Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Alpacas by Julie Riker
My electric went out in the storm last night. I woke to a freezing house and when I finally forced myself to get out of the warm bed I quickly grabbed my favorite alpaca sweater...the warmest sweater I own. Alpaca is an amazing fiber. It is softer, warmer, and lighter weight than sheep's wool. All cozy in my alpaca sweater, I thought of this painting. It is not a new painting, but I don't think I have posted it on any blogs before.
I painted this at the Bent Pine Alpaca Farm in Mechanicsburg where I joined Ralph Hocker's class in a painting session. This was painted entirely on location and is more of a gesture study of the animals who would not stand still for me, no matter that I asked nicely. They are funny animals. "Tuxedo" is the black one who stood tall watching the rest of the group. I remember it was a hot June day and the alpacas must have been miserable under all that warm fleece. I watched them roll around on the ground as the farmer sprayed them with a garden hose to cool them off. I am sure they were happy when shearing time came along!
I am happy for the gift of their wool...
...and so happy that my electric is on again!