I had a visitor this weekend; a marvellous Israeli Professor who is passionate about birds and has initiated some wonderful projects worldwide - not the least of which is a project teaching farmers how to use owls instead of pesticides! The owls remove rats and mice from the fields, and his owl nesting boxes are now being used by many grateful farmers, and at the same time, he is promoting peace between neighbours... for example, he has encouraged Arab farmers, who were previously superstitious about owls and thought that they brought bad luck, to try the owl nesting boxes - with huge success. A marvellous bit of cooperation between Israelis and Arabs - we rarely hear about these kinds of collaborations, they are not as newsworthy as bombs and battles!
As a result of his visit, I suddenly remembered that somewhere in my studio, there was a calendar I had produced as a student. I found it, and thought I would just quickly show you some of the birds I tackled at that time, more than thirty years ago!!! One is a watercolour -( I doubt I could paint such an image quite as well today - who was that person then??? I work so differently today. But doesn't he look SOFT!! Owls actually are really soft to the touch, I have stroked one. It didn't mind at all!) the rest are drawings done with carbon pencils. I hope you enjoy them.
|Long-eared, and Short-eared owls|
|Young Tawny Owl|