Spinnin' My Wheels, 2013 Enamel Housepaints and Traditional Oil Paints 80" x 47"
Discarded Dreams, 2014 Enamel Housepaints, Charcoal and Traditional Oil Paints 26" x 58"
Merry Christmas, Apocalypse, 2012 Oil and Pastel 34" x 84"
Abstract expression (Red), 2010 Oil on Canvas 36" x 60"
Woman: Postmodern, 2014 Oil/Charcoal on Canvas 38" x 54"
Homecoming, 2014 Oil on Canvas 46" x 46"
Independence Day, 2011 Oil on Canvas 30" x 41"
Ten Commandments, 2012
Oil on Canvas 28" × 34"
Untitled Abstract, 2012 Oil/Sand 18" x 24"
Our Lady of The Mardi Gras, 2012 oil on canvas 27" x 46"
BANK ROCK BAY SERIES
Owsley’s BANK ROCK BAY series, his most ambitious project to date, is comprised of a series of 25 canvases, painted over the course of a decade.The subject of these paintings is a small inlet located just north of the boat lake and south of The Delacorte Theatre in New York’s iconic Central Park…a place where land, air and water collide to create a series of impressions that are all at once enchanting, serene, mysterious, spiritual, evocative and forever-changing.
His paint is applied to canvas in a unique and painterly manner, and his brushwork and handling of the paint is direct, tactile and physical. Each image is dominated by the circle, which to Owsley represents the ‘totality’ of life. The circle is one of the great primordial symbols of human kind, and emblematic of life, death and resurrection itself: You are born, you grow, you go and you come back.
By using the square form as his support, he obliterates any traditional sense of boundary or separation between the elements, further promoting a feeling of connectivity between all facets of the scenes, where air, water and land cohabitate as a single, living, breathing presence. Each painting not only communicates with the viewer, but with each of the other paintings, as well, creating a dialogue between scenes that is sweetly lyrical and fully engaging.
As opposed to many of his earlier works that were almost exclusively painted en plein air, these larger, conceptual landscapes are painted solely in the studio with the aid of photographs, sketches, field studies and from the artist’s wildly vivid imagination and multi-colored memory.
"The paintings (The Bank Rock Bay Series) have a consistent and startling originality. The iconic power of the large natural forms is transformed by facile brushwork and delightful use of color into works that are almost poetically pantheistic. Generally, the paintings are a nice size – one that could accommodate both corporate and private collections. I think the works would appeal to both traditional and modern viewers since their beguiling mood is carried on an adventuresome treatment of form and space. I immediately knew when I first viewed his work that here was a naturally gifted, intuitive painter – a genius in that sense."
Howard F. Collins Renaissance Art Historian & apprentice to American water colorist, Charles Burchfield
Autumn Takes Center Stage, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Late Fall, Bank Rock Bay, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Stormy Weather, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
A View From The Bridge, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Snow Day at The Bay, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Dappled Light, Bank Rock Bay, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Summer Afternoon, Bank Rock Bay, 2012 oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Dawn At The Bay oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Good Day, Sunshine! oil on canvas 12" x 12"
Bank Rock Bay, Central Park, 2010 oil on canvas 60" x 80"
Bank Rock Bay, Number One, 1999 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Two, 1999 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Three, 2000 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Four, 2001 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Five, 2001 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Six, 2002 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Seven, 2003 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Eight, 2004 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Nine, 2005 Oil on Canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Eleven, 2005 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Bank Rock Bay, Number Twelve, 2005 oil on canvas 48" x 48"
Foggy Mountain Breakdown, 2014 oil on canvas 27" x 46"
St. Mary of The Snow, 2002 oil on canvas 20" x 24"
Soul Mates, 2012 oil on canvas 18" x 24"
Little Red Lighthouse on The Hudson, 2001 oil on canvas 24" x 30"
Snow Scene, (Woodstock), 2010 oil on canvas 16" x 20"
Kaaterskill Clove, 2002 oil on canvas 16" x 20"
The Old Home Place, 2014 oil on canvas 17" x 42"
Grazing by Moonlight, 2007 oil on canvas 60" x 36"
The Sheep Meadow, 2005 oil on canvas 60" x 32"
North Lake, Central Park, 2008 oil on canvas 58" x 30"
Palenville, Route 23, 2002 oil on canvas 24" x 30"
Rainy Day at Trinity, 2017, oil on canvas, 24" x 30"
Post Toasties, 2010 oil on canvas 13" x 18"
Coney: One, 2010 oil on canvas 32" x 48"
American Beach, 2006 oil on canvas 62" x 46"
Santa Monica, 2017, oil on canvas, 30" x 30"
“LOVE ON THE ROCKS” – The Hugo Boss Project
In January-February 2012, I had the pleasure of collaborating with Brooklyn-based artist and international curator, Lisa Chamberlin, to co-design a Valentine’s Day window and store presentation for the iconic fashion courtier, Hugo Boss, located in the heart of New York City’s Meat Packing District.
Our challenge was to create an art installation work that would incorporate plant life and botanical elements in a unique and meaningful way…something that would both promote store visibility and enhance brand, while also promoting environment and sustainable practice initiatives. The result was a series of globe-shaped open-terrariums teamed with several glass vessels of varying shapes and sizes, suspended from the 15 foot ceilings by hemp rope attached to a Clump Birch tree trunk – all materials found within nature. Every glass vessel revealed some form of plant life and botanicals such as moss, lichens and rocks indigenous to the region…occasionally staged with tiny 1/16” scale model “human figures” who were on view through the “looking glass,” performing a host of activities, including cozy couples on park benches, bicycling, hiking, and rock climbing, as well as a bride and groom with the entire wedding party en tow - all this within the greater context and backdrop of the living and breathing worlds of the terrariums that dominate each scene or diorama. This project proved to be a big success, and my terrariums have since appeared in a vast number of corporate offices and public venues throughout New York City, including MACY’S flagship department store at 34th Street/Herald Square. The terrariums would even make a guest appearance alongside my landscape paintings in a solo exhibition staged at the Marleau Gallery in upstate New York.
Why Terrariums and Plants?
For many years, I have embraced the work of Edward O. Wilson and his research in the field of “Biophillia,” a term originally attributed to the sociologist Eric Fromm, literally meaning “Love of life or living systems.” Wilson’s work postulates that humans have a deep and subconscious connection with nature and environment, and that the attractions and positive feelings that people have toward certain habitats, activities and objects in nature must be reinforced in our daily lives by bringing the outdoors indoors, such as the home or workplace. As we continue to grow, industrialize, populate (and pollute) our planet, we find ourselves “controlling” and “taking back” nature, rather than peacefully and respectfully coexisting with it. My interests in terrarium art and interior plant design owes much to Wilson’s work, and my belief that since the industrial revolution of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and certainly now as we enter a new and rather ominous phase in human development, recently termed by anthropologists as the Anthropocene Period, we (humans) have become far too dependent upon industry, commerce and technology, while far too removed and disconnected to our natural surroundings and environment. I believe the introduction of plant life in the interior space is essential to a healthy mind-body-spirit relationship, and helps us to find order out of chaos, and to keep us sane in an insane world.
Whether the terrarium is worthy of being considered as a work of fine art in the same way that a painting or sculpture would be, is a question best left for the viewer to decide. The terrarium speaks to many things I care about, and on many levels. They remind us all at once of nature’s beauty, majesty, vulnerability and fragility. However, more than anything else, they are fun to look at and care for, and they make us happy.