Plate CXXI (Snowy Owl), from Birds of America by John James Audubon
Watercolour and pastel on paper, between 1827 and 1838
If you've ever looked at a painting of a bird, or ever googled a picture of a bird, or seen a photograph of a bird on Wikipedia, chances are good that the image you saw was in some way inspired by John Audubon. Audubon, the namesake of the National Audubon Society, was a professional ornithologist, and when he came to America from Haiti in the early 1800s, his goal was to catalog and illustrate every type of bird in America. Audubon set about this by using fine shot--delicate bullets from a slender gun, which kill rapidly without damaging the body of the bird--and then using his extensive taxidermy skills to create realistic, mobile poses. He was a detail-oriented artist, and spent copious amounts of time illustrating each bird. His skill, talent and dedication paid off, and he is now one of the best known naturalists of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Jen selected the Snowy Owl plate from Birds of America for this week's Style Imitating Art, and I'm so excited. This is such a beautiful piece. Email Jen your inspired outfits by Monday, February 10th, and head over to her blog for some Superb Owl notes. (lolz) Enjoy!