Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cha Cha, the loose goat

Cha Cha
8 x 10

People ask us if we live on a farm. I don't know whether it is a farm or not, but we do have 3 goats and 9 chickens as of now, plus a dog and a "barn cat". (The barn cat prefers my daughter's bed.) At one time we had 17 ducks and soon we will have bees. My husband calls our home Wanna Bee Farm, but that might change after he gets them.

Cha Cha was one of our first goats. In this painting she is lounging on a rock behind our house. I started this painting sometime in late 2006, or maybe early 2007. I used masking fluid on Cha Cha and painted the background and some of the rock. (Masking fluid is put on to watercolor painting to prevent the paint from going there while you paint around and over it.) I lost interest in the painting and put it away for months.

I came back to the Cha Cha painting one day. I removed the masking fluid and realized it hadn't worked so well, or maybe it didn't age well. Cha Cha had green on her face. Brian, my old watercolor teacher suggested that I make her a brown and white goat. I couldn't do that to Cha Cha. She is a pure bred Saanan and needed to be white.

I thought, "what do I have to lose?", and loosened up. I splashed a little more green paint on her and some pink to balance it out. The rest was much easier than my usual paintings because I wasn't invested in painting a perfect realistic goat. I had fun and worked quicker than usual and it was done. I kind of like it! Overall I think that loose is overrated, but it can be fun and it sure is easier!

Epilogue: Cha Chas was bred and gave birth to a buck. She had a huge udder with lots of milk and was nearly impossible to milk. After a couple weeks of goat wrestling we dried her off and later sold her to a farm in Western Connecticut where they use milking machines. I still have the painting.

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