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The Artist :



Captured in a moment. This phrase sums up what I do with my art. And capturing the right moment is the fun part as well as the creative. Should the chinchilla be looking at the viewer? Where can I put the cat so he is looking at the lovebird? Putting things together that you would not normally see everyday or any day is what I enjoy doing. I want to transport the viewer from the rush of day to day life to places of peace, the feeling you get from lying in an open field and watching the clouds go by.

I was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina into a family with many artistic endeavors. My mother studied art while getting her degree in Religion. My grandfather was a woodcarver, creating horses and buggies out of pieces of wood and Grandmother was a floral designer. Today Brother Jerry creates art from clay, Brother Mike is an entertainer, world's greatest hambonist and accomplished author having made the High Shoals Gazette best (and only) selling list. Cousin David creates music on piano and guitar. My son Rob plays tuba/pocket trumpet and my daughter Hannah and stepson Tyler both play piano. Also, my granddaughter Erin will soon be an artist just like her grandpa.

When I'm not painting I enjoy traveling. Especially the Gulf of Mexico area and the North Carolina mountains. Several times a month I gather with my friends to make music. I've played guitar ever since I can remember and I'm filling in as bass guitarist for The Moody Dudes for our weekend sessions.

My first creative success was a body of paintings in gouache with subjects of flowers, colorful birds, small animals and heirlooms that often reflect my family heritage. These are painted photo-realistically, becoming super real and bigger than life. Shadows and old weathered wood add depth and feeling and a sense of past and present. Many of my paintings have stories to tell which always begin with Why. Why is the frog sitting on the golf ball? Why is the piano sitting in the woods? Why are all those critters watching the white irises? One reason I paint is because it is so much fun! Another reason is because it reminds me of my own past and reassures me of my place in time.

I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from East Carolina University in 1976 while majoring in graphic design and illustration. I worked for a marketing agency in Charlotte, North Carolina where I developed my marketing contacts and skills. The major clients I created art for include McDonald's, NAPA Auto Parts and Paramount's Carowinds Theme Park. I continued to pursue a fine arts career, developing a series of styles which have begun to receive critical acclaim as well as commercial success.

My paintings were accepted to Capricorn Galleries in Washington, DC due to the recommendation by a curator at the National Museum of American Art. This led to representation by Joe DeMers Gallery and Red Piano Gallery in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Austin Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, Design Center Gallery in Denver, Colorado and S.E. Feinman Fine Arts Gallery in the Soho art district in New York City. Several showings in the Los Angeles ArtExpo, New York City Expo and the Grand National Exhibition were instrumental in my acceptance to Earth Art, an international gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

Paintings are now finding their way into notable collections in the United States and Japan including the Phil Desind Collection in Washington DC, the corporate collections of Wachovia Bank and Bank of America, and the private collection of President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter.


  • Luminos Fine Art Publishers, Tonbridge Kent, England, 2017
  • Carolina's Got Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2009
  • ArtExpo, New York City, 1991, 1997
  • ArtExpo, Los Angeles, California, 1996
  • Emerging Artist Grant, Arts & Science Council, North Carolina, 1994
  • Award of Excellence, The Artist's Magazine, December issue, 1992
  • Grand National Exhibition, New York City, 1990, 1992
  • Group Show, Red Piano Gallery, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 1989, 1990
  • President of Lake Norman Art Guild, 1990
  • Invited Artist; A Tribute to Phil Desind, Midyear Exhibition, Butler Institute of Art, 1990
  • Mainstream America: The Collection of Phil Desind, Butler Institute of Art, Ohio, 1987
  • Group Show, Austin Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1986
  • Two Man Show, Queens College, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1986
  • National Midyear Exhibition, Butler Institute of Art, Ohio, 1985, 1988
  • One Man Show, Capricorn Galleries, Bethesda, Maryland, 1984, 1988
  • One Man Show, Joe DeMers Gallery, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 1982
  • One Man Show, Rice Museum, Georgetown, South Carolina, 1982
  • Southeastern Spectrum Exhibition, Winston Salem, North Carolina, 1982
  • International Fine Arts Exchange, contributing artist


  • The Phil Desind Collection
  • School of Art, East Carolina University
  • International Fine Arts Exchange
  • Bank of America
  • Wachovia Bank
  • The Carter Presidential Center, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • Several paintings in private collections in Japan


  • S.E.Feinman Fine Arts, Soho, New York City
  • Earth Art, Tokyo, Japan
  • Capricorn Galleries, Washington, DC
  • Joe Demers Gallery, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Red Piano Gallery, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Austin Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Coffey and Thompson Charlotte, North Carolina



President Jimmy Carter  

Thank you for sending me your painting, "Sebastian's Collection." I like the national parks theme, and appreciate you sharing your fine art talent with us. Rosalynn joins me in sending you our warm best wishes. -- President Jimmy Carter


What a very special gift for us to take back home with us. We are touched by the gesture and pleased to have one of your lovely works of art.  -- Carolyn Heafner-Williams, opera singer, New York City


New York City Opera House

National Museum of American Art

If I am ever able to put together the kind of watercolor exhibition I have long been interested in organizing, I will certainly seriously consider including your work.  -- Janet Flint, Curator, National Museum of American Art

In an effort to provide high quality artwork to the clients of Black Box Collotype, great effort has been put forth to search for and find a truly great artist. Taking this into consideration, it is easy to understand why we are so pleased with the quality and detail of the paintings of Tom Owen. His warm style will bring great pleasure to those who enjoy art worldwide. -- Michael Intrator, General Manager/Technical Director, Black Box Collotype


Mr. Owen played a significant role in developing the trend and look for stylized realism during this period. His paintings represent a significant opportunity for anyone interested in collecting Fine Arts. -- The International Fine Arts Exchange