Michael Owens - Fine Artist

Michael Owens

Nashville, GA - United States

 
 
 

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Michael Owens

Nashville, GA - United States

Michael Owens - Fine Artist

Member Since:

February 8th, 2013

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About Michael Owens

Hello, my name is Michael Owens. I'm a forty eitght year old African American contemporary artist. Despite my age I'm actually new to the art game even though Iíve dreamed of being a professional artist my whole life. Over the years Iíve held a variety of jobs;dental assistant, factory worker, farm laborer, civil drafter, architecture student and the list goes on. Some of these experiences were good, while some of them sucked. I can truthfully say that I learned something valuable each and every time. Life experience plays a huge role in my work. So you could say I was busy learning my future craft. While holding these jobs I never totally abandoned the dream, but didn't do much to make it happen either.

Like most of us I was afraid to pursue my dreams. I suffered from several fears: fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of starvation, fear of rejection and not knowing how or where to begin. But the main reason was thinking that Iíll never be good enough, at least not good enough to actually earn a living as an artist. At one point I was tempted to quit because I didnít see a future in it for me. Making art seemed like a big waste of time. Let me say again I never stopped loving art I just wasnít sure it would ever love me back.

Since childhood social/ political art has been my favorite. As a small child I remember reading an illustrated storybook about the life of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. I have no idea where it came from nor could I locate it now, but I canít tell youhow much that book helped to inspire a love of history and art that survives tothis day. In those pages I could feel his thirst for knowledge and his love of freedom, the two things that drive my work today. However politics is not the only thing that inspires me. I find inspiration in my family, my community, people Iíve met and places Iíve been. My artistic heroes include well known contemporary African American artists like Kehinde Wiley, Michael Ray Charles, and Kara Walker as well as historical political artists like David Alfaro Siqueiros, Kerry James Marshall, Jacob Lawrence and Faith Ringgold.

Iíve been told that my work is too political to sell and some of the imagery is potentially offensive and disturbing. Bu tyou know what? At this point really I don't give a damn. Iím dedicated to making, meaningful, inspiring art that manages to be unique, tell a story and pull no punches. That being said, I invite you to view my work with an open mind and open heart. Hopefully you will laugh,cry, get angry or whatever. All I ask is for is an honest reaction.

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Color Choices a Book Review

October 30th, 2014

The ďQuiller WheelĒ is a special color wheel featuring 68 precisely placed colors designed by internationally known artist and best-selling author Stephen Quiller. The ďQuiller WheelĒ is primarily an artistís tool used to interpret color relationship... 

Illustrator vs Fine Artist

September 16th, 2014

Whatís the difference between an illustrator and a fine artist? Iíll try my best to answer this burning question. Essentially the job of an illustrator is to create imagery that conveys a specific message, the content of which is determined by whoeve... 

The Supreme Court in yet another 5 Ė 4 ruling declared that for-profit companies can use religious objections to avoid paying for contraception coverage required under Obamacare. The decision against Obamacareís birth control mandate in Burwell vs. ... 

Art and Fear My 2 Cents

July 25th, 2014

I was introduced to Art & Fear as a college Senior. It was required reading for a class called Senior Exhibition, my last official undergraduate course in my art major at Georgia Southern University. In fact reading this book is a very common college... 

Like most us I was saddened to hear of the deaths of two remarkable, legendary, transcendent American women. The loss of one is extremely painful; the loss of two in such quick succession is almost unthinkable. The profound poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou... 

15 Motivational Tips For Artists by Admin on June 18, 2014 in Articles, Inspiration We all go through it. As artists we can easily lose confidence in ourselves and in our vision. Itís as if we would like to hide our latest efforts in the closet n... 

Ever wonder where artists get their ideas from? Ideas for my artwork come from everywhere, music, comedy, sketching, watching videos and of course looking at the work of other artists past and present. It may not always show in my work but probably ... 

The Ship of State is Sinking

March 12th, 2014

The ship of state is an old idea in political thought. Many a political cartoonist, satirist and some fine art painters have made use of this particular metaphor to represent the totality of government, normally one in trouble. The tradition of liken... 

5 Art Legends Who Starved

March 7th, 2014

While most of us are familiar with the term ďstarving artistĒ, this stereotype of impoverished artists struggling to get by has been sadly true throughout much of history. Fine art painters in particular are infamous for leading lives of deep poverty... 

Sarah Palin Dungeon

March 2nd, 2014

Whenever I see Sarah Palin, I canít help but think about the outrageous lies and distortions spouted by the far right mouthpiece. Like most left leaning Americans I have very little use for Ms. Palin or her political party. Most Americans believe w... 

Fathers in Art

February 19th, 2014

Heís a wage earner, meal provider, neck tie- tier, ball thrower, long distance driver and all-around great guy. Fathers are credited with many things (often including creating the world), many of us even pray to our heavenly father. In spite of this ... 

14 Black Artists to Watch in 2014

February 14th, 2014

Not every deserving artist is fortunate enough to get their first taste of attention through one of the art worldís largest platforms such as the legendary Art Basel show, or the Frieze Art Fair. African-American artists in particular, are still work... 

The Emotions of Painting

February 14th, 2014

What follows is not a rule book, but a loose interpretation of the tools necessary to help you find the emotional center and context of your paintings. You need to feel what youíre creating, the physicality of the work, pour yourself into the cont... 

Painting as Catharsis

February 14th, 2014

Catharsis, is derived from the Greek, Katharsis meaning ďpurificationĒ or ďcleansingĒ. The term is further defined as sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of anger, pity, sorrow, laughter, or any extreme change... 

Do you ever struggle with issue of knowing when a painting is finished? At times just about every artist has struggled to find that last stroke of color or adding that final detail. In fact this can be one of the more frustrating aspects of painting ... 

Blogs have really come a long way since they first began as online journals or diaries. Now theyíre often used as a means of self-publishing, and are a very practical way of getting information online to reach a large number of people. Many artist... 

Painting in a state of ďflowĒ is wonderful. Youíre happily working, feeling the magic of a painting that is coming together, and then. . . something inexpilicably goes wrong. Perhaps you suddenly realize that you took a wrong turn, or your composi... 

Why Artists Are Liberal

December 20th, 2013

Iím an American artist who also considers himself to be a world citizen. Iíve never been an overtly patriotic, flag waving nationalist. To me patriotism is something you feel in your heart, not wear on your sleeve. Itís all about the people, not the ... 

Wild GOP Elephant

November 21st, 2013

Posted on November 20, 2013 Wild Elephant Wild Elephant Ė Unfinished Oil Painting Shown above is an unfinished painting Iím calling Wild Elephant for now. Itís a tribute to the current political climate in America with a Republican Party that is o... 

Trouble at Border Town

November 13th, 2013

In November 2012 President Barack Obama was re-elected in large part due winning over 70% of Hispanic voters. Democrats in general enjoy a huge advantage in this community nationwide. Even though they are painfully aware of Americaís fast changing de... 

As Americans, weíre blessed to live in the free-est society on earth. But did you know each one of our constitutional rights is limited? Itís true. We have no rights which are not bound by custom, belief or fear. The right to speak freely is a cas... 

6 Great Things to Paint

October 31st, 2013

Itís been said that what makes a great artist isnít how he or she paints but rather what they choose to paint. We each have our own unique way of seeing the world around us. Some find fascination with nature, landscapes, flowers or old barns. Some ... 

How to Make Political Art

October 31st, 2013

How to Make Political Art Posted on October 23, 2013 by Michael Owens Do you have a passion? Are you an activist? Would you like to send a message through artwork? Nearly all art is political in some sense, though this is not always the intent of... 

David Alfaro Siqueiros was a Mexican social realist painter prized for his large murals in fresco and one of the most interesting and dedicated political artists ever. He is almost always associated with fellow muralists and countrymen Diego Rivera... 

Black Evil Television

October 16th, 2013

Black Entertainment Television or BET is a well-known and in some households well-loved television network featuring programming aimed at African American viewers. The 24 hr. channel has been an important part of black culture since its national debu... 

Critique is a dirty word for art beginners. As an artist Iíve come to realize the necessity and value of of critique. This wasnít always the case. As an art student I had the opportunity to participate in many a peer critique. Let me tell you , this... 

Creating Art From Found Objects

October 16th, 2013

Found art (from the French objet trouvť) is a type of art that emphasizes creating artworks from objects that arenít normally considered art. The artist does not disguise the chosen objects óso you can understand their pre-art form and usage. However... 

My Favorite Artists Right Now

September 11th, 2013

My Favorite ArtistsÖ..Right Now James Pate Artist James Pate portrays the world in black and white, he finds it the best way to express his point of view. The three charcoal drawings below are part of an award winning series entitled K... 

9 Small Adjustments for Better Paintings Life is about adjustments. This is something we should never fear. We are continually being asked to make adjustments in our personal lives, whether itís adapting to new circumstances or changing our attitu... 

Black Rushmore Who Belongs

September 11th, 2013

For the past few weeks Iíve been working on a ďblack Mount RushmoreĒ painting. This thing has been quite a struggle, but I know I must keep pushing to make it perfect. Itís gone through several changes in tone, coloring and intent. My initial idea ... 

10 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Paintings 1. Upgrade your supplies. If you plan on being a professional painter itís a good idea to use ďartist gradeĒ paint, no mater if its acrylic, watercolor or oils. Through that experience, Iíve l... 

Eastern art, especially Japanese art is something I have admired for years. Of course Iím not alone; Japonisme, or Japonism, is a French term that was first used by Jules Claretie in his book LíArt Francais en 1872. It refers to the influence of ... 

As an artist at times I feel the urge to take on tough issues, the kinds of subject matter that can be disturbing, haunting and some say better left un- explored. But African American history is one of my first loves and something that touches me de... 

Flying Dreams

August 4th, 2013

Flying A dream is a dream but a flying dream is specialÖ.Flying in your dreams is among the best feelings you could ever experienceÖeven in bed. Often times you wake up from one with your mind refreshed and feeling like a million bucks. F... 

Uncle Sam

July 25th, 2013

The statue of Liberty, the stars and stripes, apple pie, of all the symbols of America Uncle Sam is one of the most beloved. Technically Uncle Sam is not just a symbol, but a personification of our nation. In other words if America was an actual per... 

Black is usually not considered to be a color; not primary, secondary, or tertiary. In fact, black is nowhere to be found on the artistís color wheel. When every color on the color wheel is combined, black appears. You can buy pre-mixed black paint ... 

Lady of Liberty, Theodore Bonev, Island of Saint Martin, 2007 The above image was part of an Internet hoax that went around a few years ago. The statue was referred to as the original model for the statue of liberty, which was rejected by a racist... 

If youíre like me you donít dig the shocking whiteness of raw canvas edges against the painted front of a finished painting. Who does? Anybody can see that unframed paintings look much better from the front than they do from the side. Even worse,... 

Tupac ď2PacĒ Shakur, the unforgettable icon of Hip Hop was the voice of his generation and one of my favorite artists of all time. His fierce, intense delivery could not be touched by any MC of his day. Tupacís image was that of a street wise, ... 

We humans perceive color in very subjective terms. . . maybe because more than any other element of art, color has the ability to set the entire tone of a painting, and effect the mood of the viewer. There are lots of color schemes that artists ca... 

Orange is one of three secondary colors along with green and purple. Its traditional complementary color is blue, which sits directly opposite it on the painterís color wheel. Secondary colors are created by combinations of primary colors red, blue a... 

Zombie Reagan RIP

June 14th, 2013

Ronald Wilson Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States, in January of 1981 when I was in the 11th grade. Although beloved by many for his charm, wit, and warmth I personally have never cared for the man. Looking back, itís ... 

Understanding the color wheel and using color theory in your artwork is a good idea for any artist, and especially for oil painters. In this article Iíll go through the basics of color theory (using a traditional artistís color wheel) and explain way... 

American Empire

June 14th, 2013

An American empire seems like a good thing to have on the surface. Conquerors are free to exploit the people they just conquered for any reason they see fit. For the America of the Old West the goal was seizing the land needed to expand our borders ... 

Mixing Media

June 3rd, 2013

My experiences with mixed media art began as an undergrad student in a mixed media painting class (where else). We were taught to weave conceptual elements into our work using whatever materials we chose. We even went on a class trip to a local jun... 

When I think about Black history, I canít help but think about the history of my own family. Like most African Americans I have very little clue as to where my African ancestors originated exactly. I have played around on several ancestry tracing web... 

Capitalism vs Freedom

May 28th, 2013

Capitalism is not God. Greed is not good. Anarcho-capitalism aka market capitalism is defined as a libertarian political philosophy advocating anarchy through the elimination of the state and organizing society around the principle of individual sove... 

America Suicide By Oil

May 24th, 2013

Crude oil is synonymous with wealth, profit and power. Nations fight over crude oil production levels, governments scheme to control oil prices, and launch wars to control fertile oil fields. To me oil is just another commodity not worth the clash ... 

Satire has been around for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt and Greece. The word satire is usually applied to literature which voices social criticism. The job of the satirist is to hold vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings up to ridicu... 

Stereotypes and advertising go hand in hand. Stereotyping to sell products associated with certain supposed racial and ethnic traits is as American as cherry pie. In the 18th in 19th centuries advertisers were very much uninhibited in the kind of eth... 

Secession is still the dream of many in America from the southern United States. The desire to form a new Confederate States of America , complete with a new Confederate Army, Confederate Navy, and even their own confederate currency is popular with ... 

The International Criminal Court , or ICC is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot, until at least 2017, exercise jurisdiction over the crime ... 

Interracial Love

May 6th, 2013

My oil painting Star Crossed is a story of interracial love, which unbelievably is still controversial in the 21st century. I wanted to show that black men can be loved by women of any color. The painting presents a deep and abiding interracial love... 

Black Panthers

May 3rd, 2013

The Black Panther Party for Self Defense was heroes of the black liberation movement of mid to late 20th century. One of the most dynamic black pride organizations ever started out as a small band of brothers confronting police brutality in their Oak... 

Aaliyah R and B Angel

April 29th, 2013

Aaliyah Haughton known simply as Aaliyah was a very promising young singer and actress with a seemingly limitless future. She suffered a tragic death on August 25, 2001 when her Blackhawk International Airways charter flight crashed at Marsh Harbor, ... 

Album Art Honey Watching You

April 26th, 2013

Originated in 1938 by Columbia Records art director Alex Steinweiss, album art has been an integral part of music culture and pop culture for years. Since the 1950ĀĆs album cover art has been recognized for being a great marketing tool and an express... 

Church and State

April 22nd, 2013

Religious liberty and the separation of church and state are sacred ideals for most Americans. Of course there are those who in a misguided attempt to uphold the principle of religious freedom seek to create theocracy in America. In my view, even tho... 

Sacrifice

April 18th, 2013

Plastic surgery addiction is a fast spreading addiction that has ruined far too many lives. Maybe itís the shape and size of your nose, breasts, or even calf muscles (or lack thereof) that youíd like to change. Maybe you want fuller lips, a flatter s... 

Marijuana legalization, a seemingly harmless desire of a few Americans has always been controversial. In spite of this, the idea of marijuana legalization has gained popularity in recent years, and not just in the liberal state of California. Iím sur... 

Catharsis in Art

April 12th, 2013

Catharsis is generally defined as a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great pity, sorrow, laughter, or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal, restoration, and revitalization. In other word... 

With the immigration reform debate raging in Washington D.C., the 1,969-mile southwest border with Mexico border has become one of the most controversial stretches of real estate on this earth. Call me a hopeless optimist, but I personally feel that ... 

Lately there has been talk of finally abolishing that inhumane but very human institution known variously as capital punishment, the death penalty or state sponsored revenge/murder. All I can say is, what took so damn long? The State of Maryland has... 

You might have heard about the release of some 20 oil paintings done by the artist formerly known as G.W. Bush, aka our disastrous 43rd president. To be fair, we really should examine his work with as little bias as possible. I for one will try, but ... 

The fight for Marriage Equality has recently taken on a new significance with the begining of oral arguments in the two Supreme Court cases surrounding the issue. No matter how the court rules, if it chooses to uphold California's Proposition 8 banni... 

Stop The Madness

March 25th, 2013

Stop The Madness photo: allvoices.com With all of this talk about gun violence going on, I thought I would take a little time to relate a story from my past. Donít worry, this is a short one. This is to illustrate just one real-life situatio... 

Killing the Messenger

March 21st, 2013

I'm not the only artist who meditates on issues of freedom. There are many creative voices in this world (more powerful than mine) who yearn for freedom and justice for all. Among them are some of my all time favorite artists, Michael Ray Charles, Je... 

Freedom is Just Another Word

March 20th, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013 My painting; Free Flight is about freedom. Freedom of all types, is the central theme of everything I do as an artist. Itís even in the title of this blog/website, Art to Set You Free. Call me obsessive, but Iím just a fre... 

Voyage To a Lost City

March 14th, 2013

Check out my latest blog post.