Peace Owl Progress
I began making the drawing for the Peace Owl during the week before the election, and completed it on November 10, 2020. In what is now a treasured habit, I covered the completed pencil drawing with clear gesso to prevent smudging.
CLEAR GESSO Looking back, on a bitter sweet moment–I can’t remember if I knew then that Tracie Thompson had died. She was an extraordinarily gifted artist and teacher, and always willing to share her encyclopedic store of information. For me, it is her instruction to use clear gesso that was, and continues to be, the gift that keeps on giving. Tracie lives in all of my paintings.
Why the Peace Owl came to my studio
Some weeks ago I was visited by a representatives of the Parliament of Owls (the correct collective noun for owls, of course.) They were concerned about the Trump Administration’s attack on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which prohibits taking (including killing, capturing, selling, trading, and transport) of protected migratory bird species without prior authorization by the Department of Interior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By the time we had developed a series of protective promotional materials, the Owls had won. The Peace Owl appreciated the quality of our collaboration, which is why he arrived at my studio ready to work.
Peace Owl Technical
Once clear gesso dries, it leaves a “toothy” surface that absorbs acrylic inks. My favorite brands are Golden High Flow Acrylic, Daler-Rowney, Liquitex, and my new discovery, the incomparable Ziller Inks. (As if I discovered fire — Ziller was founded in 1894. Again, I’m late to the party.) Their colors tick a very important box for me — BRIGHT COLORS.