Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fluffy Duckies

The latest additions to our little farm are an adorable pair of ducklings. Since we already have chickens, it was a natural addition, and we assumed that we could house the ducks in the chicken run, with their own doghouse-turned-duckhouse for a shelter.
Of course, the way projects often go...we realized that the chicken run would be unsuitable for the ducks and we decided to build them their own enclosure. The doghouse--suffering from a bit of rot, required considerable renovation, and now will sport a new red metal roof made from scraps from the chicken coop, and a clerestory window, with a hinged roof section for easy access.
The ducks have grown inches every day, and at four weeks old today, they are at least five times their original size, and growing feathers.
Swimming practice has taken place in the bathtub, a large plastic bin, and muck buckets.
They should be old enough to swim on the pond now, but cold rainy weather has delayed the duck housing construction, and so they'll happily remain in their temporary barn enclosure under a heat lamp for the time being. This little 8 x 10 oil study is the first of many duckling-inspired paintings to come.

Monday, May 09, 2011


"Piggies", 8 x 10 oil on canvas

Everything off the easel lately is seems to be an 8 x 10 canvas. That is because I found a deal on a ten-pack of 8 x 10 canvases, and I toned them all at once, so they are ready to paint. It's a convenient size, made even more so by the fact that I found a source of 8 x 10 floater frames at my local art supply store, so that when these little paintings are finished, I can frame them up and they're ready to go. I have painted these piglets before, but I loved this pose of them snuggling in together. Piglets seem to love being one of a crowd, a foreign concept to someone who grew up as an only child.

Speaking of being in a crowd, I had the privilege tonight to start rehearsing with the ensemble for a local production of Sweeney Todd. As someone who likes to sing, but cannot sing well, it is a treat to participate with a cast of at least 30 voices, and to hear them all harmonize, even mine--since I cannot hit the high note, I drop down an octave when necessary. The music is tricky for Sweeney Todd, but our music director can work miracles. I was looking forward to doing this again since last summer's experience with Oliver, and I need something to replace the endless soundtrack of Food, Glorious Food that still pops into my brain whenever I cook dinner.
After doing Sweeney Todd, I may have much more horrific images in my brain when I cook dinner. Meat pies, anyone?