Lynne Roebuck (Handwritten)
Black sheep stand in a wintery field, filled with mole hills

Painting of sheep:‘January sheep, busy moles’

This modest acrylic sheep painting is one I'm desperate to reproduce in oil at a much bigger scale. I've tried once already, and not been happy with it…

This painting was made in the studio, as a preliminary experiment after a scene I witnessed on a hike. I couldn't stay to sketch because the party I was with were intent on forging ahead (and I didn't know the way if they'd left me behind!).

The above painting captures perfectly the wintery scene, with the muted colour scheme, mole hills, the bright Silver Birch, the dark sheep, and the birds. Something about it was hauntingly beautiful.

An attempt to work up a larger painting is sitting in my studio in a corner labelled "really not sure". Sometimes, there is a quality to an initial painting which I struggle to scale up. It can be a right old battle.

Being an artist often requires perseverance, and I'm determined to make the painting that this one points the way to… eventually.

original painting

  • Artwork Size: 22.8cm x 22.8 cm (9 x 9 ins)
  • Medium: acrylic
  • Paper: 300lb watercolour paper

It's a wintery scene, where black sheep feed in a field on a small-holding, that's covered with mole hills. Three birch trees with wonderfully rich colours decorate the scene, adding that special unexpected something to it all.

It looks like an imaginary scene, but it really is a place – and it captivated me while hiking round Northamptonshire on a particularly wet, dark winters day.

I had to stop and marvel at it while my colleagues marched on ahead oblivious to the beauty, as seems so often the case on walks. Yes, I'm a nightmare to hike with, because I want to stop and stare all the time. But when the inspiration for a striking piece of landscape art strikes, it's overhwelming – I can't really explain it.

There's another painting I need to do inspired by this arresting scene, which will have a flock of white geese in it.

Similar to 'January Sheep, Busy Moles':

Sheep in the Wolds