Defend the Sacred

Defend the Sacred | Wallhanging by Denise Monaghan | Artists for Conservation

Defend the Sacred

18.00" H x 24.00" W
Oil (hardboard)
birds, owls, nests
Original for Sale:
Original Available
Available as Ltd Edition:
Buy Button
$875 USD

Owls have been special to me since I met one out in a dark Missouri field. I had been walking a summer forest as night rapidly approached. II came to a clearing, and the forest gave way to a meadow. As I walked along its edge, an owl brushed by me, I felt its presence on my skin but I didn’t hear approach it at all. It flew over me, downy feathers quieting its wing beats. I could barely make it out as it flew ahead of me, into the purple blue atmosphere. I think it was a horned owl. It made me feel alive to be in the presence of such a creature.


If I were a mouse I’d have been a goner. Owls can pinpoint sounds, like the beating of a mouse’s heart from 25 feet away.  Quietness is a special power the owl has and I greatly admired it. So beautiful, too, with soft earthy colors sprinkled with gold flecks and huge yellow eye that see in the dark. Magic comes to mind. They are related, are they not?


I was struck by their fierceness when threatened. They make themselves so large. I feel this way about defending and amplifying the natural world’s attempt to get us online. The ‘wood wide web’ has been very insistently telling us we need to be in relation with nature or she will collapse. How much bigger does the owl need to be in order for people to get the message that there is a finite number of resources to exploit before the earth stops supporting life?


We owl lovers aren’t anybodys fools. Owls have always been a symbol of higher knowledge and the connection between the physical and spirit world. The noise that owls make can sometimes sound so mournful. That's why Jason Molina sang his sad owl song and rendered this human owl with religious hands. I gave my painted owl hands, too, a sort of a memorial to the earth, remembering when we took care of each other. We share the earth and we defend her out of tender caring. Watch a owl feed its chicks and you will understand.


I was inspired by Jason Molina’s music, too. He was an interpreter of internal thoughts, a companion who seems capable of real understanding, and an idol for expressing the inexpressible. Some might call it depressing, but it is so compelling. I loved his drawing and always remember it.



Artwork Inquiry (with Artist)

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.