Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Illustration Friday- Fat hen

I wasn't very keen on this topic - 'fat' seemed like a really strange choice to me. Maybe because my old english teacher [imagine someone like Miss Jean Brodie but without the attempts at glamour] drummed into us that using words like 'fat' and 'nice' displayed a very poor imagination, not to mention a limited vocabulary.

I usually try to think of things that stretch the topic a bit - and i pondered on doing something along the lines of an aquatic mammal and going with blubber rather than fat.

I also thought about fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids but i wasn't really sure what i would do for them.

In the end the only thing i could really work up an interest in painting on the theme of fat was a fat red hen since there are lots of stories and nursery rhymes with fat hens - and of course that also made me think of the plant 'fat-hen' Chenopodium album.

Fat-hen is also known as goosefoot, muckweed and lamb's quarters - and it used to be used as a human food in Britian from the Neolithic until the late middle ages. The leaves were collected and cooked somewhat like spinach and the seeds were cooked like lentils or ground into flour.

It was also used a fodder for hens -hence the name 'fat-hen'. Now the plant is generally considered a destructive weed.

I'ev painted a broody fat hen and quickly added some fat hen branches with its pale knobbly flowers.

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Leezy said...

It's a really cool illo, and a great read, too!

Alina Chau said...

beautiful illo!! The chicken is well render, love the feather!

Rrramone said...

Very nice hen. Would make a good gumbo! :-) Well done Alison.

albina said...

Nice… just kidding. It is a very lovely hen and description of the plant and the play of words – simply remarkable. Brilliant illo. Thanks for stopping by!

Bron Smith said...

Such a beautifully rendered chicken...warm colors. Makes me want to head to Colonel Sanders for lunch:)

Twisselman said...

I like the hen. Reminds me of the days on the farm. We had some Rhode Island reds, and this one looks like one. Some of them were very substantial hens. Thanks for the educational bent to the post, also. Cool.

marion said...

I love that hen. It has a slightly disapproving look, a bit like it might know something it could maybe use against you. Great texture to the feathers and nest.