Thelma, our reserved, serious brown goat, acts as the mother to our small four goat herd. She’s all business, leading everyone out to graze in the morning. She spends her days galavanting around the farm, taking frequent rests on her stoop where she can watch over her furry friends. Thelma is a very smart lady. During her daily walks, she’ll look up at the delicious leaves on the pepper tree and then look at us, patiently repeating these glances back and forth until we (slow humans) understand and bend the branch down so she can nibble on the greenery. After she finishes her afternoon snack, she sticks her nose in the air and looks at us, gracing us with the gift of petting her beautiful coat. At the end of the day, she leads her furry family back to the barn for a few head butting matches and finally, a restful night of sleep.
*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 .