A Green ( and Orange) Owl

Given that Saint Patrick’s feast day is around the corner I thought I would focus on a green owl.

The Popol huh mentions three owls (including one identified as Skull Owl )acting as assistants to the nefarious Death Gods of Xibalba.

It should also be noted that owls help lead the quite pregnant Princess Xquic (previous post) out of the Underworld and into the land of the living.

Owls occupy a complicated place in Mesoamerican culture,one of fear and respect; seen as messengers between the spirit world and that of man. Because they occupied the dark and  dank caves they  were also associated with death, most particularly the Death Gods of Xibalba.

A green owl is not such a peculiar choice, the aforementioned Illustrated Dictionary informs that “Green owls commonly occur in the art of Teotihuacan…” (128).

Hence my desire to present a very green and orange (only seems fair) owl for one of my favorite feast days.

The source material for this owl is from the Codex Borgia (found in the same Dictionary, pg. 129). I tried to be as true as possible to the original. A bit challenging as the original  is extremely graphic;but I think he works nicely , a funny little fellow.

Just a few more poses, he is a flexible little bird…

In closing just a frankly very appealing owl, I couldn’t resist.

Wishing a very happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I most likely will not post until next week-family time.

Take care,

Boondocks Babylon

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

6 thoughts on “A Green ( and Orange) Owl”

  1. Len, I’m wishing you, your human and animal families the best of St. Patrick’s Days. I hope you get to see “The Cult of Beauty” in SF. It is very Babylon and Peacocks. xo. Kendra

    1. Same show as at the V&A? Oh I hope so, sounds so much up my alley, will go look it up. will keep you posted!

      1. From strength to strength, my friend, you go from strength to strength. This is a beauty. And because it’s such an abstract, jazzy construct, it lends itself to endless configurations, which in my experience is always a sign of what’s going to be a really useful maquette. I tell you Leonard, I would never stop playing with that little bird. I’m sure you’re going to get some wonderful painting out of him.

      2. <strong Thank you, I feel rather fond of him, certainly outside my so called comfort zone. I will be curious to see how he fits into compositions. I have been taking my now growing collection of maquettes and pinning them to the wall, creating some fantastic narratives. Watch out when I have a whole cast of characters!
        I'm very pleased you introduced me to this discipline.

  2. This is splendid, I love owls, though I’ve not seen one quite like this before!

    Have a good St Patrick’s day, enjoy your family time.

    1. Thank you, he is an odd little fellow. So often i am struck by the Mesoamerican tendency to abstract something almost beyond recognition. If you look at the original from the Borgia Codex, you will the faintest hint of “owl-liness”, but it is really abstracted. So often when looking at this work, i have to really strain as to what I am actually seeing. A visual puzzle.
      I have some other owls I am working on, original abstracted designs in the same vein; but I will probably make up at least one that resembles a real owl.
      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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