Monday, April 27, 2009

Painting Chicks

The Grumpy Chick
oil on canvas, 14 x 11 in.

Just a Couple of Chicks
oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in.

These chicks are already inspiring some paintings. Out of thousands of baby chicks that leave the hatcheries and get shipped all over the country, lucky are the ten chicks that came to live at Underhill Hollow. Three of the babies have already been immortalized on canvas, and more paintings are to follow. I have to admit a partiality to the yellow Americauna chicks. Never have I used so much cadmium yellow in a painting. These images are for sale as prints in my etsy store.

The chicks had their first outing in the yard on Sunday. They seemed to enjoy the beautiful summer-like day, pecking about in the grass, doing what chickens do, and climbing all over my son. Michael is making great progress on the coop, and the pressure is on to get the main part finished, as the chicks are already growing fast, and will soon outgrow the plastic brooder in the bathroom. The coop is designed with one side that will open up completely for easy cleaning. Still have a lot of details to finish such as the shingles and the outside run.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Chicks are here!

This being our entry into the keeping of chickens, we are so excited to have the little peepers home. I now have a chicken-bathroom. We set up a large plastic tote with a 100 watt lightbulb for heat. I'm using puppy pads for now, as I read somewhere that newspaper is too slippery for them. When I use up the puppy pads, I'll switch to shavings, but for now, this is so easy to keep clean. I have a layer of newspaper in the bottom, with two pads on top, and I can just roll them up and replace them without taking all the chicks out. There are four Americaunas, three Rhode Island Reds, and three Barred Plymouth Rock. Despite an earlier decision not to name them, the three RI Reds are tentatively called Prudence, Patience and Hope. (How original--I wonder how many RI Reds in Rhode Island have these names?) And I really want to name the four Americaunas after my aunts..Margie, Hallie, Beverly, and Dot.
The three Barred Plymouth Rocks are a bit up in the air, but Max suggested either Chelsea, Mindy and Laurie, (his girl cousins) or Jeannie, Sheri, and Amy (his aunts). We have no idea if they would appreciate having chickens named after them or not.
Of course, we look upon it as a thing of honor. After all, these hens are going to be beautiful and dignified hens. Of course, we also have no idea yet if any one of these is going to turn out to be a rooster!

This was a great weekend for coop-building, and Michael has made huge progress in getting the chicks permanent home constructed. The four walls and floor went up, the roof is on, and the siding is mostly in place. It's only three sided, still, as the fourth wall is going to be two big doors that will enable us to open it up for easy cleaning. I will post the coop pictures soon.

I think today was nearly a perfect day--it started with apple pancakes, and included some time in the garden, time with my son, and a lovely short trail ride in the afternoon. Except for a nagging cough and doing two loads of laundry, it would have ranked as perfect.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My new Etsy store

I finally spent a little time putting up an Etsy store. It seems to be a good place to list prints and small original works of art for sale. I like that the focus is on art and craft items, unlike ebay. I never felt comfortable listing art on ebay, which to me seems just like an online garage sale. The piece above, "Drive On!" is available as an 11 x 14 giclee print on watercolor paper. Matted size is 16 x 20.

So, if you are inclined, stop by the shop.

Thompson's Community Art Show has an opening reception tonight at the Thompson Public Library. I have "Star in the Mist", "Llama", and "Spotted Cow" on display. Opening is 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Community Room.

Must get some eggs to color for Easter. We like to color lots!
Happy Easter!