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After yet another break with friends, actually on my way out of the Fair, I walked one last time through the barns. On this day part of the Swine Barn was filled with certain classes of sheep. On a side "alley" in the rows of pens, with no pedestrian traffic, I found this ewe, waiting, with a calm expression on her face. I stood for a long time just looking at her, just absorbing her glow.

I had already been drawing most of the day, had consumed more than my dietary need for corn dogs (there is a need for these you know), and was way over on any scale of sugar consumption (yes the notes on the card refer to a tub of salt water taffy). I'd also had several breaks and thought for a moment, "just watch her, quit while you're ahead." I didn't want to end my 2007 Fair experience with a rushed drawing. But there was something about her shearling back with its plump wrinkles, and that calm dark face which said, "Draw me."

I'm glad I listened. This is my favorite drawing overall from this year, and it still makes me calm when I look at it. I can smell the late afternoon (and late Fair, as it was the second to last day) smells of the barn. I can feel the lull in energy in the crowds as they focus on food rather than animal attractions at this hour. And I can remember the quiet around us. At the other end of the barn in the show arena other sheep were being judged but the crowd noise and the announcer's microphone enhanced comments didn't seem to reach us. It was just me and a ewe. And she was telling me, "I'm in the present moment and you can be too."


Illustration © 2007 Roz Stendahl; All Rights Reserved