Sammy is our little comedian. Even at an early age, his sideways dances and full body leaps made us all laugh so hard it hurt. He is one of the most affectionate goats, always running up to greet us for morning rubs and hugs. When we feed all of our animals, Sammy excitedly tap dances on the wooden platform waiting for his meal. When he is finished, he makes his way down the hill to partake in a post-breakfast snack on the lower part of our property with the rest of the goats, sheep, and pigs. Unlike the sheep and pigs who prefer to eat whatever is close to the ground, no matter what it is, Sammy likes to make sure he gets the best of the best. He stands on his hind legs and dances around to balance as he sticks up his long neck, licking around to grab the freshest leaves. After his belly is full, he takes his time making his way back up the hill, making sure to scratch all his itches on the fence along the way.
*Available in 4 sizes: 12x12, 24x24, 40x40 and 48x48
*2 week production time
*Free Shipping in the USA only
*All Portraits are custom orders, No Returns or Exchanges
Val Shaff - Artist Statement
The Animal portraits of Patina Farm
My sepia toned, environmental portraits of farm animals are as warm and soft as their subjects. I hope to create a connection for the viewer with a sense of the individual spirit of the subject.
I made these photographs exclusively for Patina Farm. When I am in the field with my subjects all of my senses are happy so close to the earth. Smelling the smells, hearing the sounds, I grow very quiet and move slowly . I make my job a bit easier by photographing animals who are living in loving environments and not being farmed industrially. I believe that if I can get my subject to be engaged with me that what will be revealed is an essential aspect of their character and personality.
For the sepia toned environmental work I look for timeless environments that do not refer to the presence of people . I want to feel a sense of the primordial world inhabited by the others.
When I am photographing in the field I work with good old fashion film. I like working slowly and picking my moments carefully. The marriage of analog and digital gives me the best of both worlds.
When I photograph against black ground, I am working with high digital technology . My medium format Hasselblad digital camera sees things more sharply than I do. These images refer to the paintings of the Dutch Masters . I like to think that I am creating small masterpieces by simply doing justice to the likeness of my subjects. In response to my love of painting, I print on the finest canvas available for digital printing and it is done by a small family owned company in the United States. This medium allows the subject to imbue a space with a presence that I find otherwise obscured by glass .
My animal portraits are made with the hope that living with animal iconography is uplifting . It fills our homes with characters that express innocence , authenticity , humor , nobility , mystery, steadfastness ; In short the animals express and affirm our own values . We are all connected as we share the ground beneath our feet .