Oil Portraits of Chickens, Hens and Roosters – by Canadian Artist Jessie Dunlop.

Dunlop is a Candian based visual artist. She usually paints characters and beasts, but in this series, she has turned her attention to poultry: Chickens, hens, roosters, cockerels, and chicks. These bird portraits were painted in oils on stretched canvas.

Why Chickens?

Here is what the artist has to say:

A received a commission for a portrait of a farmyard animal, particularly and chicken and hen. My first reaction was no, as it is outside of my usual scope of wild animals and fairytale creatures. Upon reflection, I decided that chickens do have character. There are chickens in the Canterbury Tales after all, and I used to love collecting eggs from the hens on my grandparent’s farm in England.

“When the first painting of a hen and chick was underway, I realized that, actually, chickens are pretty awesome. They look like little dinosaurs, with their jerky little movements, and beady little eyes. And the series grew from there”.

These chickens were painted for a group show at the Tumbleweed Gallery in Penticton – a small city on the shore of Okanagan Lake (BC Canada). You’ll notice that all of the titles are inspired by blossoms and blooms that are native to Canada. But what do chickens have to do with blossoms? Here is the artist’s response:

“The truth is, not a lot. But think if chickens could name themselves (and maybe they do?) they would choose words from nature. These chickens are surrounded by flowers, and their names have followed suit”.

Dunlop continues to work in the Okanagan valley. She has since turned her focus to the medium of watercolors as in the words of the artist “they are more immediate and quick”. The artist is still fascinated with birds and plumage though, and it is a theme that continued to make appearances throughout her work.

10×10 Oil on Canvas.
Juniper – A shrub with juicy blue berries.

16 x 16 Oil on Canvas .
Petunia – this is a small trumpet shaped flower, with a gentle lilting name.

10×10 Oil on Canvas.
Price $225
Myrtle – small purple flower with five wedge shaped petals.

Hen and Red Barn – A Study with the colour red
Size 10×10″ oil on canvas. (Now in a private collection)
Hyacinth – highly fragrant with bell-shaped flowers.

Stonemint & Sage.
30×30″ Oil on Canvas.
Stonemint – a wildflower with rose purple petals, in dense clusters.
Sage – perennial with grey-green leaves, and blue flowers.