With a soft and sophisticated pallette, Roy Owsley has the innate ability to eloquently convey the unmitigated joys that are gifted to us by the natural world. His style playfully meanders through visual ideas of Impressionism and Post Impressionism whilst being saturated with a distinctive and tangible essence of his profound and diverse inspirations; all of which culminate to form an efficacious tool through which he deftly explores the organic semblance of the world that surrounds us. Through close analysis of Owsley’s collections, a wealth of academic and artistic references can be noted as his varied application of technique firmly places him within the realms of art history. ‘Stormy Weather’ perfectly encapsulates Owsley’s harmonious marriage of different aesthetics in a single composition and his adventurous style not only illustrates a uniquely erudite perspective but also imparts the inner thoughts of his inquisitive soul that ceaselessly explores the nuanced avenues through which the world’s treasures can be expressed. Owsley’s remarkable execution and individual technique coherently express the intricate emotions that encompass our existence; each elegant texture speaks a language that viscerally communicates the wholesome feeling of wind in the air and grass underfoot.
Considering Owsley’s rich and absorbing use of oil, one can perceive strong influences of Divisionism; the raw and powerful brushwork he utilises shares common aspects with Seurat and truly conveys his fervent passion for his medium. However, Owsley does not limit himself to a particular style of art as his muse and, in fact, his work is catalysed by a wide array of sources. Compositional elements visibly take inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly when observing the intelligent use of delicate tones similar to that of John Brett, whilst in other instances Owsley’s creativity pursues divergent channels that philosophically approach Kandinsky and even Braque, demonstrating his exploratory inclination towards an avant garde style of art.
Owsley’s depictions of the beach possess an utterly meditative power that transports the viewer to a place of tranquility and peace with a finesse that emanates with the majestic opulence of Romanticism. Gazing upon these compositions induces a wholly relaxing state while the misty skies portrayed create an aura of mysticism that suggests an influence from J.M.W. Turner. The overwhelming magnitude of the expansive sea and sky allow the viewer to feel safe in the comforting embrace of nature as their concerns are enticed to drift away. The tender portrayal of the figures in ‘On the Beach’ conjures thoughts of Pierre Bonnard and Henri Charles Manguin’s delicate attention to the candid female form. The viewer is moved whilst observing the central model as calm and serene thoughts overflow the subconscious while they contemplate what lies beyond the gentle seashore.
The charming sense of poetic reality that Owsley achieves provokes an instinctive reaction in the spectator who is at once irrevocably drawn to the soft depictions of life while the ethereal use of colour references his artistic roots and further entrenches the impenetrable tie between viewer and artist that is formed via the apparent normality of the scenes portrayed; a trait that is often seen in the works of the Fauvists. Similarities can, in fact, be detected between Owsley and Albert Marquet, an artist who also endeavoured to capture scenes of vibrant life in the forms of subdued representations of seaside towns and tranquil waters.
An obvious homage to Claude Monet can be perceived in ‘The Footbridge’, which shares compositional ideas and experimental thoughts with Monet’s studies of waterlilies. However, to an attentive observer the comparisons run far deeper as a compelling understanding of light and its response to the environment is paramount in the masterful creations of both artists. ‘A Rainy Day at Trinity’ impeccably demonstrates Owsley’s talent as the persistent rain is gracefully immortalised in both the melancholic sky and the glimmers of light shining from the pools of water collecting on the ground. The intelligent translation of the artist’s astute observations culminate in the inherent talent of conceiving beautiful and engaging artworks that resonate with the energy and vitality of everyday life.
Owsley’s philosophical ideals and perceptible connection with nature spark a relationship with Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and Post Impressionism in general. Each carefully applied brushstroke emits an innate understanding of the primordial connection between man and the Earth as well as the integral union between the human spirit and Mother Nature. Owsley highlights limitless perspectives in his work and his quotidian subjects provoke a myriad of responses from their spectators and invariably draw focus to the artist’s central ideology that is characterised by the notion that no two experiences of the world, or indeed of Owsley’s opuses, are intrinsically alike.