Winter Pine - Great Horned Owl
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27 3/4" x 22", oil on board, 1993

As a boy, I would ride my bicycle out of the city and explore the woods for hawks and owls. Winter was the best time of year to spot them when most of the trees were bare. But because of the shelter and protection afforded by the white pines, that is where the great horned owls would be found roosting. Usually I would explore the pine woods with my eyes on the ground looking for pellets . . . the regurgitated fur and bones of the mice they had just eaten. It is very difficult to spot an owl concealed in a pine, but just being in the peaceful, aromatic forest would be a treat in itself. I have done six paintings of the great horned owl, and five of them have been in white pines. This is not because of some master plan or lack of ideas, it is because all of my life I have loved owls and loved white pines. The two are associated in my mind.
This painting shows a great horned owl, not in concealment, but in a more active pose. It is perched on a piece of broken pine branch which has blown down in a storm. I like the way the rhythm of the branches and needle clumps echo the thrust of the owl.