David Utterback was a fine artist and he knew exactly where to find an Elf Owl. We did not know him well personally, but we carried his art in our store. He was a kind man who promised us that he would show us an Elf Owl as soon as we came to visit. We never did and we learned this weekend that he is dead.This is all very fragile, this business of being alive. It can go away in a second. If you know someone who knows where there is an Elf Owl and offers to show it to you, don’t wait: Go now.
Over David’s left shoulder in this photo of him is one of our favorite pieces of his, a roadrunner with a lizard in its mouth. David worked from photographs he himself took, but he did not give this roadrunner a lizard to eat. Rather he had a friend hold a live lizard so he could draw it accurately. No lizard was harmed in the making of that drawing. David was a gentle man.
And here is a photo of one of his prints that we have. David loved his originals too much to part with them so no one could buy his originals. This is a juvenile Spotted Owl that he watched for most of one afternoon. The butterfly appeared and the owl spent some time studying the butterfly. David believed that the owl was trying to determine just what the butterfly was and whether it was edible.If it looks like a black and white photograph of the owl and the butterfly on your computer monitor that is understandable; the original looks like that as well. In fact, it is a pencil drawing. All of David’s amazing art was done in pencil.
When we see our first Elf Owl, we will remember you David. And our own fragility.