Just like "writing what you know" is helpful to writers, so is painting what you know to artists. At least a 100 reference photos were acquired at the bird sanctuary. But now I find myself reaching for the images that depict what I "know" about owls... (um, which isn't really a lot.) Anything deviating from my idea of them: round eyed, smart and stoic gets ruled out... It feels different from painting cats (understatement) who I know very well. But I'm enjoying the process.