Acrylic on board, 71cm x 91cm
During the winter months Long-eared owls can occasionally be seen at their day roosts. To find one of these secretive, seldom-seen owls is a great treat, both for the birdwatcher and for the wildlife artist. This individual could be seen regularly at my local coastal reserve, sitting on the same branch every day, half-hidden behind the branches and twigs of a dense sea-buckthorn thicket. I returned to it over several days to make field sketches and paintings.
I liked the way your eye was distracted by the orange berries of sea buckthorn, sprinkled like so many Christmas-tree lights over the latticework of branches. The stand of sea buckthorn came down to a small loch and the dead reeds that bordered it provided a bold counterpoint to the dark secrecy of the thicket.
This painting can be seen at the SWLA annual exhibition The Natural eye at the Mall Galleries, London, between 25th October – 6th November.