep, blood testing cows, milking goats, treating boils on pigs and massaging buffalo with oil! I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it all.

A love of farming

My biggest acheivment at that time however, was setting up and running my ‘Mobile Farm’, which was enormous fun and immensely rewarding! This entailed loading up my Land Rover and trailer with  goats and kids, sheep and lambs, pigs, ducks, geese, the lot!! Then heading off to bring the countryside into town.

 

 about

I'd love to hear from you

Make an Enquiry

Contact Jo for a chat about your requirements by clicking on ‘Contact’ or by phoning 015394 41433.