Introducing this wonderful Eurasian eagle owl, the star of What a Hoot! This is the third happy creature to feature in my series of joyful animals against blue backgrounds.
There are eagle owls living wild in the UK, and although I have yet to see one myself, I have had the great pleasure of getting up close to some which are in captivity at sanctuaries here in Cornwall. I find them to be particularly magnificent, in part due to their sheer size and strength.
This beautiful owl was a treat to paint in soft pastel, especially as it looks as if it is chuckling to itself, which only serves to endear me to it even further. One very wise, and I suspect witty old owl.
I think that this portrait speaks for itself, Miss Bonnie is just irresitable! For me, portraiture is about finding an emotional connection between the subject and the viewer. Sometimes this is deeply sentimental or nostalgic, and other times I aim to make art that generates a big smile.
Ever since I painted my pastel picture Chewing it Over, starring a rather comedic looking giraffe, I have wanted to create a series of artworks with bright blue backgrounds and cheerful animals. Bonny Miss Bonnie is the second artwork in this now growing range of gleeful pictures.
Dear little Miss Bonnie is so full of life, almost bounding onto the page as if just popping up to say hello or to ask us to play. Her joyful expression makes me smile right back at here every time I see her, so I created this artwork to share the Miss Bonnie love and to brighten all of our days.
For this artwork, I used pastel pencils and worked on Pastelmat, whereas previously my pastel work was predominantly on velour paper. It was, I have to say, a very steep learning curve. I now understand Pastelmat a lot better than I once did, and am excited about the possibilities it offers me as an artist to work to a high level of detail with pastel. Miss Bonnie is just the beginning.
Many thanks to Tracy Lian Miles, Miss Bonnie’s human, for the wonderful source image.