Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Technicolor Betty

Colored pencil sketch of hen on nest

Technicolor Betty

This IS Betty… I think.  With chickens, it’s hard to say.  

When I went to Tracy’s to take a few photos, she opened the nest box door of the Palais des Poulets and said, “Quick!”  And there was Betty, reigning supreme.  All fluffed up in the warmest, coziest corner.  Talk about your photo op…   I felt like such an intruder, but intrude I did.  It was worth it, because now her simple form, her elegant shape, can be studied, capture, preserved, celebrated. 

She is black, with a red comb, and a caramel beak.  But black is in the eye of the beholder.  I see feather upon feather, black over purple and green and pink.  Layer upon layer of rich, fine line as filaments meet and link to form feathers.  Have you ever really explored a feather?  Pull the little lines apart, smooth them back.  It’s nature’s zipper, reassembling itself magically.

And what is black?  It is purple plus yellow, red plus green, orange plus blue.  I was amazed to learn that all complementary colors in paint add up to black.  A black feather is a rainbow on a quill. 

Betty, you are not ugly.