Owls And Other Stories

When met with our Doodlewash prompt of barn, I only thought of various animals and living creatures that I encountered on my grandparent’s farm. I first considered painting a goat, as I really loved them, especially the babies, but I ended up with a barn owl instead. These are wildly strange and beautiful creatures, made to precisely mimic the wooden surroundings they are hiding in. If anyone tried the Doodlewash and Inktober mashup, you’d have ended up with a “scorched barn” today, which could be rather dramatic, but not really something I wanted to sketch. I would just spend all of my time worrying about those poor goats inside. And though there were many animals I experienced in the various barns on that farm during my visits, the owl somehow still managed to be the one in charge of things. I’m not sure why really, but that somehow innocent face combined with the insight and talons of a pure predator made it the most intriguing creature in the mix. But yeah, I still think the goats were my favorite, but I will always have a profound respect for that creature in the barn.

What I miss most about being an adult now, is that I don’t have a farms to visit anymore. Though owls will occasionally make their home outside our window, I miss seeing the cows, goats, chickens, and pigs. But perhaps, what I miss even more is the escape that a farm provides. I live in a the city and though it’s not quite yet the dense concrete jungle of larger cities, it’s certainly heading in that direction. The term “concrete jungle” always makes me giggle, as most things in America today are all created “on the cheap” now, so new structures are never really built of sturdy concrete. They’re instead built of a lot of cheap wood, fewer nails, and bits of hope. There’s a large complex of new apartments going up near us and we’ve watched the progress while taking our dog Phineas on walks. It reminds me of the story The Three Little Pigs each time we pass it. I’m rather certain that the house built of sticks isn’t the winner of that particular story. It strikes me that nearly everything in life these days is built to last only a small amount of time. Something better and more, whatever, will surely come to replace it in the future.

Perhaps that’s why I often gravitate towards living things and other odd items that have managed to survive over the years. I like life best with a bit of lineage. A past that can connect with present to create the full story. Though I adore experiencing all of the “new” that the world has to offer, I experience it for what it is in the moment. I’ll have to wait 20 years or so from now to decide if those things are still fascinating or even worthy of discussion. Most will become forgotten relics, but some things will become timeless and wonderful. It’s impossible sometimes, in the moment, to tell which things will achieve such grandeur. Yet, the natural word, remains ever fascinating to me. In many ways, it’s never really changed that much over time, yet still holds so many unanswered questions. Each time I hear an owl hooting in the distance, I’m transported back to that barn in the middle of nature and all of its vastness. A place where I didn’t have to worry about the demands of my so-called “modern” life and could just relax into the exquisite joy of owls and other stories.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here! 
Day 19 - Barn Owl Watercolor Painting - Doodlewash
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

24 Comments
  1. Lisa 1 month ago

    I love your barn owl. Even though I grew up on a little farmette, we never had a barn owl. We are a little too far north for them When I lived in another small Wisconsin town, there was an eruption of snowy owls and there were two of them living in the marsh area outside of town. I grabbed my binoculars and went out to visit them regularly until they headed back north.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Oh wow! That’s awesome! I love the snowy owls!! They’re beautiful… what a wonderful story!

  2. Beautiful!!!!

  3. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    I love owls of all kinds. You’ve captured the unique face of the barn owl – I think of it as an opened blossom. I like to visit farm animals when I’m in rural areas. Pigs, donkeys, and goats are my favorite.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, the barn owl has a perfectly odd face… but I find it so intriguing! Tomorrow, we head to the zoo with friends to see all sorts of animals! hehe

  4. Anita Sinha 1 month ago

    Nice doodlewash. I completely agree with you Charlie. Sometimes I think “Old is gold”.

  5. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 month ago

    Your owl is quite pretty.this remind me the same story which posted u once.
    I loved this.
    Thanks so much charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕I’m quite sure by this point I must be repeating myself… hehe… glad you liked this one!

  6. Rod Fletcher 1 month ago

    Just about to start a barn -owl Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Very cool, Rod! 😃 Yeah, I think they’re fascinating… this is on the second one I’ve ever tried.

  7. June Hadaway 1 month ago

    So wonderfully painted. Looks real. They always have such a sharp eye and are fascinating creatures to watch.
    Old things are the best. Most have withstood time and all the elements. Kids could play with toys over and over and they never broke like they do now. Sad to say but I think It’s the greedy hand that has changed so many things.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, June! 😃💕 Glad you liked my barn owl. And yes… greed has made the world rather cheap and impermanent. Makes me love all those old things all the more!

  8. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    You captured the mystery and majesty of the owl with your painting! Oregon is known for its wide open spaces, and has worked hard to keep much of it that way, but the population is exploding and those wide, open spaces are turning into apartments and warehouses. *sigh* I miss the way it was.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Sandra!😃💕 Yeah… I think I miss the way it was as well. Our progress sometimes seems like a move in the wrong direction.

  9. smzang 1 month ago

    an absolutely splendid owl!

    Charlie says, “I’m transported “.
    that is exactly what you do for all of us with your painting and your writing.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 That’s such a sweet thing to say. I truly appreciate it my friend!

  10. Your owl is spectacular!

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 month ago

    Wonderful barn owl looking at us. You were really lucky to have had your grandparents’ farm as part of your childhood. We hear owls in our neighborhood but rarely see them.. Lovely to see this handsome owl.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m SO appreciative of having the opportunity to spend so much time on a farm. It’s a slice of life that makes what matters most in life shine!

  12. zlsconsulting 3 weeks ago

    Great post. Owls are such amazing creatures. In Japan they have owl cafes everywhere… here’s a video from our recent family vacation to japan. Enjoy…

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2van5a20AkU

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