Thursday, March 09, 2006

art and chickens

Sometimes the chickens drive me crazy. They can't help it, I know it's not their fault, but it's ridiculous how much food they waste. They fling it around. It's just part of their foraging behavior, they get their beaks into the feeder and push the feed out the sides. Ok, they fling it, they don't just push it.. It drives me bonkers to watch them do that. And it doesn't help that whoever designed chicken feeders perhaps didn't know much about chicken behavior (or perhaps these feeders are meant for rabbits...). I've been trying out various ways of modifying them, anything from reducing the size of the feed pan, to drilling holes and threading a wire through the feed pan. I think the wire thing might end up working best. It physically prevents them from doing the flinging motion. Part of the reason they are doing this though is because I do a custom feed mix. The brand of chicken food available locally only has plant proteins, and while that move probably keeps the tree huggers mildly happier, it's really not a good thing for the birds, they really seem to need animal protein. So I've been mixing game cock feed (loaded with fish protein!) which is a seed mix, and the birds are just nuts about it, so they dig through the boring chicken food to pick out all the seeds. I may have to go back to just straight boring chicken feed though and throw the seeds in as a treat from time to time. Ugh, chickens! I love them dearly but sometimes find them to be incredibly irritating.

I said I would talk about art, so here it is: I have a very strong urge to do a HUGE painting. I know I know, I'm always saying how I'm "not a painter!" but I did some small ones a while back, and they're okay. There are two things motivating this (neither of which is that I have time for it, because I don't). One is that I've had a HUGE canvas behind the lazy boy chair in here for..oh, 5 years I think. I inherited it from the art department on clean-out day one time. It had the beginnings of a colossally ugly nude painting on it, I have no idea whose it was. I've put about 5 coats of gesso on it so far and I think all the gesso in the world couldn't cover this nude thing, because if you hold it up to the light woowee there's a nekkid dude on there! Ugh. But who was I to turn down a huge free canvas that could be painted over. So... yeah, it's just been sitting there, and I ought to either give it away or use it.

The other motivation is something along the lines of interior decoration, and the fact that the house is more or less devoid of color. The walls are white (Mom wants to paint them, but she wants pale pastely colors, and I'm not convinced that's much of an improvement), the carpets are beige, the furniture is neutral grayish-blue. It's really quite boring. So I think a huge bright colored canvas smack dab in the middle of the wall might help. Most of my art is black and white, or pretty neutral tone. I also think a big colorful (red!) oriental carpet would do wonders.

So I'll have to think about that. It would be a chicken, I'm pretty sure...

I also sometimes think about making some folding screens to wall-off my art table from the rest of the room. It's a bit of an eyesore, as I'm not the most organized or tidy person, but it would also bring some color into the drabness.

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