The Black Sheep

One of my sons is actually a shepherd of sorts…he raises sheep and cattle. The other morning he posted a picture of his sheep in the middle of a winter snow storm on instagram with this caption…

There is something about sheep in the snow that catches my attention. “The Lamb” and “white as snow” holds so much meaning in scripture.What a blessing it is to me to be reminded of these things in my daily life, as I care for even such a small flock. Forgiven through the Lamb of God to be made white like snow that my guilt and shame would be covered by His love and mercy.

It wasn’t a good photo taken with his phone, but in the small flock of sheep, one black sheep definitely caught my eye, so I painted it.

Here’s the rough idea sketched out with burnt umber and a little cadmium red and turpentine…

sheepHitting the dark areas…This black sheep is really going to pop out!

sheep 2sheep 3And then I forgot to take more pictures until the end. Here is the painting…

sheep 4 copy

9″ x 12″ Oil on Ampersand Artist’s Textured Panel


You can see how the black sheep stands out from the rest of the flock. I took a look at the meaning of black sheep…

Black sheep is a derogatory term used to describe an odd or disreputable member of a group, especially within a family. The term stems from the genetic effect in sheep whereby a recessive gene occasionally manifests in the birth of a sheep with black rather than white coloring; these sheep stand out in the flock. The term has typically been given negative implications, implying waywardness.

The term originated from the fact that the occasional black sheep will be born into a herd of white sheep. Black sheep were considered undesirable because their wool cannot be dyed, and there weren’t enough to make black wool.~ Wikipedia

Black sheep definitely stand out from the flock in paintings and photos.

Being a bit of a knitter and spinner of wool, I have dabbled a bit in different fleece, yes, even natural black fleece, which I love. Interesting that there are more white sheep than black. There are so many beautiful colors that white wool can be dyed into, but not black.

All just very interesting to me. Share your thoughts?

sheep 5

17 thoughts on “The Black Sheep

  1. You have a wise son. I really like that painting. We have Angora goats that look like sheep. We have one white and one black. The Mom Person spins the mohair together and gets kind of stripes! Our black goat is the nicest of the two, but the white one has much softer fleece. Angora goats come in lots of colors and there are people who dye the colored fiber and it comes out pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Thank you. I know there are some that enjoy seeing the process. I’ve been trying to show that occasionally, but I think there is a point where I get so involved in painting that I forget to stop and take the picture… Oh, well, I’ll keep trying. πŸ™‚

  2. Another lovely painting, Karin. I enjoyed seeing your process and now I’m even more impressed with your talent. It’s interesting that being different (and in this sheep’s case,no fault of their own), should be considered a bad thing. I’m sure there is a lesson on tolerance in there somewhere. White or black, we are all in need of divine assistance and grace.

  3. I love your painting with the black sheep. I really love all your paintings and sometimes I don’t even
    write to thank you forsending. I sure enjoy all your work and love to see it all. Love you a lot Karin.
    We are all fine. Sage just came and called me for dinner. It is so great to have her here and we love
    her so much. Thanks for lending her to us. Hope you can come and see us soon. We would love to have
    a visit. Mom

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