Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Lost Sheep...

Not a biblical reference but rather the name of my latest painting. 

The Lost Sheep - acrylic on canvas 40cm x 50cm

You might remember way back here I did a doodimal based on a photo of a sheep we'd taken at the Ark Farm.  Well,  I knew I wanted to paint that cute face in acrylics as well and so I decided to have her set against the back drop of the Northern Lights to make it local to Caithness.  Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis in Scots Gaelic is Fir Chlis which translates literally to The Merry Dancers so I had planned to call this painting 'The Merry Dancer'.







However, there are vast numbers of sheep in the fields all around us up here and I noticed that none of them had the pink fleshy nose and mouth of this sheep.  I tried Googling sheep breeds to see if I could find out what type of sheep she was but to no avail.  I looked on the Ark Farm's website but could't see her on there either.  Eventually I phoned them and asked if they could tell me what breed the super friendly and inquisitive sheep with the pink noses were.  I was told they were Dorset Sheep.  Hmm, so not really typically found in the Highlands of Scotland then?  In fact, you probably couldn't get much further away geographically as Dorset is at the South West of England about 722 miles away from Caithness!!




As I had already spent quite a bit of time on this sheep, I really didn't want to start over with a more Scottish breed, just for the sake of being geographically correct.  As I had already used a great deal of artistic licence in creating the background, I decided to extend it a little further and so I give you Daisy, the Dorset sheep, who wandered a little too far from home and ended up at Duncansby Head. She may even have been doing her own version of the Lands End to John O'Groats walk. As luck would have it she arrived on a clear night in late winter and the Merry Dancers decided to put on a show just for her.

Sorry about the photos - by the time I finished it the light was going out of the day so the photos are a bit dim.

Here are the stages it went through during the different painting sessions - not as long as the cow took but I suspect I might not be finished tweaking this one yet. 


Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7



Session 8 - Possibly finished, possibly not!

In other news - I got me a job!!  I've been looking for part-time work since we moved here and, on Wednesday, I had an interview  with a charitable organisation called Alzheimer Scotland working two days a week in their office in Thurso.  They phoned me back that afternoon to offer me the job. It's perfect as it is something I will enjoy and the bonus is that it means I can still volunteer two mornings a week at the animal re-homing centre and that still leaves me a full day and two afternoons during the week to spend on art (as well as the weekend).  I'm really happy about it and looking forward to starting there in the next week or two.  

Happy Paint Party Friday.  Don't forget to pop over to the party to meet some of the other party-goers!

**Updated - I did tweak the Sheep again - here is session 9 where I softened the dark parts of the wool a little and tweaked a couple of other bits.  And it's a better photo taken in daylight!




30 comments:

  1. Firstly congratulations on your new job! Sounds like you will be very busy. Secondly I just love your pink nosed sheep. She looks so curious. I've never credited sheep with as much curiousity as goats or cattle, but this dear little lady looks quite adorable. Love the progress shots and the mottled light . Gorgeous.

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  2. Congratulations on your new job! Sounds great! Love the painting. And the perspective as well is super!

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  3. Congrats on the new job!! Love the painting and the funny story about why this poor lamb is lost. And.. I love the word doodimal.

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  4. Fascinating process and wonderful delightful result!!

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  5. Only you will research and even call to find out where the pink nosed sheep's home is:-) I love it. That's part of what makes you and your art so unique. Glad about the new job for you!

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  6. Oh my gosh! I love her adorable little face! You captured her inquisitive nature so wonderfully. Congrats on the new job also!

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  7. Wow love her, also loved to see your processes. Congrats on your job.

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  8. So glad that things are all falling into place for you and the job does sound perfect... and this painting is fantastic... and thanks for showing the steps you went through to get to the finished product... really liked seeing it emerge... xx

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  9. Wonderful work! I love to see your progression pictures and how its made with all those dots. Congrats on your new job, sounds like you are settling in well in Scotland

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  10. What a fun post, and what a cute sheep!
    Congrats on the job too, and love to see your WIPs.

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  11. You always manage to paint animals that have such a sweet expression on their face. I think it's the eyes that make it that way, or the mouth, or both .... Anyway: I LOVE Daisy! And congrats on your job! Sounds interesting!

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  12. Dat face!:) I want to kiss it, so adorable! Thank you for the process shots, very interesting! <3

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  13. congratulations on your new job am so pleased everything is working out so well for you. Loving your fabulous sheep and thank you for showing the stages. Happy PPF, Annette x

    http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

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  14. Well done for getting your job, I know how hard it is!! The sheep's nose fascinates me, it looks quite textured (in the image), sort of soft and furry, lovely work as always xx

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  15. BAAA! I think it's great, such a lot of personality, I'd take her home! I keep looking out for the merry dancers, but not seen them yet!

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  16. So glad to read, congratulations on your new Job!
    And: I love your sheep. Sheeps are one of my favorites but yours is blu. I´ve never seen this before.
    Hugs and happy PPF
    Erika

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  17. That's fabulous news - I'm SO pleased for you!
    And I LOVE your sheep. Are you going to do a series like this for a gallery? It would go perfectly with the cow etc...
    And I'm so glad you did a WIP. I have been meaning to ask you do do one for us :0)

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  18. Wow! Congrats on the new job. I know the animals at the rehoming shelter are all cheering that you will still have time for them too! I really love Daisy the Dorset sheep. I just want to reach out and touch that sweet pink nose.

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  19. Oooooh - what a gorgeous Sheep... couldn't you just walk right up and plant a huge smackeroo on that lovely little pink mouth ??!!! She's adorable xx
    Many congrats on the new job too. I am glad you will still have time for the art though :-D
    IKE xx

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  20. Oh Nic I absolutely LOVE her up close portrait!!! Thank you so much too for sharing the painting's progression-really fascinating style. Big congrats on your new job-sounds like a perfect fit for your schedule.Happy PPF!

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  21. gorgeous painting (you render animals so beautifully!) and congrats on your job!! looks like your relo to the north is treating you well! xoxo aimee

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  22. I learned so much from this post! I think just as humans are wandering all over the earth, so are our animals. There's no geographical correctness anymore. So much soul in your work -- I love the depth you achieve. And congrats on your job. I know you'll be a blessing in the lives of those you work with.

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  23. You Dorset is so cute and I am just wanting to give her a hug. Love the photos of your process....congrats on the job....Happy PPF xox

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  24. I don't know what fascinates me more - the beauty of your sheep or the fact that you have sheep around you. Happy PPF!

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  25. Congrats on the job. This painting is AWESOME!!! I love it.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  26. oh, this turned out terrific! what a fun face...and certainly challenging in perspective...I love that sheep*ish* face! happy PPF!

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  27. Beautufil 'Lost Sheep'. Stunning. Thank you for sharing your process

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  28. I love that sheep - love that view of the face and the story of the title. Congratulations on your job - Sounds like you will have time to do many of the things you love to do and work as well! Again - the sheep is terrific and I would be proud to hang it anywhere in my home. HPPF

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  29. I think he is so great! I am really drawn into his eyes! I love that they're green. it hink he's super cute! You're so good at painting animals!

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