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Barn Owl with Crescent Moon by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Embracing the Shadows"
48 x 48"
Mixed Media (Oil over Acrylic) on Cradled Board
Barn Owl

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Despite being a common, widely- distributed, well-known bird, the barn owl is steeped in mystery and symbolism. Many different cultural traditions regard it alternatively as a bad omen or as a symbol of wisdom and insight. It can be seen as a harbinger of death or simply as an agent of change. In tarot cards, the death card does not literally signify death, but is symbolic of a life transition. This is much the same with owls, depending on what interpretation one favors. Their alien faces can inspire awe or fear. I was recently listening to a pod-cast that looks at paranormal events through the lens of skepticism, and was amused by the story of a family who encountered a pair of great-horned owls immediately following a meteor shower and were convinced that the owls were “aliens” who just “crash landed.” Having said that, when one is surprised by an owl in the dead of night, it’s not impossible to imagine how such a misidentification could occur.

I am fortunate to live in an area with open grasslands, which leads to an abundance of rodents, which in turn assures an abundance of owls. Just recently I stood outside my house watching a pair of barn owls dip in and out the streetlights, then vanish into a layer of low fog overhead like apparitions. It is this sense of awe and mystery that I sought to capture in “Embracing the Shadows.” I hope that the large scale of the piece helps the viewer to feel absorbed into the experience of the painting, as though one is really outside, staring in wonder up at the moon.

Welcome to the online home for artwork by Andrew Denman, a California –based, internationally recognized, award-winning contemporary wildlife artist. Denman primarily paints wildlife and animal subjects in a unique, hallmark style combining hyper-realism with stylization and abstraction. His dynamic and original acrylic paintings can be found in museum collections on two continents and in numerous private collections in the USA and abroad. His clear voice, unique vision, and commitment to constant artistic experimentation have positioned him on the forefront of an artistic vanguard of the best contemporary wildlife and animal painters working today.
All artwork and text featured on this page and throughout this website is protected by international copyright laws. Use of these images or text is prohibited without the express written permission of Andrew Denman.