My good friend, Annie, loves to raise chickens as pets. She can feed them by hand and take their eggs while they are roaming around her yard. Their names are always interesting: Geegeet, Peaches, Henny Penny, Bonnie…I also had a great opportunity to take care of the chickens and their hen house for a week while Annie and her family were on vacation. One of the chickens would let me stoke her for as long as I’d like. It was a really wonderful experience. Megan was afraid of the chickens at first (they were almost her size!), but I showed her that she could chase them. Once she learned that, she wasn’t so afraid of them anymore.

Annie suggested to me one day that chickens would be so much fun to paint. I agreed completely, and together we found a photograph that would be excellent to do. This was the final result, and can I say they were TONS of fun to paint.

The background was completely grass, so I thought instead of painting each strand of grass (as I tried and failed to do with Megan’s daffodil painting), I thought I’d get a bit more impressionistic. I think it turned out fabulous, don’t you? There’s green, but there’s also blue and purples in the grass to show the warm and the cool spots, as well as some salt added to give some neat texture. Now the focal point is nowhere but those chickens.

Notice the black and white chicken. I wasn’t sure if this chicken was black with white spots or white with black spots. So I thought the easiest thing to do was cover the white areas with misket (a glue solution), paint the whole chicken black, then remove the misket to have the chicken be truly black and white. Feathers are also really important in this painting, and I tried spending a lot of time working on feather details. The photograph doesn’t do it justice. You might have to head on over to Annie’s for a closer look!

PS- The music on my iPod while painting was Jenny Oaks Baker, a professional violinist. She really got me into the spirit of painting life on the farm.