View from the Chicken Yard
12 x 12 inches (30.5 x 30.5 cm), oil on canvas
Today I spent a lovely morning amongst dozens of chickens (I could only paint a few). Occasionally a brave hen wandered over to see if I might have some grain for her, but only when Walt Bartman stopped by did they converge in numbers, perhaps because with his big straw hat he resembled a farmer.
The weather started off overcast but increasingly with patches of blue sky showing, so, not knowing whether the scene would end up being gray or sunny, I developed the painting slowly. Trees with bits of sky revealed between leaves and branches have always presented a problem for me, so this time I decided to paint the sky first using Liquin so that later I could paint the tree elements on top of dry sky colors, without fear of the colors mixing and turning to mud. Sometimes it helps to paint with both sides of your brain!