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Jacqui Oakley 2014
Recently a few people requested some images to be added to my Etsy print shop, so here they are: a couple of owl images from my solo art exhibit Prowl in Toronto a few years ago. There are two images available, one of The Barn Owls, which is sold here, or The Great Horned Owl found here (both come unframed). Really pleased that people are still liking these since I had so much fun painting them both. These are giclée artist-quality prints from the original ink & oil paintings. Images are smaller than the originals, approx. 7 x 9″ printed on an 8 x 10″ sheet of Somerset Velvet Enhanced watercolour paper with Epson UltraChrome pigment inks with lots of white space around each image for easy framing. They go for $35usd (tax & delivery not included). If you’d like a larger image please contact me. Also, I’m going to be adding more prints to the shop so let me know if there’s any image in particular you’d like to see available. Below is some lovely work written by the talented Carolyn Veldstra specifically for the exhibit. Check out her fantastic new blog here.
THE BARN OWLS
We see here a pair of Barn Owls—and we gain the distinct impression that we are being stared down by something preternaturally calm, nearly dangerous. These eyes, darker than an ink-dipped coal-miner, give away little of this bird’s soul, and perhaps penetrate a little too deeply in our own.
They know us well. Barn Owls live in close proximity to humans—inhabiting all our dark crannies and feasting on all that goes bump in our night. It’s not surprising that beaten down English serfs saw death in these pale white faces.
Death to voles, surely—a nesting pair of Barn Owls will eat more than 1000 voles in a season. Quick to determine that a bulbous serf (or skinny academic) is less a meal than a flurry of voles, we can rest assured the Barn Owl will most often leave well enough alone; though, keep in mind, folkish wisdom advocates walking around an owl in a tree—of course, the owl will turn and turn and turn its head to watch you, thereby wringing its own neck.
THE GREAT HORNED OWL
Now, if we stand very quietly, and look up, up, up into trees, just as the sun is setting, we might catch a glimpse of the most elegant and fearsome bird to inhabit the forests of Southern Ontario. The Great Horned Owl—Bubo Virgin.i.anus—was first spotted by settlers in the Virginia colonies. In a fit of imagination, settlers gave the bird the Latinized name of the colony, surely unaware of the wealth of puns opened up to future ornithologists.
Note the bird’s distinctive features: on its head we can see the two prominent ear tufts, which give the bird its name, though they are neither horns nor ears. A buff-red facial disc surrounds the bird’s staring, preternatural yellow eyes. Vice-like talons are disguised jauntily under what look very much like a feathery pair of spats. Never the gentleman-about-town, the Great Horned Owl is a veritable preying machine, known to feast on swans, red-tailed hawks, even marching into hen houses, on occasion, to lunch on a cockerel.