Hendrick’s Gin and Weird Chicken Art

As long as we're talking about booze today, here's a strange and marvelous thing:  the people at Hendrick's Gin are injecting their usual madcap absurdity into London Cocktail Week, an event it pains me greatly to miss.  Anyway, they've created an Umbrella Emporium to pay tribute to the cocktail umbrella.  Check this one out–the Mumbrella:  ‘A miniature umbrella made out of iridescent feathers is shielding a chicken egg sat on a nest. Is it waiting for the egg to hatch, or is it just shielding it from the morning rain before it gets eaten for breakfast? Only the Mumbrella knows…’ 

Well. There you have it.




The Chicken Challenge

White hen

I painted this lovely white hen as part of a Daily PaintWorks challenge a while back and just realized I never actually submitted it!  Well, here it is.  I wish I could tell you something about this chicken, but I've never met her–just grabbed the photo and started painting.  I do love painting chickens, particularly their faces–people will say that chickens don't actually have expressions, but I think you get quite a sense of a chicken's personality from their faces.  This one seems to know that she's quite beautiful. 

Actually, I would say that most chickens have quite a high opinion of themselves.  It's one of the things I like about them.

You know the drill–

8 x 10 oil on 1/2 in thick board.  Click here to bid Go here to see more paintings.

Dolley and Bess

Here's another painting of my hens, Dolley and Bess. I don't know if you've ever tried to get a chicken to post for a picture, but it's very hard to do. I can get them to sit still by putting out some chicken scratch for them to eat, but then the question is how to make an interesting image out of that. I thought they were very sweet with their heads together like this.

This is 6 x 6 inch oil on board. Click here to bid. You can have a look at my other paintings available on eBay here.
Thanks and enjoy the holidays!

Dolley is really my favorite chicken, although I've said that about all of them at one time or another. She's an Americauna and she lays light blue eggs–when she feels like it. As you can probably tell from this portrait, she is the sort of hen who knows her own mind and isn't afraid to tell you what she thinks. She's actually very bossy and makes a point of staying at the top of the pecking order. But she's also quite sweet–she has a distended crop that really needs to be massaged sometimes so the food will go down, and I can pick her up and put her on my lap and massage her crop, and she just sort of closes her eyes and leans up against me.

This is a 5 x 7 oil on board, painted on the half-inch boards with the sides painted black.

Click here to bid. 

I'm also adding her to a growing collection of chicken notecards on

Chicken Paintings!

Chickens in box

I get a surprising number of e-mails from people who want to know when I'm going to do some more chicken paintings.  Well, good news:  I've got a series of them going up at Lost Coast Daily Painters over the next few weeks.  I usually post on Tuesday, so go check it out if you're interested.  As an experiment, I'm starting bidding at only 99 cents!  What a crazy deal.

And — yes — all the paintings are of Eleanor, our Rhode Island Red (seen here in upper right, jostling for position with Abigail for the preferred nesting box on a day when all four of them got eggy at once).  I'm sad to tell you that Eleanor died a few weeks ago–our first hen death.  To our complete surprise, she had cancer–and lots of it–which was discovered after the bird vet put her to sleep and then opened her up to take a look.   We're very sad about it but we're glad she didn't suffer long.  I think the other chickens miss her, too–it's really thrown off their social life to have her gone.

So I've done a series of portraits of Eleanor as a tribute.  She was a fine, dignified hen who didn't go in for tricks and hi-jinks like the other birds do.  She was more of a true barnyard animal, more interested in laying eggs and digging for worms than goofing off and acting like a pet.

My Silly Hen

Eleanor moulting

Usually our chickens go through a very discreet winter moult, losing one little patch of feathers at a time, so you hardly notice it's happening. But not Eleanor.  Poor girl–she seems to have dropped half her feathers at once.  She looks like half a chicken. Fortunately chickens don't spend much time looking in the mirror, so she has no idea how silly she looks.  Also–luckily for her–it has not been terribly cold yet.  I hate the idea of her dropping all her feathers just when she needs them to keep her warm at night.

I Feel Bad About My Neck.


Another sign that autumn is here:  the chickens have started their winter moult.  Poor Abigail is losing all her neck feathers at once. Very undignified.  Not to mention a little punk.