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The Tale of the Woolly Sheep

Oh Sheep.... Wonderful, terrible sheep. Where to begin your tale.

I visited New Zealand when I was 25. It was my very first time travelling alone. The decision to go to New Zealand was very random and sometimes the best things in the world are random.

I was young and enjoyed to drink on weekends. On one of my occasions out at the bar in Barrie I met a women who was visiting from New Zealand. We chatted a bit, shared shots and went on our way. The next time I saw her at the bar we repeated, wonderful shots were had and added each other to Facebook and then went on our own separate drinking paths after that. I fully believe in vibes and to go with the flow of things so when she found out via Facebook some time later (honestly I don't recall how long afterwards months or years) that I was going to be travelling to Australia to backpack with my sister she extended an invite to New Zealand before I went to Oz. I thought about it for perhaps 5-10 minutes and thought, hey why not?

Best. Decision. Ever.

To this day New Zealand hold such a huge part of my heart, I have traveled many places since and it has still remained by top two places. To me it represents so much happiness, independence, adventure and stunning scenery. I do not have a single bad thing to say about it.

The piece Sheep on the other hand, oy veh! It stumped me, tortured me, then took me to new heights.

Sheep's reference image came from my travels in New Zealand. Which makes sense and they have so very many sheep, wonderful soft wool, and lots of clothing made from their wonderfully wool. The difference between wearing and feeling wonderful wool to making an artpiece that is mainly wool is a complete 360.

I will not lie to you, I struggled with this piece. I wanted to stop twice and throw in the towl saying you know what, it looks good enough. Deep down it wasn't to the level I wanted it and my great friend Sara who I am lucky enough to do artwork with would look at the piece, look at my expression and calmly say "you are not done and you know it". So deep breath in and out and I would continue until my heart was happy.

Now that I look back at the piece I am proud of the finished product. I love the colours needed to achieve it, along with the things I learnt about sheep along the way that just happen when you are studying a work piece.

For example have you ever noticed a sheeps pupil. Its a rectangle!! Blew my friggin mind. I had to google it to make sure it wasn't something crazy with my photo... okay now if you google they say that the pupil is a oval, but you be the judge!

Another thing, wool is not clean! Oh no my friend.

It also clumps together more in areas such as the armpit compared to other areas like the sides. It appears different on every part of the body.

To achieve the finished look I had to experience with different styles of application along with use many different colours: white, black, about 5 different greys, a few blues, yellows and browns

Onto the happy ending.

I finished 'Sheep' and couldn't be happier, every time I look at the piece I want to sink my fingers into the wool. I conquered when part of me was ready to give up and to me this piece represents struggle and strength in one.

'Sheep' is available for purchase and is one of a kind.

It is an original with no prints made, so once sold my only sheep piece will be gone for good.


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