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Anyone who has owned or watched hens will recognise the way they have different characters. Alert heads often pop up whilst others nestle down contentedly.

I no longer own hens but my neighbour has lots and they wander in and out of my garden, often without me knowing. They regularly leave their calling cards - a trail of pretty fluffy feathers!

I was mystified as to which sort of creature was gnawing huge holes in the top of my cabbages in my vegetable garden. Then one day, from my painting studio, I saw this hungry hen dashing purposefully past. I turned the corner just in time to see this ‘masked invader’ pecking at some speed into my cabbage! Mystery solved!

Hens are very comical, as long as you keep a sense of humour!

I went back to my studio and painted ‘The Masked Invader’ in acrylics on a piece of mdf board. I painted it fast and scratchy to try to get the movement and character of the scene I had just witnessed. I have painted hens ever since!

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