Only the finest materials were used to make this limited edition print, which I have produced myself. Both the paper (Somerset Enhanced Velvet) and the inks (Epson UltraChrome Pro) are of archival quality, meaning the print could last up to 400 years.
I draw with Bic biros on raw linen canvas. To prepare the surface I lighten the canvas with a white oil paint wash. Once this is dry, I draw with the biro, as I would with pencil on paper. After the drawing is complete, it’s varnished (to fix the ink in place) and more white oil paint is used to add light and finalise the composition. The Bic ink is actually surprisingly versatile, in terms of its colour. If I want a blue tinge to the work I can smudge it, and a sepia tinge can be achieved by layering white oil paint over it. The paint interacts with the ink as it dries, changing the colour.
Sometimes nature just takes you completely by surprise. We were on a walk on the south-downs, just about to follow a path across a field behind a farm. We both stopped at the same moment, having spotted a barn owl hunting across the field. It was, and probably always will be, the best and most exhilarating encounter with an owl I’ve ever had. We watched it spell bound for about 20 minutes, until it dived, caught something and was gone.
Ever since that encounter, years ago, barn owls have become a true source of inspiration to me and this piece is no exception. They are truly beautiful creatures and deserve all the adoration they receive.