Bill Owen, CA
Bill Owen was born in 1942 in Gila Bend, Arizona to a mother who was an artist and a father who had been a cowboy throughout the early 1900s. These influences shaped his desire to be an artist and cultivated his interest in the cowboy lifestyle. Having inherited the God-given talent, it was only natural he would strive to become an artist who chronicles the lives and works of the contemporary cowboy.
Bill has exhibited at the Whitney Museum in Cody, Wyoming, the Grand Palais in Paris, France, and at the Western Art Show in Beijing, China. In 1993 Bill became a member and staff artist of Rancheros Visitadores and that same year was awarded the Frederic Remington Award for Artistic Merit by the Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 1996 the prestigious Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma honored Bill as their Rendezvous Artist and at the 2003 Prix de West Invitational Exhibition and Sale he became the first recipient of “Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award.”
Inducted into the Cowboy Artists of America in 1973, Bill has served as CAA President three times and earned numerous medals and awards at the annual show. Two awards that are especially meaningful to Bill are the CAA Award and the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association Award for Best Portrayal of a Cowboy Subject.
In 1989, while practicing for a rodeo, Bill survived a freak accident which resulted in the loss of sight in his right eye, affecting his depth perception and forcing him to give up sculpting. He never allowed himself to consider this loss a handicap but greatly missed the medium for thirteen years, successfully resuming sculpting in 2002.
For all of Bill’s artistic achievements, he is especially proud of The Arizona Cowpuncher’s Scholarship Organization, which he founded in 1995 to help finance college educations for young people from the Arizona ranching community.
Source: Cowboy Artists of America
Having a Cool One
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil (1991)| Image Size: 30”h x 40”w; Framed Size: 40”h x 50”w
Bill Owen excelled at realistically capturing scenes of everyday modern ranching while executing extraordinary landscape imagery. “Having a Cool One” is a prime example of his insider working rancher knowledge who sincerely appreciated the beauty of nature.
Effectively horizontally bisected, the lower half of the canvas is devoted to a quiet scene of a cowboy looking after a string of horses stopped to take a long drink of cool water while the top portion of the canvas flaunts a vividly colored sky complete with a full array of clouds reflecting the pink glow of the setting sun.
Worn Out Rope
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil (1973) | 24” x 30”
I Perils of the Range
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)
II Perils of the Range
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)
Blood, Sweat & Burning Hair
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: (1973) | 30”w x 40”h
His Band of Mares
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil Painting (2005) | Image Size: 24”h x 48”w; Framed Size: 36”h x 60”w
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Bronze (1983) | 9”d x 13”w x 27”h; Edition #4 of 40
Ropin’ One In
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil (1991) | Image Size: 18”h x 24”w; Framed Size: 27 ¼”h x 33 ¼”w
Moving the Remuda
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil (1996) | Image Size: 22”h x 36”w; Frame Size: 36”h x 50”w
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Watercolor (2006) | Image Size: 10”h x 9”w; Framed Size: 16 5/8”h x 15 7/8”w
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil (1981) | Image Size: 24”h x 36”w;
Framed Size: 34 ½”h x 46 ½”w
In the west, water is an ever present issue particularly for ranchers who are dependent upon a steady supply to keep their cattle alive. Many ranchers rely on stock tanks to store and water their herd. Here, Owen depicted lingering drought conditions; note the layers of water line recessions complete with a muddy ring. By using a palette consisting mostly of browns and tans, the dry condition was accentuated. The attending wranglers were placed under a hazy sky partially obscured by a cloud of dust kicked up by the approaching cattle. The implication left by the image is that in the not too distant future the tank will simply be a depression in the land.
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Pencil/Pastel (1973) | Image Size: 12”h x 9”w; Framed Size: 16 5/8”h x 13 5/8”w
“Cavalry Scout” is an early and atypical Bill Owen piece. Unlike many of his contemporaries in the Western art genre, Bill Owen rarely portrayed Native American subjects or images that reflected historical content. In this well-executed portrait of an Indian Scout with his face turned directly toward the viewer, he successfully captured the personality of his subject and gives the viewer insight into the man’s character. While he did not continue in this subject vein and primarily focused on contemporary ranch life, he most definitively possessed the talent to work in this arena.
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Pencil (1973) | Image Size: 12”h x 9”w; Framed Size: 16 ¾”h x 13 ¾”w
“Cool Thoughts” is another rare Bill Owen historical Indian portrait. In this drawing, Owen presents a Plains Indian warrior wearing a headdress. The weathered face of the Indian looks directly at the viewer and occupies most of the space of the painting. Owen focuses on the man himself and not accoutrements, such as the headdress, which is only partially shown. The pencil drawing was done early in the artist’s career, prior to his induction into the Cowboy Artists of America.
Artist: Bill Owen (b. 1942)Description: Oil (1979) | Image Size: 24"h x 36"w
The life of the modern cowboy can be a hard one filled with long hours of work in the saddle. Equally it can be as tough for the horses who are required to spend long hours on the range. In order to ensure that a cowboy’s mount will be fresh and prepared for the tasks at hand, they often change horses at midday. And in Bill Owen’s “Noon Change” cowhands are engaged in the process of doing just that. Captured under a blue, cloud-filled sky, we are reminded of the many tasks a cowboy faces each day and the methods used to assure that his work is done effectively.