Sheepherder and Lamb Sculpture
A charter member of the Indigenous Sculptors Society, dedicated to maintaining the highest artistic and ethical standards, this multi-award-winning artist is known for the precision and artistry of his work, mostly devoted to Navajo subjects, like this wonderful piece.
The Navajo were, and still are, known as sheepherders; here we have a shepherd feeding a new-born, probably orphaned, lamb with a baby bottle.
The pinkish alabaster is confidently handled, with an artful balance of textured and polished areas.
Polished areas include the face, headband, vest, belt, hands, and baby bottle; textured areas include his shirt, necklace, hair, trousers, and the wooly lamb.
The rocky terrain is not textured, but not super-polished, either.
With realistic proportions, the faces and details are lovingly depicted.
The nostalgic tenderness felt by the artist is evident in the care he has given to the features, expression, and stance of the man and the lamb.
Both are standing on a layered rocky outcropping, so often found on the Navajo lands.
The lamb’s back legs are firmly planted, while one of the front legs is bent, while the other is straighter, resting on the rocks.
Its human nursemaid is balanced firmly on one foot, with the other one bent, and just touching the outcropping with his toes.
Sculpted from one piece of soft peach alabaster, the ensemble is placed on a base of warm, brown wood, (possibly oak) that goes well with the coral-ish markings of the alabaster.
From every angle, the talent, experience, and emotion of this prize-winning artist is obvious, as is his highly regarded skill.
A virtuoso piece of sculpting, the animated design of both the man’s and lamb’s positions, and the dynamic shape of the rocks give beautiful life to this look at a memory of traditional Navajo life.
Big enough to command attention, and small enough to display with ease, this is an affecting work of art, by an accomplished, heralded artist.