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Robert Bateman Winter Pinen

Robert Bateman

1250 s/n Limited Edition Print
24.875" x 19.75"

 Robert Bateman Signature 

Winter Pine Great Horned Owl - Robert Bateman

"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.

Owls have long been creatures of myth and mystery. The ancient Greeks associated them
with Athena, the goddess of wisdom - hence the expression “wise as an owl.”  In other
cultures they have been held in awe or viewed with fear. Sometimes they are seen as heralds
of victory or harbingers of good luck; at other times they are thought of as ill omens foretelling
disaster.  The aura of mystery surrounding owls is heightened by two of their characteristics:
the fringed feathers at the ends of their wings allow them to fly almost soundlessly, and,
with a few exceptions, they are nocturnal and therefore often very difficult to see. The largest
of our owls, the great horned owl, is a creature of the dark night and the deep forest that
nests up high, usually in an abandoned hawk’s nest or in a tree cavity. I have spent many
hours searching for this fierce hunter, which will catch and eat birds as large as a small goose
and mammals as fleet as the snowshoe hare.  It also dines on porcupine and skunk. If I’m lucky,
a noisy mob of crows especially reprehensible. (They have good reason for this, since by night
crows become one of this owl’s prey.) If they find a great horned owl trying to take a nap,
they wild scold it relentlessly." - Robert Bateman


Winter Pine Great Horned Owl - Robert Bateman





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Winter Pine Great Horned Owl - Robert Bateman