I don’t remember exactly why I painted the first one…I’ve always just been drawn to chickens. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of little packages with big attitudes (probably why hummingbirds are among my favorite birds) and I always stop and when I see chickens in someone’s yard by the side of the road. There is something so calming and just right with the world about a chicken quietly scratching in a grassy yard. Don’t you agree?
So, back then I painted a few chickens to start and they were a big hit. They got a lot of comments and attention at my outdoor shows and sold right away so I painted more…many more. At first, my daughter and I gave them names from our imaginary flock (picturing a day when we’d have our own). We had a definite floral theme with girls like Daffodil, Petunia and Marigold.
Once I ran out of flowers I moved on to famous couples, I introduced the hen & rooster versions of Napoleon and Josephine, Fred and Wilma, and Elvis and Priscilla among many others to the world.
I also started researching all the breeds. There are so many and they come in such a multitude of sizes and shapes from the large, sturdy stock like Rhode Island Reds to the impossibly foolish Silkie Bantams or the every-which-way feathered the FrizzleCochin (my favorite).
At every show, I get asked about twenty times “So you must have your own chickens?” When I tell them “No, I just really like chickens” I usually get a slightly quizzical look like why do you paint them then? (and what is wrong with you, lady)
But that is all about to change.
This is the year! We’re finally ready. If not ready, close enough…we’re taking the plunge. I ordered 6 chicks from my local feed store to be picked up when they’re one day old.
|buff orpington chicks|
I will share my journey in backyard chicken raising here…join me starting May 11th (the day the chickies arrive!) as I post about raising baby chicks in the house (with two kids, 3 cats and 2 guinea pigs). Not that the guinea pigs will be interacting much with them but I didn’t want them to feel left out.
We’ll build a coop and a run for them along the way and figure this whole thing out by the seat of our pants. Like how to keep the neighbor’s dogs from eating them and how do I bribe my two little charges into mucking out a chicken coop.
You can check out more of my chicken paintings here.