Do you know what a Bellwether is?
Before I wrote “Samson’s Gift” I was out on one of my photo jogs taking pictures of sheep. I found this crazy group of sheep I called “Rastafarion” sheep. I am sure there is a correct name for this breed ( May be you KNOW) but they had long braid like loops of brown and white wool. Among this group, there was also a goose and a lama. “I found that sheep are rather shy about taking when their shepherd isn’t around”. Anyhow, this goose started making this horrible honking noise announcing that their was a stranger in the midst. The lama “who’s job is to protect sheep” walked towards me and didn’t look very friendly.The herd of sheep looked up at me and continued to graze moving farther away. None of this was very helpful for picture taking.
Suddenly a sheep from way back came running towards me with a bell. It came up to me and then all of the other sheep came over by him and posed for their picture. When he lost interest he left and so did all the others. When I was doing research on sheep I learned it was a he and he was a bellwether. A bellwether is a castrated sheep that wheres a bell. The shepherds herd him where they want the herd to go and the other sheep follow. The shepherds can also hear where the herd is if they wander. So thank you bellwether. I didn’t paint you but you helped me out.
This painting is called “Wool Patterns” has a grid underneath to exaggerate the patterning. I felt the shadows were especially effective how they rapped around the faces creating dark and light patterns. This painting was displayed last year in the Watercolor West national exhibit one last year securing signature status for me.