Laura Wortley wrote, in her 1996 biography of artist Lucy Kemp Welch (1869 -1958), suffragette and illustrator of the definitive 1915 edition of "Black Beauty", that she painted "horses, not horseflesh" (emphasis mine). That is, she depicted them as vital, independent beings, not merely extensions or possessions of their human owners. She preferred to paint the draft horse over the thoroughbred, "the natural type," she once explained, "fashioned by nature and not by man - full of faults, variable, beautiful, and lovable beyond words." (Wortley, pg 142.)
I always think of Welch when I look at my sweetie's paintings or sculptures of animals, be it of horses (she specialized in equine painting while attending art school in CT), dogs, bison or, in this case, chickens. Judy has a wonderful understanding of animals, from years of working with them, careful observation and study, and, most importantly, love.
So we posted her latest painting, just finished a few days ago, on ebay last night. As usual, she sighed "it's a stupid painting" when she finished it. I insisted "the colors are clean and bright, the brushstrokes are fluid and painterly, the composition is perfectly balanced. And it's cute! Someone will want to buy it." "Cute" is a word that i guaranteed o make her cringe, as it is apparently akin to the eight deadly sin - or the first, in terms of her art. Too bad, I say. "Someone will want to buy it."
Occasionally, I actually win the day - and I'll take any victory, however small
ETA: a friend has informed me it's actually a "hen", not a "chicken". Not that I'd know - city girl, and all.