Beauty repairs the world. Everything that is beautiful — whether strong, fragile, imperfect, or lost — compels us to acknowledge, honor and protect it. A vast ocean, a sweet letter: we want to preserve these. In this commitment lies a powerful foundation for both social and environmental justice. This makes beauty important and powerful; this is why I paint.
Working along the water’s edge to capture the movement of light and air, I see these paintings as portraits of a fleeting place in time. Their very specificity seems to make them universal; to different eyes, they recall Brittany, Devonshire, Wellfleet, or Mississippi. These landscapes depict Chesapeake and Cape Cod fishing grounds and threatened estuaries. Their fragility is also the subject of the small still life, “Message.”
Educated in fine arts at Yale, I studied sculpture with Erwin Hauer, painting with Bernard Chaet and William Bailey, and photography with Tom Brown. As an outdoor landscape painter I am self-taught, counting Fitz Hugh Lane, John Frederick Kensett, Mary Cassatt, Giorgio Morandi, Mark Rothko, Willie Cole, Walker Evans, Kara Walker, Robert Rauschenberg, Johannes Vermeer, and the Dutch and Flemish seascape painters as major influences. I work alla prima, on site, and also on commission.
For inquiries & purchasing, please contact curator at Michael@MichaelOwenArt.com