Friday, January 14, 2011

Chicken

Free Range, oil on canvas, 8 x 10 inches, 2009

This week the theme over at Illustration Friday is Chicken. At the risk of being a literalist, this painting from about a year ago sprang to mind. I painted this at the 2009 Plein Air at Beaver Farm event. It's a beautiful biodynamic working farm but it's a real farm too, nothing boutique about it. Nature red in tooth and claw and all that.  I was surprised when several people who first saw it said "Awww, sweet!" and "Isn't that cute?" While painting I had been thinking about these chickens, happily roaming the range and killing bugs and even small animals (apparently they love to eat field mice, baby snakes and voles!) as fast as their greedy beaks would allow, and how they would eventually be food themselves. Just cycle of life thoughts, nothing tragic, but certainly far removed from sweet or cute. I was thrilled when the person who bought it actually shivered and said "Ooh, this one is a bit creepy! Makes you think, doesn't it?" YES! Makes me think it certainly found the right home, this painting. ;-)

19 comments:

Pascal said...

Very nice painting, good work! :)

studio lolo said...

I just love it!

I have to say I bristle a bit when something of mine is tagged "cute."

Only because I really never go for cute. Yes, your painting found the perfect home!

INDIGENE said...

Wonderful work, Nancy!

Mindful Drawing said...

Very nice painting and great text.
We like to project a lot of cuteness on the animal world.
Only little chicks are cute to me.
Paula

Sue Pownall (aka travelingsuep) said...

I like this painting very much Nancy.

k.h.whitaker said...

this is lovely, it's so calming

Juan said...

Fantastic! Great work!!
Have a nice weekend

Mary Jane said...

I like your painting and especially the thoughts you have about the life of chickens. You have a lovely blog here and I will come back for sure.

Ellen Byrne said...

Beautiful painting!

Linda Hensley said...

I love it when paintings go to the right homes! Very nice piece.

dufwenberg said...

This painting is wonderful! lovely colors!
/Pernilla

Ann Pilicer said...

You have such a beautiful illustration! I have chosen you to have a Stylish blogger award!

DoodleDesign said...

Wow! Nancy, I really admire your mastery in oil for many subjects!
Great job, indeed.

String said...

Great painting! I love the colours and light. Great story too!

Jack Foster said...

Great post Nancy. Beautiful work.... not cute :o)

Marie Campbell said...

Incredible - your artwork and comment really made me think

D. Lindsey said...

Nicely done, Nancy. I especially like the coop. I grew up on a farm, and when I read this weeks word, it made me think of the way some of the roosters would have a bit of a mean streak and want to chase my brother and I. So cute wasn't my first impression either.

Linda Hensley said...

Hi! I have an award for you! Please visit me, where you may find it and share with other blogging friends!

Nancy Bea Miller said...

Thank you everybody!