On October 4, 2016 0 Comments - Sheep
Sheep and snow, two of my favourite subjects. I am drawn to the soft expression of my ewes, and winter scenes where the falling snow blankets their fleece in white.
The locals have many names for the sheep that inhabit the rocky craigs and sea side cliffs near Dingle Ireland, but I heard them most commonly referred to as Bog Ewes. They are fantastic horned sheep with long wooly coats. It is my utmost desire to return to Ireland, and one of the reasons is simply to see more of these sheep.
This large painting of two of my ewes, Dot and Maggie had been entered into a juried show at the Latcham Gallery in Stouffville. WhileI was driving it down to be juried, I hadn’t yet thought of a name.I drove past the Lincolnville Go Train stop outside of town and thought that was an apt name for a painting of my two Lincoln ewes. The painting was accepted into the show.
Dorothy is my favourite ewe, she is always willing to be scratched behind the ears, without being overbearing like some sheep can become. She was a quadruplet, the only quads I ever had born here, and is named for the black dot on the back of her neck, on an otherwise completely white fleece.
My new Suffolk Ram and Ewe, shortly after coming to live on the farm. The snow was falling silently around, blurring the evergreens in the background into a soft blue green veil behind them. The snow covered their wool like icing sugar on Christmas cookies.
The year I painted this, the spring was cold and late. The subsequent heavy rains left my ewes with plenty or grazing and plenty of wool. I had left the shearing late, feeling guilty to take their wool coats away when warm weather was so hesitant to come.
Dot, my favourite ewe, in the doorway of the old stone wall of the barn. She is standing watch, ready to stamp her foot if she feels threatened. I have the utmost respect for the craftsman who built these stones, they are still as true today as they were 100 years ago. The missing stone on the side is on my “to do” list.
This is a very loose, quickly painted work, in which I used a gel medium and mixed it with the oils to get a thicker feel. I love the feel of the snow swirling around them, landing in thick layers on their backs.
My ewes, blanketed with snow on a blustery winter day, waiting for me to take them into the barn for their evening grain.
Dot and Maggie are sisters, from a set of quadruplets that were born years ago. They are Lincoln ewes, a long wool breed, fairly large and robust, with their wool growing in ringlets as it gets longer.
This painting was a small study of Molly, a Suffolk Lincoln cross ewe lamb.
This chalk pastel is of one of my older Lincoln ewes catching the afternoon sun in late winter. Sheep tend to rest in the sunbeams coming thru the windows and doors in the winter, you can often see the steam rising from their thick woolen coats as the sun warms them. I am fascinated with the contrast of light and dark, the highlighted wool glowing against the darkening shadows of the old stone wall.
Dot, with a set of Suffolk Lincoln cross lambs. They were a striking pair, one jet black and the other pure white.
My ewes heading back to the barn during a snowy winter day.