Here’s the newest member of the Celestial Chickens Series and the first rooster to be so honored, Brutus. This painting is in memoriam, as Brutus, a six month old Mille Fleur Serama cockerel that belonged to KATHY SHEA MORMINO, THE CHICKEN CHICK® passed away suddenly this week. You can read more about Brutus here.

I love painting chickens. I love their feathers, their colors, their personalities. Where does the “Celestial” come from? I’m not sure exactly, but it started out as a joke between friends some (mumble, mumble) years ago in high school. For me it wasn't really a joke, though. Chickens really are heavenly and it was fulfilling a long time dream for me to finally keep chickens. I guess I should have known I’d be inspired to paint them. Now, after plunging head first into the craziness that can be the world of chicken enthusiasts, I often hear sad stories of people losing birds they raised and love. I've always dealt with sadness in my life through art, and it makes sense to me that others may want to memorialize a beloved pet that way.

It was easy to paint Brutus. He was a stunning little roo and Kathy had so many lovely pictures to choose from. If you think you may want a painting of your bird, what do you need to keep in mind? First, you need a good picture. The better the reference photo, the better the painting. This means the picture needs to be sharp and in focus. The reference is the only thing I have to work from if I haven’t met your bird in person, and working from a photo reference keeps my costs down. You want to pay me to fly out, stay in a hotel, and photograph your bird, I’m up for it, but it can get pretty pricey. Take tons, and I mean tons, of pictures.You’ll want to try to capture your chickens’ personality and working with animals can be frustrating to say the least. Just take a bunch of pictures.

Use natural, directional light in the morning or evening. The painting will look better if there is a lighter side and a darker side to give your bird dimension. The light should be strong enough to show off the birds colors, but now wash him/her out.


When you commission a piece of artwork from an artist, be sure you like their style. The artist will do a much better job if they are allowed to work on the piece with as little direction from you as possible. Do you have a favorite color? Okay, mention that. Is there an existing piece of artwork that you like more than any of the others? Mention that. But don’t micromanage the composition. If you don’t care for the style of the artist, then find another artist whose style meshes with your wants.

What does commissioning something like this involve? Well, it involves you taking a good photo and then contacting me by email. Then we can discuss the size, medium, style and pricing of the artwork. I usually ask for 50% down up front, non-refundable, and then 50% on approval of the artwork before shipping. How much does it cost? Well, depends on the piece, but something like this painting of Brutus would be around $200 for the original. Is there a cheaper option? Yes, if you’d like me to consider adding your bird to the Celestial Chicken Series, email me a picture and if I like it, I may use it as a reference for a painting. I sell prints of my Celestial Chicken Series at Fine Art America. It’s kind of a nice option, because you can chose your size, even greeting cards, paper, canvas, metal, and even get it framed if you want. And the prices are very reasonable.

Kathy was kind enough to release the image of Brutus and prints of this painting are available now at Fine Art America if you are interested in purchasing one.

Here’s to celebrating our feathered friends who bring joy to our lives and to the kindness of other chicken nuts who understand our sadness when we lose them.

The Chicken Chick