Northern Pygmy Owl
Northern Pygmy Owl is a relief print, a wood-engraving, created in 2020 by American printmaker Richard Wagener (born 1944). It is pencil signed, dated and editioned 8/32. Northern Pygmy Owl was printed by the artist on a sheet of ivory Zerkall wove paper and the image measures 4-7/16 x 3 inches.
This is a marvelous portrait of the Northern Pygmy-Owl with its rounded head and piercing eyes. The Northern Pygmy-Owl is native to western North America and is a ferocious hunter with a taste for songbirds. They hunt during the day by sitting quietly and surprising their prey.
Richard Wagener was born in Texicana, Arkansas in 1944. He studied biology at the University of San Diego and earned an M.F.A. in painting from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. In 2006, Wagener established the imprint Mixolydian Editions for his own fine press projects. He collaborated with David Pascoe of Nawakum Press, Santa Rosa, California, co-publishing three fine press books, one of which, Loom, earned the 2016 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design.Wagener has also produced a number of engraved bookplates that have been collected internationally. He designed the logo for the XXVII FISAE Congress held in Boston in 2000. His bookplates have been featured in Print Magazine; “Contemporary Ex-Libris Artists,” an article by James Keenan, that was published in Portugal in 2003; California Bookplates by Robert Dickover, published by the Book Club of California in 2006; and Three Centuries of the American Bookplate by James Goode, the catalog accompanying a show of bookplates at the University of Virginia from 2010.
A notable American wood engraver, Wagener's works are held in over 100 public collections in the United States and England. He was awarded the Oscar Lewis Award for contributions to the book arts.