I was fortunate to grow up on a small wood-heated homestead with chickens, sheep, horses, cats and dogs, and with acres of fields and forest to explore. I spent my childhood bonding with animals, drawing and painting them, but also learning to care for them, to grow food and preserve it, and to work hard on the land. These experiences taught me a deep respect for the beings that animals are, and how they sustain, feed, and inform our lives. I try to live much the same way now.
I keep a small flock of my own layers, usually around 10-12 hens, who give us eggs and who we treat as pets. (That’s Mr. Knightley in the first photo, my big fluffy Jersey Black Giant rooster.) I also raise meat birds every summer, I give them the best lives that I can, and when the time comes, dignity, gratitude, and respect in their deaths. I also grow a vegetable and herb garden as well. Every other food, we buy as locally as possible, supporting the other small farms in our area.
My artwork is what’s at the center of me, and who I am. In recent years I have infused my artwork with humor, as I believe it gives people permission to focus on the joy of life, the positive, and the fun – all so important to our human perspective. I will continue to do this, but my work is evolving too… as my artistic journey deepens, I wish to honor chickens and other animals with my paintings, and I always strive to make my artwork the best it can be to represent them.