Long before its most recent role as Harry Potter’s Hedwig, the snowy owl reigned in myth and legend. From North America to Scandinavia to Russia, stories were told of a big white bird known by many names: Ghost Owl, Tundra Ghost, Ookpik, White Terror of the North. To those, Carl Brenders adds "The Phantom of the Tundra."
There’s a good chance that Hedwig is not the only Snowy Owl you’ve seen more of recently. Thanks to an abundance of rodents on their breeding grounds for the past few years (lemmings being their prey of choice), Snowy Owl pairs have reproduced in large numbers. With the adults protecting their own winter territories, this population explosion has sent the younger birds up to 2,000 miles south, away from their regular Arctic stomping grounds in search of new hunting areas.
With "The Phantom of the Tundra," Brenders presents a female in her nest, a shallow hollow she has scraped out of the bare ground and pressed her body into. With the striking realism that is his trademark, every nuance of her tundra home is realized in exacting detail. “But your eye still goes straight to the owl’s eye,” Brenders says. “What a shame after all that work!”
"The Phantom of the Tundra" Fine Art Limited Editions are as meticulously reproduced as Brenders’ detailed paintings. So true to the striking tactile realism of his originals they reflect the artist’s philosophy that “Nature is perfect. This is why I paint the way I do ― with so much detail and so much realism ― I want to capture that perfection.”