Owl the Eighth

Here’s Henry, the eighth owl for the series – another barn owl because they’re my favorite.  Apropos of that, here’s what I wrote about the inspiration for this series, a blurb that will appear in a book of artists’ statements at the show:

For many years I lived in the countryside between Livermore and Danville in an old school house that had been built in 1922. One of its loveliest features was a two-story well house. The first floor housed the well head, but the second-floor water tank was long gone and there were several openings in this beautiful weathered wood building. The well house was a quiet place, and a favorite roost for barn owls. We could reliably see them by visiting the well house and looking up through the gaps in the second story floor. In the spring we were treated with the sight of the babies.

In my current home in Shingle Springs I often hear the owls’ calls, but do not see them. I miss the sight of these majestic birds and this series is dedicated to them.

I had the same problem with this piece as with all the othesr – an inconsistency between the light source and the lighting on the owl.  Of course with the moon as the light source, the owl would be in deep shadow with a halo effect.  And then I’d miss the detail in the owl.  So I had to get used to the idea of using my artistic license and simply making the lighting deliberately wrong.  Here at owl number 8, it finally no longer bothers me!  Perhaps in the future I’ll do an owl and moon painting with correct lighting.  It would be pretty dramatic, but I think there would have to be more interesting backgrounds than what I’ve included with these.


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