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Naive art painting showing a shepherdess in the desert, leading her sheep by moonlight.

Naive art painting – Biblical scene

Shepherdess in the Desert, with Sheep and Moon

British naive art / Israeli naive art – acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 70cm (20″ x 28″), original painting.

I made this painting after spending two-and-a-half years working on the Bible illustrations for Ariella Books. I think the Biblical influence shows through clearly! This painting may be considered naive art in that it has a simplicity and directness of expression. It doesn’t care for academic accuracy in representing the figures. The colours are bright and the composition has a certain graphic quality. There is a flatness that comes from not really addressing issues of perspective.

What am I saying in this painting?

I suppose I am searching for some answers. The shepherdess is a symbol of a leader and a guide. In the Psalms, G-d is referred to as a shepherd. But here the shepherd is a young girl, who seems nevertheless to be in possession of an otherworldly wisdom. Perhaps she is from the ancient past, being herself a Biblical matriarch. Maybe, originating in the past, she is a spiritual teacher, or guide, for our own time. In any case, she is pointing the way to where she is going. She could be inviting us to come with. Her eyes look out at us, but not in a confrontational way. Her sheep follow her willingly, but will we? Once you go beneath the surface, I’m not sure this painting is completely naive art……


This work is available through The British Association of Naive Artists.