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Shawn McNulty
Acrylic and Pumice on Canvas
40×80″ (Diptych)

Rooster is a huge blue abstract painting on canvas by visual artist Shawn McNulty. This is a diptych painting, which means it is two 40×40″ paintings side by side. They can also hang separately if that is your preference. Each canvas is is 1.5″ deep, gallery wrapped with painted edges, and ready to hang with wire on the back.

Fun Fact: The title was inspired by the hidden image of a rooster. I’m not going to tell you how to find it. I had no intention of making a form that looked like a rooster, nor do I intend for you to see it. Some people have become obsessed with these paintings that have alleged hidden imagery. I usually see many things in every painting, as should you.

A rooster, often called a cockerel, is a male chicken known for its distinctive and vibrant characteristics. This summary provides an overview of the key attributes and significance of roosters.

Physical Characteristics: Roosters are easily recognizable by their striking physical features. They typically have a glossy, iridescent plumage with vibrant colors, such as reds, greens, and blues. Their most distinguishing feature is the comb, a fleshy crest on top of their head, and wattles, which are similar fleshy lobes that hang beneath their beak. Roosters also possess sharp spurs on the back of their legs, which they use for protection and dominance.

Crowing: One of the most iconic behaviors associated with roosters is crowing. This loud and distinctive call serves various purposes. Roosters crow to announce their presence, establish territory, and communicate with the flock. Contrary to popular belief, roosters don’t crow exclusively at dawn; they can crow throughout the day.

Role in the Flock: In a chicken flock, the rooster plays a significant role as the leader and protector. They are responsible for keeping the hens safe from potential threats, such as predators. Roosters are also known for their watchful eyes, vigilantly scanning their surroundings for any signs of danger.

Reproduction: Roosters play a critical role in the reproduction of chickens. They mate with hens to fertilize the eggs, which subsequently lead to the hatching of chicks. The ritual of courtship and mating includes specific behaviors, like dancing and displaying their plumage to attract a mate.

Social Hierarchy: Within a chicken flock, there is typically a well-established social hierarchy, and the rooster holds a prominent position at the top. They maintain order and establish dominance by maintaining control over resources and mediating conflicts among the hens.

Varieties and Breeds: Roosters come in various breeds, each with its own unique characteristics and appearances. Popular breeds like the Rhode Island Red, Leghorn, and Sussex showcase a wide range of plumage colors, sizes, and temperaments. Some breeds are prized for their egg-laying hens, while others are raised for meat production.

Cultural Symbolism: Roosters hold cultural significance in various parts of the world. In many cultures, they are associated with symbols of vigilance, protection, and courage. In some cases, they are considered symbols of good luck and prosperity. Roosters have also made their way into art, literature, and folklore, often representing a variety of human traits and characteristics.

Food Source: Roosters, while primarily recognized for their roles in the flock, are also raised for their meat. Rooster meat tends to be slightly tougher than that of hens, which is why it is often used in stews and slow-cooked dishes.

In summary, roosters are iconic members of the poultry world, known for their stunning appearance, crowing, and roles as leaders and protectors of chicken flocks. They have a long history of cultural significance and symbolism in various societies, often representing qualities like bravery and vigilance. Roosters contribute to the agricultural industry not only through their reproductive functions but also as a source of meat. These birds have left an indelible mark on both rural and urban landscapes, and they continue to capture the imagination of people around the world.


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