From the Barnyard to the Fashion World: Chickens with Attitude – Day 70

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 70 of the 365 Days Project is by Leah McCloskey.]

Painting of a chicken by Leah McCloskey
“Meegan” by Leah McCloskey. Photo courtesy ©Leah McCloskey.

Former careers and life experiences are never without purpose – they can fuel today’s creative ventures.

#70 – Many Artists have had former careers in other industries, which can provide inspiration and tools for current artistic ventures.

Leah McCloskey’s biography shapes the art she creates today. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania with seven siblings, twelve dogs, four cats, five horses and a collection of chickens and goats, providing her with the foundation for the life she now leads as an artist.

“I like to paint the familiar, so painting animals and pets like fish, dogs, cats, and chickens comes naturally to me,” said McCloskey. “After living with them my entire life, I am so familiar their shapes and movements that the paintings become more about the exercise than the object.”

McCloskey began her artistic career in 1982, but put it on hold to work in the fashion industry for the next fifteen years. In 1995, she resumed her artistic studies and in 2001 quit her job as a model agent and began to show and sell her work.

“The chicken series has been an exploration of the world of heritage breed chickens,” McCloskey said. “The best part is they seem to resemble some of the characters I knew in the fashion world.”

“Nothing can replace the years I spent traveling the world as a talent scout,” she continued. “The different cultures, people, food and images make me the artist I am today. I take the colors from my life experiences and channel them into my medium.”

So this is how McCloskey’s famous “chickens with attitude” traveled the creative path from a barnyard in rural Pennsylvania to the fashion industry in New York and around the world to land on the artist’s canvas. Nothing in this life is ever wasted.

Painting of a chicken by Leah McCloskey
“Polish” by Leah McCloskey. Photo courtesy ©Leah McCloskey.

Leah McCloskey’s artwork can be viewed at: Leah McCloskey

Description of the images included in this post:
Leah McCloskey, New York

Leah McCloskey, New York
Mixed media

The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

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