#125 -- Draw a bird
I always thought once I stopped working, I would easily and automatically return to the easel. But then, I helped build our retirement home in the country. Afterwards I was compelled to grow things and raise some critters. I evolved into what my relatives back in the Cornbelt scathingly refer to as a "pretend farmer." I drove a little Mazda "pretend" pick-up truck to the feed store to buy supplies for my "pretend" livestock (dwarf rabbits, call ducks, and fancy booted bantam chickens, all of which were given their own names, and subsequently never treated as actual agricultural product!) A decade passed in a gentlewoman farmer's dream, with seemingly no time for art, when I stumbled upon a quotation that really got under my skin.
This is attributed to Anna M. (Grandma) Moses - "If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens." Around this same time, I'd been trying to analyze what kept me from picking up the brush and under my list of "energy drains" had suddenly popped up my beloved poultry collection. Could this quote work in reverse as well? It didn't happen overnight, but slowly I divested myself of the flock right down to the last, this little black and white Frizzle rooster. He was just so skittish and shy I could never catch him to be sold down the river. In the years he spent as our only chicken I always felt bad because lack of female companionship had reduced him to the sad and hopeless habit of courting wild lady doves.
This January a road crew was working near our house, and the noise scared little Cochise so badly he ran away from home. Over on the next block, he found just what he had been longing for - hot chicken women!! - and it didn't take him long to decide on a permanent change of address. I do miss him, but about that same time I began a slow but sure return to the studio. Coincidence? I'm really not sure.