Tahlequah Daily Press


June 3, 2014

Young artist stretching her wings in oils

TAHLEQUAH — Art is part of everyday life, even for people who don’t think of themselves as artists. For her part, Erin Owen started as a dabbler.

“There are a lot of artists in my family, so I’ve always been encouraged to make art, but it took a while before I took a personal interest in it,” said Owen.

Eventually she realized art can be whatever you want it to be: “therapy, communication, expression, a story, a career, a lifestyle, a conviction. So, of course, I got hooked.”

In high school, Owen traded band for art.

“I started making art in high school, so it’s been about 10 years. When my oboe playing didn’t work out. I needed another creative outlet and drawing turned out to be a much better suit for me,” she said. “I was a shy kid, and art was a way to get out all of that teenage angst and work through emotions.”

A graduate of Edison High School in Tulsa, Owen grew up visiting museums, art shows and art fairs, and met a lot of real artists.

“For a smaller city, Tulsa has a lot to offer in the art community. Growing up, it was always impressed on me that art was a normal component of society and a respectable career,” Owen said.

When she was 18, Owen visited London, Paris and Rome.

“It was a really good point in my education to be exposed to a huge number of paintings,” she said. “Seeing those masterpieces in person is a unique experience. Somehow I skipped the Louvre, but I got to see the National Gallery in London, The Musee D’Orsay, and the Vatican. That trip had a serious impact on my artistic development.”

In college, Owen has learned from an outstanding collection of instructors who are also amazing artists, including Sylvia Nitti, Lance Hunter and Mark Hatley. This past December, she graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Northeastern State University.

Most of her paintings portray female figures, but the real subject of the pieces is the emotion and story behind the character.

“Realism is important to my work, but I love incorporating patterns and playful motifs into paintings. I often use abstract backgrounds that engulf the figures in a dreamlike fury,” she said.

Oil painting is her main medium nowadays, because of its versatility. She believes oil paints have unmatched advantages for creating depth and realism. Working with soft pastels is a favorite, because of how expressive they can be.

“Before I studied technique, my style was very different. I used to draw surreal and odd subject matter with distorted figures. It showed a lot of turmoil and depression,” Owen said. “My emotional maturation mirrored my growth as an artist. The more stable I became, the more emphasis I placed on realism.”

Art has become her strongest form of communication.

“A work of art synthesizes ideas, events, and abstract thoughts. It is an essential form of communication,” she said. “Artwork can help people feel connected and often supports understanding and tolerance.”

Art today will reflect to future generations that there was no current trend in the arts, she said.

“Modern artists have an exciting spectrum of varied styles. I think that says something about the individuality of our age,” said Owen.

Owen encourages students of fine art to work hard, be persistent and maybe keep a day job.

“It is possible to have a satisfying art career,” Owen said. “It’s important to stay focused on your goals, rather than dwell on your letdowns. Artists encounter plenty of criticism, rejection, and personal frustration. After learning from your experiences, move on and don’t let them interfere with your creativity.”

Currently, her art is available at Dos Okies Gallery downtown. To find her online portfolio, visit erinowenart.tumblr.com.

The weekend of June 13-14, Owen will be participating in Arts on the Avenue.

“I recently had a great weekend at the Blue Dome Arts Festival in Tulsa and met a lot of interesting people. My favorite thing about festivals is being able to meet my fans and have personal contact with the person purchasing my art,” Owen said.

She’s a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. She won two first-place awards at the 2013 Northeastern Oklahoma Area Artists Show, in the adult painting and the adult graphics categories.

She’s now working on a concept for a series of paintings incorporating narrative songs into the subject of the pieces.

“It will be a large project that will take around two years, but it will be a unique body of work when it’s complete,” she said.

Text Only
  • rf-Faith-7-29.jpg New opportunity opens door for local pastor

    A unique opportunity for ministry training will begin next year in Tahlequah.
    The River Ministries will be launching The River Training Center, a complete ministry school. The training center will also perform community outreach and sponsor mission trips, all beginning in January 2015.
    The founder of the school, Pastor Brandon Stratton, was raised in Tahlequah and previously pastored Calvary Assembly of God Church.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue