Robert Bateman (Prints)
Ghost Of The North – Great Gray Owl (Print)
Renaissance; Edition Size 180
30" x 40" / 76.20cm x 101.60cm
Unframed (US Dollar): $1,495.00
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(36 x 48; Renaissance Edition Giclee Canvas; Edition Size 50; $1965.00 U.S.)
“The great gray owl is truly a ghost of the north. It is fleeting and silent. It seems to be
the largest of the owls, but it is mostly feathers and weighs much less than the great
horned owl. Its wing feathers have downy edges like other owls, making its flight
totally silent. The colors are subdued, and the patterns provide excellent camouflage.
I wanted to portray this ghostliness in the painting. This is why I gave everything a
flat and hazy look. the colors are restrained, and the owl blends perfectly with the
tree. The tree is an aspen, one of the typical species of the owl’s habitat
in the boreal forest.
I made the entire painting an allegory for the face of the owl. The most spectacular
thing about the great gray owl is his face. It consists of two huge saucer-shaped
disks with concentric and radiating patterns centered on the eye. He also has a
white ” beard. ” I treated the tree trunk as the beak axis and made the twigs
and branches radiate like the owl’s facial feathers. The real owl’s head is located
where the eye would be if the tree represents the allegorical owl’s head. I have
even used the idea of the beard for some light areas of the background.”