Studio Two

The Owens

The Old Chapel is the home and studio of artists F. John  and Fiona Owen.
Each year, for three weeks of the summer, the two painters exhibit their paintings in their  studio. It is an annual Midsummer Celebration - a visual journal of their year, recording their travels and their daily walks. 
This year will be the 29th year at the Chapel, and at the exhibition  the  three  year  project   "Weeds in the Heart" -
"A Five Valleys Herbal" will be launched - this is an  illustrated book by Nathaniel Hughes and Fiona Owen. The new book is 176 pages,  an A4 book with full colour throughout , with gilded paintings, illuminations & drawings. 
Their hillside garden is spread over an acre of terraced cliff, with a Gothic tower, pond house and box hedged potager.

Every June, the studio becomes an exhibition space for their paintings. It is twenty-nine years since they moved to the Chapel and they have brought up their two children, Laurence and Meredith there  -  both are now practicing artists . shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2

Every now and again I send people one of these images, and recipients are entranced, or more than that, fascinated.

I found information on the artists who are a married couple living near Bath in England.

The Owens

Here is a selection of the overused word ‘unique’ work, but in this case entirely justified.

What follows are images, contact information with a few notes on the artists.


Paints in oil on panel and gilds her work with 24ct. English gold leaf in the tradition of the Medieval manuscripts. Inspiration for her extraordinarily intricate, lyrical paintings is drawn from her native landscape - the flora and fauna and the changing seasons, and her Celtic inheritance. 

She endeavours to capture the elusive Wild Magic that is the genius loci - the spirit unique to each place.

Her paintings are a celebration of, and a homage to, Nature. She works in the tradition of the Mystic Visionaries, from William Blake, Samuel Palmer, Richard Jeffries, through to Cedric Morris, Kathleen Raine and Robin Tanner, and believes this pattern in painting and writing to be a thread through time,  existing metaphysically as a united body of consciousness.

F .  J O H N  O W E N

Light, air and  transience infuse John's paintings.

The challenge is to create a sense of  space, depth 
and atmosphere from paint, transforming an ordinary, 
everyday scene into an extraordinary moment of
vision.  John paints in both oils and water-colours, 
making detailed sketches from life, wherever his
travels take him, then working up his paintings in
the studio. The impasto paint is often worked into,
creating a textured finish and another dimension. 
Igniting light in a two dimensional painting by 
manipulating base pigment is an alchemy that
has engaged artists through the centuries and is 
still an aim of painters whether figurative or abstract.
Each painting is a small world within a frame

After spending long summers in Italy and finding
there was time be creative in another medium,
John has been writing under the pen-name
Freddie Owen. Please go to the bottom of this
website to find out more about the two books....
'What Ho! Giotto' ( as a paperback)
 both are available paperbacks or
 as Kindle ebooks or

M I S T   A N D   F O G

After many years of 'chasing the light' in painting, in this series of paintings John has been making a study of more subtle light and atmosphere. Fog, mist and snow limits the palette - it leads to more subtle tones. The dog walkers on Minchinhampton Common or the snowy lanes of Chalford are just glimpsed through the layers of misty light adding a mystery to the everyday scene - the subsequent paintings exude the calmness of quiet contemplation or meditation.



The Old Chapel, Marle Hill, Chalford, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 8PN, United Kingdom


Marle Hill is in Chalford, on the A419 between Stroud and Cirencester..... (GL6 8PN for sat nav)

All text and images copyright © John and Fiona Owen 2009