Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back to the future...

Just when I got my head around having time for painting... the Census called me back!

It was only for a few days, however, and I finished my assignment today, so tomorrow it's back to working on the shop/studio in the morning, and then spending the afternoon on my next large canvas.

In the short time I had between Census gigs, I did complete one small painting as well as making numerous drawings and getting that large painting started. So - all in all, a very good week!

Distant Rain, 10 x 14, acrylic on panel $125.

While I was out and about, small storms were springing up all round, with very scattered showers. Since my pastures were parched, I tried to capture the rain and carry it home to paint. In the past, I've had some pretty good success conjuring up a downpour by painting the rain to come (heh). If I continue to be successful in this endeavor, I shall have to patent my "rainpainter" process...
And for a heartwarmer - this is Lorelei, one of the amazing four-horned Jacob ewes who was part of my foundation flock years ago when I raised these wonderful wool sheep. I apologize for the photo quality, as my scanner doesn't work and I photographed the photograph. Lorelei struck up an amazing bond with a blind Giant Leghorn hen that I found bleeding and near death in the middle of the highway. She'd fallen from one of the coops used to transport these longsuffering creatures to the packing plant in Gainesville.

Did you know chickens don't qualify under cruelty to animals protection laws because they are designated as "produce" or a "crop" rather than animals? The coops - piled six to ten high - on huge flatbed trucks are in such poor repair that the roads into Gainesville are littered with the bodies of chickens who fall through broken and bent bars. It's horrible - but probably no worse a death than they would experience at the processing plant.
"Lulu" had been caged all of her brief life and didn't seem to know how to walk once her injuries appeared healed. She had such a serious head injury that she was blinded permanently. I used to keep her in a large pen that could be moved about the yard. I often let some of the older sheep graze the yard and one day I noticed Lorelei standing head to beak with Lulu. They stayed that way for a long, long, time - seeming somehow to be calmed by one another. It was uncanny. It was as if they somehow communicated with one another. Perhaps Lulu followed the sounds Lorelei made as she walked around, or maybe she could discern her presence by other means. All I know is that they were pals until Lulu passed on.

18 comments:

Roy said...

I like Distant Rain; good work!

4-horned sheep? That's a new one on me!

Patrice said...

For the best in Four-horned photography, breeding, shepherding and spinning, check out my friend here: http://patchworkfibers.wordpress.com/

ArtPropelled said...

Your story about Lorelei and Lulu brought a lump to my throat. It is strange how often unlikely partnerships happen in the animal kingdom especially when abandoned. In Africa we often see dogs taking huge animals under their wing. A few stories from Game Parks where dogs will mother baby elephants, rhinos and hippos.
I love your painting, Distant Rain. If your endevors to conjure up rain continue being successful you are going to be a very wealthy woman!

Lyn said...

So glad you came to my blog! You are an original, thanks..heard of a rain dance, but rain painting? If by beauty alone...
Your Molly..I 've got a Milo..nice eyes too, but can win the silly kitty contest!

julie cavender said...

Your painting is awesome. Of course, all you painting are awesome! Did you paint my house yesterday? We had a nice rain yesterday.:)

Dean H. said...

Beautiful, dramatic, rain painting!!

I love your altar/architectural frames. Super!

That's a sad story about Lulu and the fate of chickens in general.

patrice said...

Hi ArtPropelled - Dogs and eliphants? Wow. Yes, heartwarming and sad all at once. I actually had another ewe (a blackbellied barbados) who was very friendly with Lulu and would stand with her muzzle right against the pen wire - while Lulu stood with her beak inches away.

Definitely some sort of bonding of hen and ewes.

Hi Lyn - I wonder if there is a silly kitty contest? Sounds like a posting theme!

Yes Julie - I thought of you as I painted!

Hi Dean - Thanks for stopping by and reading Lulu's tale. She's the only one I ever found alive in the 20 years I've lived here.

danika dinsmore said...

I love the Lulu/Lorelei story. It demonstrates that animals are deeper creatures than most humans give them credit. What a marvelous bond they had. Love the photo, too.

Don't get me started on how chickens are kept. It burns me up to no end. There's a chicken packing plant in Vancouver and I once saw a truck leaving, stacked with empty cages except for one chicken that was somehow forgotten about. It was injured, fluttering and calling out. It broke my heart.

alethakuschan said...

Wonderful painting of the rain coming and very touching story about the chicken. What a lucky chicken that you came along to rescue her and give her back a little chance at life and friendship too. Dear kind animals.

Your painting has wonderful colors and quite a sense of power and emotion.

GetSoiled said...

Okay...so you made me cry...but really you made me cry *more* because I was already crying when I came to visit...turns out I was trying to keep my mind away from the fact that tomorrow morning I have to bring my beloved Lulu cat to be sent to kitty heaven (she has eye cancer) and I come to visit you and there you go with your blind Lulu story! Ack woman! First our Frida similarities and now Lulu??!?!?! This is too weird...okay, I am going to leave your blog and come back another day and please don't make me cry again. (like it how I am blaming things on you?)

sara star said...

I wouldn't want to get caught in that storm. But looking it from a nice window wouldn't be so bad. You really captured the fierceness and beauty of the rain.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

it's a lovely painting and I'm so glad you got some work albeit briefly.
This animal story is heartbreaking. I am heartsick at the treatment of 'food' animals :(
I just don't know how to make a difference in the way food animals are used. I can't even think about the kinds of people who work in places where animals are 'product'.
Lulu lucked out by falling into your path.
I wish I could make a difference somehow.

patrice said...

Oh danika - chickens deserve so much better from us!

Aletha - Thank you; I value your opinion highly!

GetSoiled...- Darlin', I am so sad for you - I know your Lulu has had a wonderful life with you.

Sara - thank you for stopping and for your generous comment. When all else fails, I glory in the frenzy of a storm, or find peace in a soft summer day.

Mary - Like you, I wish to make a difference with animals, and raising awareness of how entrenched cruelty has become part of law is one way to push for change. Thank you for your compassion.

Olivier Longuet said...

oh. you can feel the rain coming. nice work

Paula K. Cravens said...

Where is Patrice?

Anonymous said...

Hi Paula - I remain on hiatus trying to find a (better) job. Things got so bad I couldn't afford internet...

Hope to return one day soon...

I miss everyone so very much.

- patrice

Shelley Whiting said...

Your piece is very expressive and moving. I love all the layers of color and the luminous light. Very beautiful.

GetSoiled said...

oh my gwad that story made me get teary-eyed woman. You are such a sweet sweet human being for taking Lulu under your wing.