I am pleased to be one of the 52 contributing artists for the Artful Lawyer’s year long book project: “New River Valley Through the Artist’s Eye”. Artists from around the NRV were asked to choose a NRV locale and express their vision of the site in a work of art. Wednesday night was the unveiling of our creations at the Artful Lawyer Gallery in downtown Blacksburg. Awards were given out and I was honored to receive a 3rd place award for my vision of the Va Tech Sheep Farm titled “In Cohoots”. Below is my oil painting as well as my narrative for why I chose this spot.
You can read more about the Artful Lawyer’s book project on their website artfullawyergallery.org/2017-book-project as well as order copies of the book. The art work will be on display at their gallery in downtown Blacksburg until December 13th.
Virginia Tech Sheep Farm
Living in a town with a large land grant University has the benefit of an urban lifestyle while still being connected to a pastoral landscape. I love that I can walk down a secluded path in many Blacksburg neighborhoods and come upon a farm of some sort. The Virginia Tech sheep farm, in particular, brings back many happy memories for me. It was a place I often took my sons when they were young, and to this day “the sheep” is their favorite animal. The college students at the barn were always welcoming and knowledgeable about the animals. My boys had the experience of watching lambs being born, as well as engaging in the feeding and caring for sheep.
Being an artist who specializes in animal portraits, I knew I wanted to incorporate animals into my NRV art piece. While out shooting reference photographs of the Virginia Tech horse barn, my original concept, I came upon the sheep on a crisp fall day during the “golden hour” (early evening) and the memories came flooding back. The young lambs were playfully running in circles and the older sheep were keeping a wary eye on me. I chose this scene to paint in oils partly because of the rich dramatic lighting and the gorgeous ochres, greens and oranges, but also the expressions on the sheep’s faces. It was if I was eavesdropping on a private conversation–as if they were “In Cahoots”.