Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Faithful Sheepherder

November 1, 2011

A very large coyote got my last remaining rooster and a chick last Friday. Just as I was coming out to feed, I spotted the big predator standing over the decapitated rooster. He gave me a look, then sauntered to the corner and jumped our five foot chain-linked fence in one bound. I found the lone remaining hen, cowering by a pile of wood in the corner and put her back in the coop. Needless to say she was a nervous wreck. No sign of the chick. The coyote must have popped her in his mouth like a bon bon.

Over the weekend, the Arizona Republic did a feature on one of the last sheepherders on the Navajo res. He is in his nineties (I think it said he was 97) and he still tends to his sheep in the old way. With the predators on my mind, I whipped out this little study this morning before I came into work:

I call it "The Faithful Sheepherder And His Faithful Dog." This scene was modeled for me in the late 1990s by Flint Carney and my Australian Shepherd Peaches. I found the photo about a month ago and have it on one of my art desks. Saw it this morning and took a quick stab at it, completing it in about a half hour. I have thought about this image for a long time, but I like some of the vagueness of it. Didn't have much expectation for it, AND I expected it to fail because it was merely a study. Gee, I wonder what ol' Hoffer has to say about this?

"There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail."
—Eric Hoffer

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