Friday, March 27, 2015

Great Horned Owl

10" x 8" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas

I started out painting some horses in my fast frenzy style.  But the frenzy got away from me and there was no redeeming those horses.  So I covered the whole thing over with this owl. 

Do you know how bad ass the great horned owl is?  I've been a fan ever since we saw some at the state fair several years ago.  The other owls on display had fun facts like "hunts mice and snakes", "makes sweet little hoot-hoot sounds", and "can do a 360 with it's head"  (or something like that).  And then we got to the great horned owl, who was staring us down just like in my painting, and his fun facts were pretty much "will not hesitate to attack you or your pathetic household pets."    Okay, I don't exactly remember.  But for real, here are some tidbits from Wikipedia:

call:  "'solemn' and 'terrifying'
prey"One instance of an owl taking a bobcat... as prey was also reportedly observed
"large snakes, ...about equal in mass to the owls, have used their muscular coils to twist around the owl ... sometimes the owl is still able to overpower and kill the snake or inflict enough injury to win the exhausting contest or both combatants die
enemies: "[The golden] eagle is the only regular predator of the owl, ...  A single instance of an golden eagle hunting a great horned owl during the day has been known to be observed. However, the eagle was scarcely able to survive the attack as the owl was able to trade blows to defend itself before succumbing to the eagle." 
this owl takes on the mantle of avian apex predator.[4]  (also known as an alpha predatorsuper predatortop predator or top-level predator)

Basically, the great horned owl is a total boss.  And they're beautiful and can fly.