Amidst Champion Bulls, Prime Cattle and Sheep

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At the end of 2016 I found myself at a livestock auction at Thainstone Mart. I still keep going back there. There is so much movement in this environment; the ringmaster overseeing the auction reminded me of a conductor in an orchestra; the animals and yard boys circling in the ring in front of the farmers meddling and bidding in an amphitheatre. I watch and draw in turn the captive audience with their caps, overalls, boots and weathered faces while being lectured by retired farmers bringing me up to speed with the local proceedings and customs of this fascinating aspect of the agricultural business. One custom is that the seller would give a “luck penny" of a fiver to the buyer of his livestock. This now is a title of one my art works. So apart from the numerous benefits from drawing from life, the advantage of integrating is also to understand the process at work far better, and helps me to focus on what I need to capture to be able to relate better to my audience.

Below are Japanese ink drawings created of a champion bull at the Annual Spring Show and of the ring during a weekly sale.

Champion bull
Champion bull
The auctioneer
The auctioneer