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Chris Owen


When The Work's All Done © 17¼ x 26 ½ " Gouache

 

Owen's paintings are a portrayal of the spirit and essence of the American cowboy. Born and raised in Billings, Montana, his talents began to emerge at a young age. After graduating from Billings West High School, he attended Montana State University, majoring in art. He was then awarded a scholarship at the acclaimed Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California, where he studied for two years. Becoming a professional artist has been a lifetime pursuit of Owen's, and he has been painting his Western subjects for approximately seven years. He attributes his style and technique largely to the influence of Art Center College of Design instructor Andy Ogden, and to MSU Professor of Art, Neil Jussila. He maintains that both were immensely inspiring and contributed greatly to his ability to create the art work he produces today.

His work demonstrates a sensitivity to the application of light and shadow to create the illusion of three-dimensional form on the two-dimensional plane. He also captures and depicts the gesture, mood, motion and energy of the horse and cowboy figures by arbitrarily and instinctively combining realism and abstraction. Owen designed his own log studio which is located on 15 acres just outside Billings.

He has exhibited at a number of prominent Western art shows, including the Coors Western Art Show in Denver, Colorado (where he was selected as a featured artist for the January 2003 show), the C.M. Russell Art Auction in Great Falls, Montana, and Cheyenne Frontier Days Governor's Invitational Western Art Show in Cheyenne, Wyoming (where he was selected 2001 print artist).

He also exhibited at the "Rising Stars 2001" Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona.

Repudiating the traditional "hard-edge" realism of standard Western art, he depicts the human and equine figures with a genuinely personal and subjective approach, and with a sense of "controlled spontaneity." Owen's style is undeniably subjective, and through his art, he bears the hopes, dreams, and passions, not only for himself, but all who desire to experience the spirit of the American West.

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Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas. Site last updated January 2004.