Denise Owen

December 2 & 3, 11am - 5pm

I make art to celebrate and express the splendor I find around me. Much of my work is intuitive. Initial marks evoke a reaction, which invites a response, which invites another, and then another, eventually moving the work to resolution as a story emerges. Other work is based in observation, inspired by what I see or sense: color, light, form, texture, movement, expression. Everything is abstracted; the play of pattern takes precedence over depiction.

I use any media I can put on paper. I like the feel of the materials and the immediacy and intimacy of working with my hands. I especially enjoy mono-printing for its spontaneity and the element of surprise inherent in the process.

I usually work in series, allowing the images to inform the others. I recently have been re-working earlier pieces. I’ll re-draw old drawings as mono-prints or resurrect other simple prints as a base for collage. As I play with the lines and shapes of the prints I discover an array of new characters, personalities, and stories waiting to emerge from their hiding places among the lines and patterns of the old prints.

I hope those who see my work will be inspired to see more, and delight more, in the richness that surrounds us all.

Denise Owen is a contemporary visual artist who works with a variety of media, including pastel, paint, graphite, charcoal, ink, and collage. “As long as you can put it on paper,” she says.

Denise came into art through a side door. She started drawing classes at a local college, hoping to strengthen her skills while completing an apprenticeship in architecture. She soon found she liked drawing more than design. She kept taking classes, eventually becoming an art professor herself. She abandoned her T-square and rosters to devote herself to her own art, and has continued creating works on paper for over 35 years.

Denise lives and works in Oakland, CA. She was born in Johnstown, PA, earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ivory Coast. She is Professor Emeritus of Art and Interior Design at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA.

Recent solo shows include “Twice Told Tales” (2022); “Story, Legend, or Myth” (2021); “Imaginary Friends and Conversations” (2019); and “Produce” (2017), at Studios11 Gallery in Oakland. Group shows include “Within Sight and from Imagination - GearBox Gallery Juried Annual Exhibition" (2023), Oakland CA; “2023 Autumn Collective” at Jen Tough Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (2023); “Contemporary Bay Area Abstract Art” at Belvedere Tiburon Library Art Gallery (2022-2023); “Women Artists Show and Tell” at Firehouse Art Center, Pleasanton, CA (2021); and “Faces and Figures” with Denise Deleray at Studios11 Gallery, (2018).

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Location and Contact Information

Studio or Exhibition Space
Studios 11, 560 2nd Street, Oakland, CA, USA
Accessibility Information
Accessible through front
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