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Art Scene :: Drawing Sesh with Ollie the Eagle Owl

Jonathan Gonzalez with Ollie the Eagle Owl

What could be better than sketching on a Sunday morning? That would be sketching a beautiful live Eurasian Eagle Owl on a Sunday morning!

That’s exactly what happened on Sunday, August 19, 2018, at Pastimes for a Lifetime’s art studio.

At 9:00 AM sharp, falconer Jonathan Gonzalez from Raptor Events brought Ollie in his carrying crate into the studio. He waited until the current and former art students and friends of my boss, instructor/founder Linda Wehrli had settled in, setting up their sketch pads and drawing materials. After a brief introduction, to everyone’s delight and astonishment, Jonathan brought out the star of the show, Ollie the Eurasian Eagle Owl, flapping his over 4-foot span wings.

As if on cue, Ollie regained his balance, perched on Jonathan’s arm and stayed there, modeling for over two hours. Jonathan reassured us that he knows how to position his body in order to comfortably hold Ollie for long periods of time.

Ollie the Eurasian Eagle Owl Settling In for the Drawing Session

While we sketched in graphite, charcoal, ink, and pastel, Jonathan regaled us with fascinating stories about Ollie and the other birds of prey and reptiles he keeps and the shows they produce for schools and other educational venues. He graciously answered questions from maintenance to mannerisms and personalities of his animals along with anecdotes from various shows and events he produced.

Jonathan Gonzalez with Ollie the Eagle Owl
Jonathan and Ollie, Photocopy courtesy of Julie M.
Ollie perched on Jonathan's gloved arm
Ollie perched on Jonathan’s gloved arm, Photo courtesy of Julie M.



Pastimes for a Lifetime studio
Pastimes for a Lifetime studio
Pastimes for a Lifetime studio
Pastimes for a Lifetime studio
Pastimes for a Lifetime former art student, Abby G. sketches Ollie
Abby G.
Pastimes for a Lifetime student, Ariel S' Ollie Sketch
Ariel S.
Pastimes for a Lifetime student, Erika B., studies Ollie in graphite
Erika B.
Erika B.'s Sketch with Ollie
Erika B.’s Sketch with Ollie
Pastimes former art student, Jamie S., sketches Ollie
Jamie S.
Pastimes student, Maleia G. sketched Ollie
Maleia G.
Pastimes students, Rosaleen O. + Julie M. Sketching
Rosaleen O. and Julie M.
Pastimes student, Sophia (AKA Atom) H., studying Ollie
Sophia (AKA Atom) H.
Pastimes student, Zoey G.'s Sketch with Ollie
Zoey G.’s Sketch with Ollie
Jessica Lee Sanders, Pastimes for a Lifetime
Jessica Lee Sanders’ charcoal sketch
Jessica Lee Sanders' charcoal sketch
Jessica Lee Sanders’ charcoal sketch
Ollie the Eurasian Eagle Owl

After the sketching sesh was done, we were allowed to pet Ollie. What a delightful and beautiful bird, graciously allowing us to pet him. Some guests received little love bites, too. Squeee!

Linda Wehrli pets Ollie
Linda Wehrli pets Ollie
Abby G. Pets Ollie
Abby G. and Ollie
Rosaleen O. gets love bites from Ollie
Rosaleen O. gets love bites from Ollie
Sophia (AKA Atom) H. Pets Ollie
Sophia (AKA Atom) H. and Ollie
Cindy C. Pets Ollie
Cindy C. and Ollie
Erika B. Pets Ollie
Erika B. and Ollie
Guest Pets Ollie
Guest Pets Ollie
Jessica Lee Sanders Pets Ollie
Jessica Lee Sanders and Ollie
Maleia G. Pets Ollie
Maleia G. and Ollie
Ariel A. and Zoey G. Pet Ollie
Ariel A. and Zoey G. with Ollie
Pastimes for a Lifetime, Ollie the Owl
Jamie S. with Ollie

It was a memorable experience for all. Pastimes will definitely be having Jonathan back. Next time, a drawing sesh with Marty the Lanner Falcon! Stay tuned…

To learn more about Jonathan and his wonderful company, Raptor Events, click the link.
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Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614. School is open Tuesday – Saturday year round, except major holidays.

You can learn more about Pastimes for a Lifetime’s Art Curriculum and founder/instructor Linda Wehrli by clicking the links or feel free to explore the website.

Ready to learn to draw or paint? Set up a free consultation with founder/instructor Linda Wehrli or book a Trial Art Class.

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  1. Frank M. Pelteson

    The definition of “raptor” is “a bird of prey, e.g., an eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl.” Because of this here is always a risk of getting pecked injuriously by such a bird. This risk needs to be respected. This is not a pet to be petted, but a flesh-eating bird to be respected.

    Those talons are made to pick up a rabbit from the ground and hold it to tear it to bits.

    Nevertheless, it is good to have the raptor as a subject to be painted. It is ingenious to pick such an animal for a model.

    That’s my opinion.

  2. Zubin Grogg

    The curriculum has come a long way since I studied art at the studio! I think it would be a fun challenge to draw and paint a live (moving) object. Fun and interesting subject!

    • Linda Wehrli

      Thanks for the kind words. Indeed! It was fun and interesting to sketch and paint Ollie and we hope to have him back again soon for more workshops.

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