I grew up in a home on a one acre lot in the city. My parents had half of the property sectioned off for a small orchard consisting of pecan trees, apple trees, plum trees, pear trees, fig trees, grape vines and a variety of berries as well as a rather large vegetable garden. I loved having fresh snacks at my disposal, and would pick from the trees/plants often. It wasn't unusual to find me sitting under a shade tree enjoying my freshly picked produce, but I didn't like the work of preparing the harvest for the winter. I'm glad for the experience now.
The only thing my childhood mind thought would make my home close to perfect was to have farm animals. We had dogs, and ( for a short time) two ducks, but I wanted horses and...well, mainly just horses, Ha Ha. I think most little girls dream of beautiful horses just like all three of my daughters have done and still do. I determined that a farm is where I would live when I grew up.
Fast Forward to current times. My husband and I are living in our 4th home since we've been married, and our current home has the largest lot of all our other homes. It isn't a farm, but it is large enough for a small flock of chickens and raised gardens. It's my small suburban farm!
My youngest daughter holding Sunny our buff orphington.
This flock has provided inspiration for my work, and one of those paintings is what I'm featuring today.
The Girls 16x20 oil on canvas
I take pictures of my chickens all the time, and I have no shame in it, in fact my friends have come to know me as a chicken lady. It isn't unusual for my FB friends to share chicken post on my wall. This painting was created from a few of my photos. My goal was to create a painting with the three of my hens, but, as we artist know all too well, the painting tends to determine what it wants to be. When I was close to completion, I wasn't happy with the composition...it needed something. I went back to my photo files, and it hit me... this painting could use some chicks. I scanned the photos from my flock when they were chicks, and most of the photos were poor quality, but I finally found a couple where I could see just enough to use as a reference. So...the chick beside my white chicken (Lily) is Lily as a chick, and the other chick is my Sunny from the above photo with my daughter. Not only am I happy with how the composition turned out, but I love how this painting is more than a painting of chickens...it has a narrative that is left for the viewer to interpret.
This painting along with the other paintings from my "Down On The Farm" collection will be on exhibit at the Virginia Beach Tractor Supply Co. Saturday, April 8th. If you are in the area, come on by and say hello.