I wanted to capture the intrinsic connection between stillness and wisdom through the popular motif of an owl. When we slow down (and stop even) the answers to life's questions can present themselves on a deeper, more intuitive level. The Barred Owl's contrasting feathered-beauty was a natural choice for my artwork, I wanted to blend in with the snowy environment where even more patience and wisdom is required from the owl to survive the lean meals of winter. I wanted to give an actionable presence to you, as the observer of the owl, to look out and connect through direct eye contact to the wisdom of the owl with your heart and mind. I wanted the viewer to see the owl through a FLW-inspired stained glass border. The bottom of the border is intentionally a highly abstracted Art Deco owl with its wings spread wide to give lift and support to our invitation in finding the stillness. I wanted my painting to be a reminder to pause and look deeper within ourselves, while living in our busy modern world.
The motif of "the wise old owl" dates back centuries, and I dive into the iconography, illustrations, and posters of this theme and more about my owl painting in my blogpost: The Origin of The Wise Old Owl.
*Artwork and words (illuminated verse) by Julie Leidel, 2023.