Goals of the Heart by Cheryl Whitestone

Yes it may seem like a ridiculous goal to have chickens (particularly as an adult), but I have had a secret desire to someday have chickens. Last year I realized that goal. As an artist my goals have always been to be a great painter which is, in my estimation, able to capture light and the true feel of a place.

Another goal was to make a living at this profession. Fortunately I have and am making a living with my art, and in lean times art has taught me how to stretch a dollar.

I made homemade ricotta cheese the other day (p.s. it’s easy).  Don’t let the economic experts bring you down; people are buying paintings. I sold two chicken paintings a couple of weeks ago. Apparently I am not the only one who loves these strange little creatures. The paintings were priced lower that I normally charge, on sale at mere chicken feed pricing. I think that helped make the sale. They were a great buy. I like great buys too!

Chickens, oh yeah, I bought 4 Americana (pullets, this is what they call the teenagers). Americana’s are the chickens that lay the Martha Stewart blue-green eggs. I guess Martha owns that color now. Whenever I refer to the color this way everyone seems to know the pastel hue I am talking about. Anyway, it took 3-4 months until they were mature enough to lay eggs.

Then two of my hens started crowing. What? Magdalena was aggressive, so that was no surprise. And then Isis started crowing as well. Because Magdalena charged our teacup poodle and Chihuahua, we called the farm and returned her/him. We renamed Isis; he is know known as Horus. He is fairly docile, not a mean rooster, and is so beautiful and quirky we can’t part with him. This year Isadora, our dancing hen, got broody (sitting on the nest). She managed even with my partner’s interference to birth one baby. Penelope Peeper Specklehead, hey if you only have one chick it needs a long name. She is pictured upper right.

The other hens are; foreground right, Guinevere. She is the practical hen. She is courageous and gets right down to business. Guinevere helped Horus and I chased an invading opossum out of the hen house one night at 4 am. On the left is Rosarita Bustle Butt, because her fluffy rear is so pronounced. Rosarita was exchanged for Magdalena; she is a docile blonde and Horus’ favorite hen-friend.

When my friends come over we go out back to sit and watch what I call the “chicken show.” It’s so soothing hearing their clucking. I believe I can understand what they are saying. No, I am not sniffing turpentine. I do get beautiful pale blue-green fresh free-range eggs almost every day. Chicken paintings are selling; these birds are paying for themselves.

Want your pet Immortalized on canvas to hang in your great hall? Call me or e-mail me. I will work for chicken feed!



AOC Update July 9, 2010

It has been a very busy couple of weeks since my last post and very HOT HOT HOT!…100 degrees plus in the shade! Family, friends, celebration, work, workshops, demos, gathering information, creating art for upcoming shows, making tie-dye tees, trying to be a good girl and walk every morning, meeting deadlines, having company, birthday parties, playing with smashed tiles, taking photographs. Boy oh boy, no “Lazy Days of Summer” on my agenda!

Workshops are in full swing at the store and everyone is up to creating some fabulous work. We have demos and all sorts of inspiration available. Just walk right in and you can feel the creativity!

Most importantly…Drum roll please…

The Art of the Carolinas website is up!

So, please check it out and start planning your Get Away Retreat.
See you soon. Time to put my feet up for a while…


Student Visual Art Competition

In May of this year, we decided to sponsor our very first Student Visual Art Competition.  We contacted high schools in the Raleigh area and asked them to have their students submit 1-2 digital images of their work.  One student from each school was selected as a finalist and received a $100 gift card.  We then opened voting to our facebook fans on our poll to choose the winner who will receive another $500 gift card and whose school will also receive a $500 gift card.

This competition was open to Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors from the 2009-10 school year.  Acceptable media included pastels, drawing and dry media, acrylics, watercolors, watercolor pencils, printmaking, mixed media, oils, oil pastel/ paintsticks, and any 3-D media such as clay, stone, etc.















Allison C. from Sanderson High School was selected for her piece titled "Changing Dimensions" (Graphite Pencil on paper 13.5" x 22.5








Samantha B. from Garner Magnet was selected for her untitled piece, a sculpture made from 1,000 toothpicks and cardboard to strengthen the curve.









Megan H. from Athens Drive was chosen for her piece titled "Introspection" (Tempera Ink and Watercolor 28" x 21")








Kiet Tong Tran from Millbrook was chosen for his piece titled "Kiet Self Portrait" (Oil Pastel on Black Paper 18" x 24")












Peter Rajani from Cardinal Gibbons was chosen for his piece titled "Dreaming Boy" (Acrylic and Spray Paint)








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