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  • Writer's picturesarahvonthronlaver17

'Haring Through the Seasons' for the Cotswolds Hare Trail

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Back in October 2017, I was lucky enough to have my design picked for the Cotswolds Hare Trail along with another 60+ artists. Two weeks later a giant hare was delivered to my door. I'd never painted anything on such a large scale before, being used to illustrating books & producing concepts ready to email off, so I didn't know how I would get on.

But the surface of the hare was lovely to paint and after buying a bucket of acrylic paints I set to covering him.

The process seemed to have a life of it's own. I had roughly sketched out the design on part of the hare, but thought I would make some of the scaling decisions as I went along. I barely had to think about colour, as it just seemed natural that I would use a particular colour palette and slowly my design started to take shape.

What I didn't realise was that I started a process that was going to take me over 200 hours.

The first part was easily, it seems so quick, but the further the design progressed the more detail I saw could be added, and it almost became like a never ending piece of string. Saying that, I love every minute of painting the hare, well apart from the bit where I got dead legs and arms from lying on the floor trying to paint his feet!

It was during February that I discovered who my sponsor would be - WWT Slimbridge, which was such exciting news

as there was still a space on the hare to add a detail particular to Slimbridge.

If you visit my hare, go and look at his bottom and you'll spot a bird well known in Slimbridge.

Anyway, when you have a deadline (which was at the end of March 2018)

you have to finish what your doing and stop adding things!

Haring Through The Seasons (before he hared off)

The Hare was finished, just in time as I had a pile of work waiting to be done - soft toys can't wait to be designed y'know (that's my main job designing soft toys).

I made him a tag for his neck, signed him, painted his name on his underside and coated him in 3 layers of UV protective varnish. I was sad and happy to see him go when the removal men came back to pick him up, he'd become part of the family but at the same time I knew he'd being going to a good home over the Summer and besides, he was taking up a LOT of room in my office!

My family and I went along to the launch event and saw my design along with all the other amazing hares by other artists.

You can see them all here at the Cotswolds Hare trail website, and visit them in situ around the Cotswolds using this guide.

We also went to visit my Hare at Slimbridge

which was one of the loveliest days out, as the Wetland Centre is utterly beautiful, and a great day out for families.

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