Friday, January 14, 2011

Barn Owl in Acrylic

A few weeks ago, my husband and I took an early morning walk to a nearby habitat area. I wanted to show him something I had discovered there which I believed to be owl pellets (those are the undigested parts like fur and bones that the owls regurgitate.) I was hoping to discover the bird that had left these behind . While I was pondering the type of owl it might be, there was a commotion above us and something shot out of the tops of the evergreens and careened into a nearby tree. Landing off balance with wings askew and a bewildered look about him was this barn owl.

Now a barn owl was not one of the choices that came to mind when I was thinking owls. I expected a screech owl, great horned owl or perhaps a saw whet owl, but not this one. I was quite surprised to see him. And I'm pretty sure we disturbed his slumber so I'm betting he was just as surprised to see us, too.

Eventually, he composed himself and looked around to figure out what had happened, but he either decided we weren't a threat or was too dazed to fly off because he sat there while I snapped numerous photos.

When I returned home and viewed the photos, I was struck by the subtle beauty of this bird. Dressed in shades of brown, black and white he was nearly camouflaged in the tree where he landed. I was drawn to those soft shades and thought it would make a striking picture of him in the bare tree against a winter background.

This painting is the first for 2011. It was done in acrylic in a more contemporary format measuring 10" x 10" and will be listed for sale in a few weeks. Inquiries may come to me at