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Great Horned Owl by Andrew Denman
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18 x 24" Acrylic on Cradled Board, 2019
Great Horned Owl

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The Great Horned Owl is among the most spectacular of all the raptors. They combine the effortless lethality of a tremendous predator with an undeniable elegance and grace all their own. As a child I recall lying awake in bed and listening to the pair of owls that nested in our neighbor’s giant redwood trees hooting back and forth every spring and summer. Their deep, resonant cries sounded like something from another planet, and I always found comfort in their melancholy and mysterious discourse.

This piece was inspired by one of the avian ambassadors at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Watching this bird move is always inspiring, especially when it flies noiselessly just over one’s head. In this piece, however, I chose to portray the bird perched, where one can best appreciate its enormous talons and powerful grip. The backward-looking pose suggests tension, perhaps the moment the owl has heard the rustle of nearby prey and is preparing to take wing. The stylized background, dominated by graceful arcing shapes, is meant to suggest the moon and the quiet of evening, while the hard, staccato splashes foreshadow the explosive energy of an impending hunt.

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.