Thursday, November 11, 2010

Old artwork

I've decided that from time to time I'll share some of my old artwork and the stories behind them.

About 20 years ago I was enamoured with colored pencils- still love them, I've always felt more at home with a pencil or technical pen than a paint brush. This colored pencil drawing is of a blue hen chicken.

I shot the original photo of this bird (it's hanging in my art studio) down at the University of Delaware Ag Farm when I was at the Museum. I was down there to collect a Blue Hen for an exhibit I was putting together of Delaware related flora and fauna. The head of the Museum's Ornithology Department, David Niles, was with me.

After I took the photos of this lovely bird he was quickly dispatched (OK, I've just said it nicely, we rung his neck.)

We were in David's station wagon heading back to the Museum, with said dead bird laying in the backseat. David had placed a shovel handle over the bird to keep him in place.

Mid-ride home, I became aware of a movement in the backseat and turned around to see the cock bench pressing the shovel. He'd wrapped his talons around the wooden handle and was lifting it up and down regularly and with ease.  ACK! He's alive!

David checked on him and the bird had indeed gone to the hen house in the sky, but apparently there were still some reflexes still working. The sight of that bird raising and lowering that shovel has stayed with me vividly.

After we got him back to the Museum birdie was dispatched to a taxidermy shop. So, if you go to the Delaware Museum of Natural History and see a Blue Hen chicken on display, it's this boy.

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