The John Stermer Owl Painting


I would like to share my recollections, and a bit of conjecture regarding the John Stermer painting titled “Hoot Owls”.

Birds As Theme.

This is one of the few paintings in the John Stermer body of work that includes birds as a subject.  The thunderbird of “Sioux Eagle” being one of the other paintings featuring birds.  In any case, I figure “Hoot Owls” had to be inspired by something special or particular.

Friend of Ornithologist.

Our Dad, John Stermer, was a friend of Dr. Dale A. Zimmerman, professor of Ornithology at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) in Silver City, NM.  Dr. Zimmerman was an author, photographer and illustrator as well as a professor.  Dad liked to talk to  him about birds, paintings and life in general, as I recall. 

I have often wonder if their shared admiration of birds and nature inspired Dad to paint “Hoot Owls”.

Evening Walks.

My father was also in the habit of taking long walks in the evening in our home town of Silver City, NM.  It is possible, and likely, that he heard owls while out on his walks.

Love of Birds.

I think of this painting as a sort of tribute to Dr. Zimmerman and all of who love birds and owls in particular.

“Hoot Owls” is an oil on canvas painting and it is in a private collection.


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