Spread 0090 – "Cheeper"

Spread 0090 – “Cheeper”

17 June 2012

Vintage and personal papers, black and white gesso, acrylic paint, matte medium, matte varnish, Adirondack color wash sprays.

Edited: 27 June 2012

There are many things about growing up on a farm I am nostalgic about, chickens are not really one of my favorites, chickens are mean generally. I received an incubator one year for Christmas and I raised a couple of eggs from my mom’s chicken coop into baby chicks. One of them grew into a huge male we called Cheeper he used to follow me around the yard and we raised him in his first week of life in our house. Cheeper grew and went to live with the rest of my mom’s 100 chicks she got every year, 50 males and 50 females. We would eat the males and keep the 50 females for egg layers. I actually remember oddly the fond memory of the mornings I would go with my Mom to help her chop off the heads of the chickens and prepare them for freezing. I probably begged for Cheeper’s life and he was spared for many years. Cheeper grew these enormous spurs on the back of his hind legs. I remember one day my Dad had to go into the hen house for some reason and Cheeper walked up and spurred my Dad in the back of his leg and it sent my Dad right to the ground. Times changed and for whatever reason my Mom decided to quit having chickens and Cheepers days were numbered. I remember my brothers and I asking “Can’t he just live in the yard and peck around?” I remember always looking at the spot that the chicken coop stood with fond memories of Cheeper, looking back I wonder why?

After some reflection on this post I know why: This is part of the fabric of my life. My life is like my life is one big tapistry and it is woven in there stongly.  It is why I hold the lives of my pets so deeply important. Their soul is unique and can never be replaced. I feel this very strongly and the thought of all of them brings tears to my eyes, and makes me pick up and hold my little kitty Hank who is sitting next to my as I write this and give her a hug and a kiss. Their lives are sacred to me.

2018-05-03T13:39:58+00:00June 26th, 2012|Art Journals|6 Comments


  1. Monica June 27, 2012 at 3:17 am - Reply

    What a great story! And the name of the rooster is funny =-)

    It’s so interesting to learn about what life is really like on a farm – so many of us are so disconnected from our food source, so reading about how you ate the roosters and ‘prepped’ them for eating is fascinating!

  2. pearlandroses.wordpress.com June 27, 2012 at 6:15 am - Reply

    So wonderful.

  3. Marit June 28, 2012 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Your story brings back my childhood years… not that i lived on a farm, but I come from a very small village (800 inhabitants) and most of them were farmers (yep, ‘countryside’) so I remember playing with their kids, milking cows, pig slaughtering and so on… you captured your memorie and story in the spread wonderful – now Cheeper lives on forever on paper and on the internet!

  4. John June 29, 2012 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Brian, what an amazing memory! Thanks for sharing just a peck of your childhood along with this wonderful piece. I LOVE THE ROOSTER! Is it a transfer? So bold and strong. Nice work!

  5. Orly July 2, 2012 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful endearing story. I don’t know what it is about chickens and roosters that is just so appealing to an ‘artist’ I once had my rooster ‘period’ when all I did was depict them on large canvases. I used to go to the ‘Avifauna’ in Holland, kind of like a zoo for just birds. I would spend hours watching, admiring, collecting feathers, and sketching the many many types of chickens there are. So many colors, and patterns. Them being able to lay eggs, is just a magical thing to me. I could go on and on about that but I won’t. Really nice Brian, very sweet, beautiful pages came about.

  6. Diane July 17, 2012 at 9:47 am - Reply

    I am grateful to be in herclass thisfriday!

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