Art works it's way out of my backbrain. I am watching shapes. It occurred to me when the last owls were done, that they look like pansies in some night forest. The face discs of owls have a layered quality, which truly evokes the same kind of soft planes I notice in certain flowers. I didn't consciously realize this until I found myself digging in with my close-ups on this rose.
No sooner had I explored a series of shots and lighting trying to capture these soft but explicit layers, when an OBP special on raptors provided parallel imagery in the facial discs of owls. Here is the shot directly from the TV screen which captures these shapes as they change surface to coordinate sound with visual targeting. The feathery discs are actually acoustic amplifiers of the grey owl's unevenly set ears. The disc shape is constrained or expanded by subtle changes in facial muscles as the bird's eyes follow a target. This information, combined with the hearing data, gives the owl stereoscopic precision for locating and hunting prey. As I work with depicting these beloved things of nature, I am amazed at how my visual brain leads me into their physiology. Then into my own.
I am a raptor-like observer with a brain that doesn't easily turn off. This is a factor of physiology, my own human sensory system, which registers numerous sensory inputs all the time that I hardly reflect on until I've reached overload. I find it necessary to trust this encoded information, and to allow it a voice in visual expression. Otherwise I am too easily overwhelmed by the sheer volume of daily input, visual and movement stimulation, and become fatigued. How do you process and recycle the numerous shapes and images that surround you? Do you realize how overload can leave you exhausted, paralyze you with too many choices, for example in stores, so that you are get overwhelmed and manipulated by false 'targets' (food or other comfort items that don't meet your real need for relief from overstimulation)? The paralysis of too much!? Time to learn our own natures again.