I finally finished this one, it is 24"x20", I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one. I painted it w/two things in mind of what it means to me but to the viewer it of course can mean anything.
Shelly! I'm very impressed. Best yet! If I may say, you handled the front-on view (very tricky) of the rooster expertly. Also, the distance between the two subjects, (roo in immediate foreground and alternate subject - the city in background) can be particularly difficult to handle when there is such distance between. I've always found that these dual perspectives are tough to tackle. I also like the texture of the roo's breast against the texture of the water.
As for the "meaning" (not a word I relish when talking about art) I find the juxtiposition of country vs. city very thought provoking...underscored by the roo's bewildered expression... until we are forced to step back and say - "hey, it's just a chicken, he has no feelings..right?"
Okay, perhaps I should move on to an fine art forum, but your picture should come along, too!
Overall, very, very nice!
Great painting, Sheila -- very powerful. What I got from it is not just the rooster's bewilderment but his profound despair and loneliness -- the sense of his world darkening and the shadows of the city closing in on him.
I'm probably projecting from my own childhood when my rural Eden was paved over and subdivisions popped up like mushrooms after a rain. Dispossessed, that's what I felt, although at eight I could not have put the word to it, any more than that rooster could.
Someone once said that a good book reads the reader... and a good painting does the same to the viewer, I think. Well done!
Love it. My wife will hate me but I set it as the background on my computer. I change it about once a month anyway. Keep up the good work...
Poor little chicken, ostracized from the city... :(
Or is this one of those, 'why did the chicken cross the bridge?' things? :)
Cool painting, I love the expression on the chickens' face.
Thanks so much for your comments! you guys are right inline with what I was thinking. I apologize for the first picture, it was overcast outside when I took it, here's another shot, it's not so dark as the first one.
For me the painting has two meanings, one is just plain silly having a chicken in the city. The other goes much deeper, where is his place among the disappearing backyard farms? w/factory farming and stronger city ordinances preventing people from keeping livestock, it's more and more difficult to hang on to our nations farmy roots. Not many years ago lots of people had their own chickens, today it is becoming rare.
Do any of you remember the old commercial of the indian picking up trash in the woods? and the tear running down his face? that's what I had in mind as well.
I love it!!
Is it for sale? Or are you possibly going to have prints made of it?
What are your plans for the series? There are lots of people who collect poultry art, myself included. A series of prints would be wonderful!
Oh, I love it, Sheila! Very nicely painted, as I really enjoy your style. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work :)
Thanks Lisa and Trish :)
Lisa, I do sell my work and teach classes. This chicken series I'm doing is for an annual show I participate in September. My goal is to show only chicken and farm related paintings. They also have a competition/judging that the artist may enter one piece for consideration. I don't sell prints anymore because I was unhappy w/the quality they were producing and to go high end they got too expensive. All of the paintings in my new series will be for sale in the September show.
Here's a link to the PSA I was talking about with the Native American.
Here is a link that might be useful: PSA commercial
This is outstanding, Sheila!
It makes me think of the 17th century genre paintings of people going about their ordinary work in a rural settingÂand always chickens aroundÂtruly integrated into life. Your painting is a wonderful (and sad) contrast to that.
Sheila-I love it. This may sound strange, but the little lines around his eyes made me think of Snoopy when he was thinking "Good Grief!" over something. He was drawn with those little lines (though more exaggerated). I'm thinking the rooster is thinking to himself "What am I doing here?"
Keep 'em coming!
Sign me up if you decide to sell this, or sell prints. I absolutely love it!!!!!
I took a look in your gallery and really love the sheep one. My mom was from New Zealand so I try to find sheep art whenever I can, I know you'll be shocked to hear, but it's not that easy.
I'd love a copy of that, too.
Please tell me you'll make these available to the GW art lovers!!
I want to say so much to you about your painting. First I would like to ask are you a a native of MA? And if you don't mind me asking what part of MA are you from? I don't mean to ask exactly what town/city you live in for security reasons, but if you would like to email me I am very interested as I am curious about your heritage and how it ties into your art. I have taken alot of Art courses and I am especially fascinated by art history and the background of the artist reflecting in their work.
My other interest in your art is that I am a native of MA living there for 42 years of my life. I was raised on the South Shore being born in 1958. Your painting has a great deal of meaning to me. I remember, even though Braintree is considered a suburb, where I was raised, watching it slowly become a city. I remember my parents being in an uproar when the town "dump" was being replaced by the "incinerator" and how that was going to change our small town charm. And when the "T" line was brought to Braintree, Oh My Gosh! The city was going to invade the burbs! It was no longer us going "in town" it was the city spreading to the South Shore towns like a virus.
For me your chicken is my family and the Boston skyline the enemy I heard of as a child. Ironically enough my parents were children of immigrants who settled in the "city" of Boston and only moved to the burbs a few years before I was born. I guess their apprehension of the city invading their suburb solitude came from their years of living in the midst of it all. How MA has changed, I now live in North Carolina and when I visit my family each year, I drive around the South Shore and Boston and often say, the quaintness is gone.
Concerning your talent, it is very impressive. Thank you for sharing it with us. Please send me a link to see more of your work. I hope I don't sound depressing? I actually love the MA I remember as a child and miss many aspects of living there a great deal.
Susan in NC
Thanks Dianne, Terry, Annette and Susan!
I'm so glad you all have enjoyed this piece :)
My current work is a chicken on Plum Island for you locals!
Another MA native here. I am originally from the Cape (Cape Cod), and have lived in Greater Boston. I like the overall painting, but I am so impressed by the expressiveness of the eyes that you have captured on the chicken. Most live chickens do not have much expression to the eyes (we do have a couple), and I think the whole painting is there--in those eyes.
The painting is also excellent technically for--the reasons mentioned previously--and the reflectivity in the eyes where you learn that the city is not just behind the bird, but all around as it looks as if there is a reflection of another building in the chicken's eye.
Another juxtaposition that I like is the soft natural lines of the chicken, water, and tree with the harder more vertical lines of the buildings/city in the background. There is that last soft bit of nature under the bridge almost being squashed by the weight of the city on top of it. I have no idea if that was deliberate, but it sure goes along with what you said you were thinking.
One more thing...
I find the color of the chicken interesting, as if it is a "black sheep" in that setting: outcast, "different", not welcome.
Quite moving, great job!
Love, love, love this piece! Would love to buy a print of the series if they ever become available! Nice work.
Sheila, where is your show?
my show is this September in Andover, MA, it's an outdoor show called Art in the Park. There are over 100 artists participating from all over NE. I really would LOVE to bring one of my chickens but I bet the other artists would complain!
Thats not far from me. I live in SW NH. Maybe I could attend. Why would anyone complain about a chicken? I bet it would be big draw.
Exactly! it would be a HUGE draw and I'm pretty sure other artists wouldn't appreciate that kind of competition. My motivation would be more to talk to people about keeping chickens and share the love of the hobby. My fellow artists would likely feel it wasn't the appropriate venue for such a thing, I could see that point but where my exhibit is going to be primarily chickens I feel it would be justified.....but I'm a chicken nut :)
Sheila, when in Sept is the show? I was toying with coming up for a visit in Sept.
The show is Saturday September 15th from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., rain date Sunday September 16th.
If you plan on coming please let me know and I'll try to send you directions :)
Sheila - I was just over at HT and saw this. thought it might spark some creative ideas for you. :) I'm not going to say any more because I don't want to influence you, but thought it worth bringing to your attention. Grist for the mill, so to speak.
Here is a link that might be useful: Rooster where you wouldn't expect him
Thanks Maggie, that's kind of funny eh? They really put some thought into that one!
Yeah, it's funny! I was expecting to see a rooster perching on an old crooked tombstone in one of those little family plots. Over at HT, all the folks are busy figuring out what what they want on their tombstones. LOL. Mine would have to be a goose! :)
Hey! If anyone goes to the art show, post it here, and we can all meet! Maybe we could even bring plants to trade. Just an idea.
Just let me know if any of you want directions and I can send along more infomation.
Hi Sheila! I think your painting is absolutely wonderful! I paint wildlife and am considering painting a rooster on the side of my very large and white chicken house. You can see my other stuff here: www.artbysheryl.com.
Anyway, I also love chicken art and want to paint chickens on barnboard for my own use and also, maybe, for sale. You should try selling your stuff on EBay. It works pretty good for me.
btw - I'm getting my first chickens today anad have found this to be a fabulous forum.
thanks! your work is really beautiful! I love the collies you did (we have a spoiled rotten tri-colored).
Congratulations on getting your first chickens! I bet you will find them very inspiring :)
I mostly sell my work via word of mouth or at an annual art show I do, I used to sell stuff on ebay years ago but found there were too many good artists willing to practically give there work away!
Keep us posted on your chickens, and I will be sure to post my next painting here.... no surprises, it will be of chickens lol!
Here is a link that might be useful: My website
Looks like the chicken is in despair because the city is taking over.