Here we are with yet another of my barn owl paintings. This particular artwork came about by combining a commission for a barn owl portrait, with one for a painting to grace the cover of the St Mawgan magazine. Having looked after a rescued barn owl for many years, I love the species and I never tire of portraying it.
Even with the loss of many of its traditional nesting places, the barn owl really seems to be holding its own at the moment here in Cornwall, with regular sightings throughout the county. I know several sites here in my immediate area where they nest each year. I am sure that the putting up of owl nest boxes is one of the main
reasons for this.
One of the joys of my job is the initial gathering of reference material, be it sketches or photographs, which I usually do at daybreak while some of the night creatures are still about and before the disturbance of traffic and people. In that sense, Celtic Perch was a most enjoyable painting to work on. It entailed getting up early each morning to capture the image of the church, my chosen backdrop, at sunrise.
I love churchyards and ancient gravestones, with the history they embody and the peaceful spiritual feel of these places – especially at 6am with no one else around. Church properties are great places for wildlife, with many different creatures taking advantage of the tranquil surroundings. The barn owl can often find undisturbed nest sites in old church buildings, including using bell towers on occasion.
To see more of Dick’s wildlife artwork, or to purchase prints or paintings that have appeared in Cornwall Today, call 01637 880606 or visit
To win a signed, limited edition print of Celtic Perch, fill out the form to the right, providing your name, address and contact details.
This competition closes at midnight on March 31, 2015.
Competition code: DICK TWINNEY MARCH