1941 - 2015
Carl Owen was a painter best known in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire for his large, expressionistic landscapes of the region. Prior to his death in June 2015 from prostate cancer, Mr. Owen worked primarily in oil on canvas or cradled panels.
Mr. Owen was born on Cape Cod in 1941. A son of a Portuguese fisherman, Mr. Owen was intimately involved with life near the sea, with all its grittiness and beauty, and, indeed, much of his work prior to attending art school and moving to New Hampshire was inspired by his life on the Cape. He was responsible for spearheading the whale rescue organizations now in place on Cape Cod, and would organize people to help save stranded whales in the Wellfleet area, and also worked to rescue stranded Ridley turtles, both of which were alternately heart-wrenching and rewarding experiences, and helped to form Carl Owen's sense of connection to nature. He was also actively involved in bird-banding through the Audubon Society on the Cape and had an extensive knowledge of waterfowl.
He enlisted in the service during the Vietnam War and was on the front lines during the conflict.
Carl Owen began his artistic journey as a cartoonist for a local Cape Cod newspaper, and then transitioned to formal training at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston as well as UMass in Dartmouth. Most of his earlier work post-art school was of scenes around the Cape, such as fishing shacks in Wellfleet, a row of cottages near Truro, all in bold, imaginative coloring and brushstrokes. He experimented with pointillism, which encouraged the viewer to observe his art at a distance.
After his move to his little cottage set in a hollow by a stream in Madison, New Hampshire, his work continued to evolve. He became an avid gardener and grew beautiful hollyhocks, and painted in the gardens of good friends. He also created a great number of paintings in his signature style of the waterfalls in Jackson, NH and at Diana's Baths (White Mountain National Forest) in North Conway, NH. His large, wild turkey paintings explored the elusive nature of this large, wild bird. He revisited his fishing roots with huge paintings of salmon and trout.
In 2012, Mr. Owen formed Group 8 Gallery in Jackson with seven other local artists (including the Cassidy Gallery owner, Nancy White Cassidy), and was the energy behind turning it from a part time gallery to its present form, Ellis River Artist Studios. However, in 2013, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which sharply curtailed his plans to continue with the Gallery and with painting. He moved back to the Cape, painted when he felt well enough to do so, but finally passed away from the disease in June of 2015. (Nancy White Cassidy, author)
NOTE: The family of Carl Owen has asked us at The Cassidy Gallery to continue to exhibit and sell his work for the time being. Anyone interested in purchasing work by Mr. Owen should contact the Gallery at (603) 662-2074 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.