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Ink and wash sketch – Stabilo FinePoint pen in brown with water wash and a dash of watercolour on Visual 200gsm

My pet hen, Kiep, is now 6 months old and started laying eggs on the 8th July 2011. The first week was very erratic, with an egg every second or third day, then, regularly as clock-work, she would come into my Studio at 9am in the morning, quietly lay her egg and join Artemis, her lover, back in the garden again. (Tarlton, South Africa)

But since last Friday, she’s been getting very upset when I try and remove the eggs from the nest (I have two for breakfast every second day!) and even after I removed the egg, would sit on the nest for hours before going for a stroll in the garden again. I’m not sure whether the last couple of eggs are fertile or not, because I haven’t seen Artemis getting up to any funny business with my little girl, but she definitely seems to think it’s time for a family.

I’ve got 14 chickens at the moment, 8 hens and 6 roosters (way too many roosters!) and I definitely don’t want any more chooks! So I’ve given Kiep one of her precious eggs and so far she has spent the whole day sitting on it, puffing herself up if I should get too close and the rest of the time contentedly snoozing.

They normally brood on the eggs for about 20 days, so roundabouts the 13th of August is the dead-line as to whether the egg is going to hatch or not!

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottover 3 years ago

    So cute….and I love your story. Ay….love sweet love.

  • Smile! Thanks a lot Marsha!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 3 years ago

    Kiep is broody, how wonderful! Lovely pen and wash sketch of your special baby !

  • Thankyou Liz! She went outside this afternoon and came storming right back in with Artemis in hot pursuit! Hee hee!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 3 years ago

    Such a cute story. I hope she does have a little chick to care for. She deserves to be a mom!

  • Oh my word Dot! I can just imagine Kiep and her brood scuttling around my Studio! She’s now got 2 eggs, that’s where I draw the line! Smile!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Linda Jackson
    Linda Jacksonover 3 years ago

    So nice of you to let her nest! :o))) They can get “pecky” if they think you are coming after their eggs! Good one Maree! take care, Linda

  • You’ve made me smile now Linda! Thank you for your lovely comment!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 3 years ago

    I am smiling! I love your love for the animals, and I can picture Kiep with the run of your studio! Think of it this way…you will have more subjects to paint! LOL

  • Yeah, right in front of my easel! ha ha! Thank you for popping in and your lovely comment Dot!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 3 years ago

    Love this beauty, & the story that goes with it. We raised tiny Bantams when I was a kid, & I recall this whole process very well. I remember having a couple of small, beautiful pearlescent glass eggs in the henhouse, to encourage the hens to lay, though our girls didn’t need much egging-on (sorry). I do remember the chickens’ poking at them with their little beaks, but not with much intensity! I wonder what happened to those glass eggs. Hmm. I’d love to have them! Anyway, enough rambling… wonderful work, Maree.

  • Lovely, lovely story Sheila! Chooks can provide such fond memories! Thank you very much for the visit and for the fav!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • kest standley
    kest standleyover 3 years ago

    wonderful , just the right shape and movement here. Love the soft wash.

    We used to slip in a wooden egg or two if our girls got broody, they seemed not to notice so we were both happy!

  • Thanks ever so much Kelle! I also left an egg in the nest to encourage Kiep to lay, until she stopped laying last Friday and wanted to sit on it permanently! lol!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • almaalice
    almaaliceover 3 years ago

    Yep she looks broody to me, she has that certain glow about her which we ladies sport when we are expecting!!!!!! Alma x

  • You’re right Alma, she IS glowing! Walking around the studio all puffed up and clucking to herself, she’s the epitome of motherhood-to-be! As I write here, she’s on her nest behind me, softly clucking every now and then just to let me know that she’s still there. Thanks for the fav, appreciate that!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Denzil
    Denzilover 3 years ago

    What a lovely story!! My Barbie is now well over 6 months old and has shown no signs of producing an egg … she’s still solitary and behaves a bit weirdly. I do beleive that treating her as my baby for months has probably meant that she’sll never grow up … ah well, she’s cute!!!

  • Thank you Denzil! None of my other hens are showing signs of laying at all yet, and that’s peculiar. Kiep has also been my baby right out of the egg, being carried everywhere, even when we go out, until she was too big and started spending time with the other chickens. But she still prefers to spend time with my in my studio and I’m terribly honoured that she chose to make her nest right here beside me!! You can see her on her nest in my studio HERE

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Denzil
    Denzilover 3 years ago

    Oh, and of course – what a gorgeous painting too!!!

  • Thank you!

    – Maree Clarkson

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