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Steve Morvell Australian Wildlife Artist Hit and miss - barking owl and fairy wren  Pastel painting drawing

Hit and miss - barking owl and fairy wren ’

   Barking owls are one of my favourite birds for many reasons. They have intense presence with their searchlight-yellow eyes and vibrant character. Their rather endearing ‘wuk-wuk’ call sounds very like a little dog barking though perhaps more unsettling is the ‘screaming woman’ call which sounds chillingly like a female human voice calling for help. are quite fierce hunters and take a wide range of prey ranging from rabbits to small and medium birds and even possums. Since they do hunt earlier in the evening and later in the morning than any other Australian Owl I have chosen to depict this owl pursuing a superb fairy wren, (another of my favourite birds). Whether or not the wren escapes I will leave up to you to decide. Barking owls are now very rare in my home state of Victoria with maybe as few as 50 pairs remaining. As a top order predator their main threats are habitat destruction and prey depletion.
By painting this beautiful owl in my favourite medium of soft pastel I have been able to use the medium’s inherent softness to give flight and movement to the birds…..a subject I never tire of and evoking a feel of movement on paper is always a challenge I am up for.

Pastel on Supertooth  88 X 57cm.            $2500
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