Chicks and paintings

The Heart of a Chicken, acrylic, collage on illustration board, 15 X 11″

On Monday I decided to paint a series of chicken paintings. My tables are covered with chickens paintings in varying stages of development and I’m having so much fun with it.

My own flock has been reduced to two – Gladys the Rhode Island Red, who still lays an egg a day at age 3 or 4 and Nimbus the bearded Silkie hen who has given up laying eggs altogether after witnessing one too many nightly maraudings when her sisters were dragged off by raccoons.  The coop and pen are constantly being upgraded and fortified to prevent further break ins and it was time to build the flock back up.

So yesterday I brought home 5 new baby chicks and my studio is now filled with the sounds of cheeps and scratches and the smell of wood shavings. When I hold them they look at me with those big grave black rimmed eyes and I feel the enormous responsibility of being a good mother to them.  Andy has picked out the feistiest one to name Selassie (after Haile Selassie, a name heard in Reggae music lyrics I guess).  New chicks tend to receive male names when named by my sons, even as we all hope they will turn out to be hens and not roosters! But surely naming them that way does not impact their sexuality, does it? I will post pictures of them next, as soon as I can get them to look away from their eating dish (all I’ve got so far is pictures of the downy bottoms!)



  1. This comment from Muriel: haille salassie was emporer of ethiopia in the 70’s … he died in 1975 … wikipedia has tons on him … i don’t think any of your chickies look like this guy … his name is familiar, not because i listen to rap but because my parents used to speak of him since he was exhiled to great britain at some point, possibly after the communist take-over of ethopia  …


  2. From Gwen; I thought his name was “The Duke” after John Wayne. How did I come up with that I wonder? He could be a Partridge Rock, (Carole turned me on to some chicken hatchery catalogs.)

    Your forays into chicken-land delight me. I love the paintings; they catch that intense
    keyed-up chicken energy that I find so fascinating.

    I hope to find some chickens in France, although I know ducks are easier to come across living in ponds rather than coops.


    1. I’m not sure how I came up with Colonel. After consulting with Carole I’ve learned that in fact he is a Duke as you say, and a bearded Americana, so I’m wrong on both accounts.

      Are you going to raise chickens when you get back from France?


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