Owls - A Proper Lot
I started drawing owls because my beautiful bride is impossible. She wants nothing, needs nothing and after 21 years of trying to make a special gift each Christmas, I was struggling for an idea. So I figured maybe I’d do a portfolio of tiny drawings of her favorite animals. Under wily pretense then, I asked her for a list. Here it is: birds, cats, dogs, lambs, cows.
Um, okay, I do love my wife.
We had to go through two more revisions, but I finally got what I needed. Third down under Birds was owls. Oooooh, I liked owls - and never went further. Reidun received a dozen little hootie birds on Christmas Eve, and was delighted. I spent the rest of the winter doing more, and then the next winter again, and still another after that. I had stumbled upon a grand plan: all through the warm months, I wore myself out trying to make great pictures up my creek. I could push hard and face any amount of difficulty or frustration because, when the cold months came, my reward was waiting.
Nothing beats hibernating in my attic studio and drawing owls. They’re just crazy with patterns and texture, exist in every shape and size, are both clown-faced grim reapers and swivel headed comics who can’t turn their eyes. Did you know that? Yet who wouldn’t want such a deadly wink? What would it be like to glide as silent as night on fringed, velvet wings? Nothing I’ve ever drawn has demanded more of my imagination, or such daring mark making. Yet at the same time it seems much easier somehow. Maybe it’s because I just have to think about how to draw, not what to.