“Today’s Eggs”

Posted by on June 19, 2007 in Paintings | Comments Off on “Today’s Eggs”

Four_eggs5 x 7, oil on gessoed art board.  SOLD.  Click here to see all my paintings.

When we’re lucky, we get four eggs a day.  As hens get older their egg production declines–and in the chicken world, a two year-old hen is "old" and is usually headed for the stew pot.  Not our girls!  They’re two years old and still going strong.  They’ll get to live into their dotage in our backyard–and I’ve heard that chickens can live 10 years or longer. 

The color of a chicken’s eggs depend on her breed.  From left to right, we have:  Bess, an Araucana, with a greenish egg, Eleanor (in back) with a medium brown egg, Abigail (in front) with a light brown egg, and Dolley, also an Araucana, with a light blue egg.  The color of an Araucana’s eggs can vary a little from bird to bird, and ours are really a kind of mixed breed called an Americauna or an easter egg chicken.

Somebody posted a comment and asked me about style.  I’ve been painting for about five years, and my painting teacher does encourage us to figure out our own style.  I’m not sure I have what you would call a style, but I have learned how to do certain things well, and I’ve given up on some other things that just seemed beyond me.  I’ve figured out how to pick subjects that interest me and that I can actually pull off.  I like to use slick boards because I like the way the paint slides around, and I like to use palette knives and rubber scrapers to push the paint around.  I also like to get a painting done all at once, or in two sessions at the most.  I admire people who work for months on large paintings, but I have to save that kind of patience and tenacity for writing books.  When it comes to painting, I want some short-term gratification.

A couple of fancy art terms for styles I use:  impasto, which is a technique that involves laying the paint on thickly so that brushstrokes and palette knife marks are visible, and alla prima, which means "all at once"–it’s a technique that involves finishing a painting in one sitting, while all the paint is still wet.