SHEEP

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I may post the next batch of sketches out of order, which is either bang out of order, or just what the doctor ordered, depending on what cliche you prefer. I wanted to post this now because who doesn’t love drawings of sheep? What’s more I am going to attempt to write a post about sheep without making a single ovine-based pun, even in the title. I’m telling you, it’s really difficult for someone like me, who loves a pun no matter how weak, but I’m trying Ringo, I’m trying real hard. (Pulp Fiction references to shepherds are allowed). Anyway back in Spring quarter we had some sheep in the middle of campus, out on a little enclosed piece of greenery outside Bainer, very close to where I work. These are the UC Davis Sheepmowers (see https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/sheep-mowers), and they are invited to a lawn to graze, to “eat weeds and grass, fertilize and control pests as well as or better than using conventional landscaping methods”. Also, I think people just like seeing sheep, it’s good for them. We are an agricultural school – our nickname is the Aggies, which took me a couple of years to figure out, I used to think it was a reference to that Scottish woman who cleans houses on TV, I never watched that show – so farm animals are not uncommon to us, but mostly they are in fields and stables on the outskirts of campus, rather than right in the middle. Always nice to see the sheep.

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Anyway as part of the Sheepmowers project, they had this great idea of getting UC Davis people down to draw the sheep, providing art materials and watercolours (and shade, very important), and inviting people to sit around the edge and draw the sheep. Well I couldn’t pass that opportunity up, so I enthusiastically drew the little sheep fellows, daydreaming about that episode of Father Ted with the sheep, the one with the ‘Beast of Craggy Island’, and other sheep based TV shows like Larry the Lamb, Shawn the Sheep, er, Roger Ramjet? There are probably more famous TV sheep I’m not thinking of, and I’m still trying so, so hard not to do a sheep-based pun. This is an act of sheer wool-power (aaargh!!!!!!!!! one slipped out. Two technically).

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Right, definitely no more sheep puns. Hey do you remember counting sheep when you were a kid, to go to sleep? No, that never worked for me either. I always thought that was really weird, like how is that a thing, counting sheep? So basically you imagine the sheep, and then count them? How many do you imagine? If you imagined them you wouldn’t need to count them. “I imagine 500 sheep”. So you start counting them but your brain says, look you know there are 500, you don’t need to check. I always had a hard time going to sleep when I was a kid, for one thing I kept imagining my room being full of sheep. These days I tend to listen to a history podcast, preferably someone with a boring voice, to get me to sleep. “Hello, and welcome to the history of sheep.” Anyway, I really enjoyed coming down and drawing the sheep. Below you can see the scene in full, with many others drawing and painting all the little sheep.

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To find out where the Sheepmowers will be this Fall check out https://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/sheep-mowers.

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