Painting of a Chicken as an Abstract Figure

Figurative painting of a chicken

Chicken. 12x12, oil on linen panel. 2017

As I get ready for the summer shows, I decided to go through some old paintings in my studio to see if I can make them better. My goal is to reuse the ideas behind them. I'm doing this because our new dog needs babysitting and I'm finding it difficult to get out of the studio to paint outside.
Here I tried to turn an old chicken painting into something more abstract. After sanding down the original, I painted over the top of it. I left the chicken's shape as it was, but took a different approach to the colors, values and edges.
I had to laugh at myself because it felt like this was the only way to create an abstract work. First I had to paint a realistic chicken portrait, wait for the paint to dry, then paint over it. In a sense the realism acted as an under painting; it's the painter's equivalent of the crappy first draft.
I also started a rabbit painting in the same way, meaning to sand it down and paint on top. It's the complete opposite of the way it's supposed to work!


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