Art education, inspiration and encouragement for children and parents in Arlington, VA
My grandfather raised chickens in his backyard barn. He loved these birds and at first I thought that was a funny thing, until I got to know chickens myself. I wish I'd known my grandfather better.
My mother tells the story of Mary, the chicken that ran away from home. We're not sure how she got away but she was gone for days. When she returned the head rooster was so thrilled to see her that he strutted around her and cock-a-doodled and flapped his wings for a good part of the day. My mom is 94 years old and she still remembers that event very clearly.
On an artists retreat in Pa. I was befriended by one particular chicken who liked to nap near me while I painted under the shade of a tree. She and her friends would nap while the rooster kept and eye out. This one chicken took me under her wing and stayed close. It was endearing and I painted a few chicken pictures of her while on that retreat. I swear she looked me in the eyes and winked as if to say "I'm beautiful". Did you know chickens are social and have distinct habits like napping for 30 minutes every day at 3:00? No wonder my grandpa loved them.
Below is a video of chickens that visited me when I went out to paint them as I stayed on a farm bed and breakfast. They were curious, friendly and thirsty! I learned that this breed is especially social, and very funny when they run because of the slippers.
Drawing and painting animals is rewarding for the quiet time, the kinship and to get to know an animals general habits as well as their personalities. It's refreshing to know that these creatures are really like people in so many ways.