Teesdale artist Jo's pet project for Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright
By Lyndsay Oxley - Reporter
A BARNARD Castle artist’s work is to take pride of place in one of the country’s most famous veterinary surgeries.
Jo van Kampen, who is the official illustrator for the British Kennel Club, has painted a canvas of Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet star, Peter Wright, with his late boxer dog, Alf.
Last month, she presented Mr Wright with the painting which is going to be hung on the wall in Skeldale Veterinary Centre, in Thirsk, where the fly-on-the-wall series is filmed.
She said: “I am an old friend of Peter and his wife Lin. I know them from many years ago. They were my vets when I lived in Yorkshire.
“I saw the episode on TV when they lost their boxer dog Alf. I do a few free paintings every year. When something touches my heart I paint something for someone and this was one of those moments.”
The 50-year-old specialises in painting gundogs and produces all of her work from her home studio in the town.
Ms van Kampen created the oil painting from a TV still of Peter and Alf when they had been sat at the top of Sutton Bank, in North Yorkshire.
After contacting the couple to offer them the painting, she was invited along to a special event in Thirsk where Mr Wright was signing copies of his debut book, The Yorkshire Vet: In The Footsteps Of Herriot.
The book is an official memoir penned by the Channel 5 star which talks about his childhood growing up on a farm through to his successful TV series at his practice in the Yorkshire Dales.
Ms van Kampen presented Mr Wright with the piece of artwork at White Rose Book Café.
She said: “It was a brilliant night. Peter was over the moon. Both he and Lin were really teary.
“They were touched by it. It was emotional for me too. I was happy because that was the reaction I wanted. I know what it is like to lose a dog.
“It is heartbreaking. I wanted to make them happy.
“People always ask me if Peter is like he is on the TV and he really is. He is a really lovely person.”
Ms vvn Kampen is delighted that her work will now be part of the waiting room at the veterinary practice.
She added: “The painting is going to hang in the waiting room at Skeldale surgery so it may appear on TV. There is also a grandfather clock in the waiting room with a handpainted face.”