In 1995, he founded The Arizona Cowpunchers Scholarship Organization, an education fund benefitting children from Arizona ranching families. His career was interrupted by military service with the Royal Army Ordinance Corps and was injured in an explosion during battle training course. He worked in odd jobs as a printer's apprentice and band vocalist to make do and, when he became of legal age, started playing drums in London nightclubs and toured music halls with his own cabaret act to pay for acting classes. Bill was awarded the MBE in 1976 for his steadfast work for the National Association of Boys Clubs and for his role as chairman of the Performing Arts Advising Panel. Bill exhibited at the Whitney Museum in Cody, Wyoming, the Grand Palais in Paris, France, and the Western Art Show in Beijing, China. He found inspiration in the unequaled landscapes shaped by grass and water, big skies and sculpted earth, and felt a storyteller’s compulsion to share the plot lines he saw in ranching life, narratives built around peace and chaos, joy and struggle, and the subtle relationships linking cowboys, horses and cattle.
In 1996, the prestigious Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma honored Bill as their “Rendezvous Artist” and at the 2003 Prix de West Invitational Exhibition & Sale he became the first recipient of “Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award.”While practicing for a rodeo in 1989, 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. —A.J. His paintings could be detailed without being photographic, and his lighting and colorations were spot on, with great value contrasts.”Owen, 71, passed away June 15, 2013, while photographing cowboys at the Diamond A Ranch, located near Seligman, Arizona. He’d always been gifted in that way, but it astounded me how much he seemed to improve, and the fact that he could achieve such an impressive three-dimensional aspect.” Owen’s process of gathering research on the ranches that would become settings for his paintings set an example for other artists as to the value of total immersion into a culture being depicted. It was an ethic that allowed Owen to produce work built not upon manufactured heroes, but upon a celebration of the heroism he found in reality. “As detailed as Bill’s work is, he still had a looseness, a softness in the way he handled paint. Having the perspective of only one eye, it was amazing how he could create such depth in his work. The resulting body of work drew attention far outside the geographic American West, earning inclusion in exhibitions from Paris to Beijing.“Bill took a lot of time with each of his paintings. Such excursions were routine for the Kirkland, Arizona artist, who based his work upon real people, settings and events.“When Bill lost his eye, people wondered about the effect on his ability to see perspective,” Grelle says. He was also awarded an honorary degree by Bradford University in 1998. To date, ACSO has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships. Bill Owen (Republican Party) is running for election to the Missouri House of Representatives to represent District 131. Compo and Clegg together again: Last of the Summer Wine actor Peter Sallis is buried beside co-star Bill Owen in Yorkshire graveyard overlooking the town made famous by … MangumEach year some of the Honorary and Emeritus members and most of the Active members of the CAA go on an annual trail ride together.
You’re bombarded with the bellowing of cows. “But it somehow made him an even better painter. “Bill was a very traditional person, with old school values, and he loved the cowboy way of life.” He is survived by his wife, Valerie, who was an active supporter of Bills passion and interest in the CAA. Owen, though, used the tools of design, light and color to present his scenes in ways that transcended realism.“Bill had a distinct technique, a painterly style,” says Martin Grelle, vice president of the Cowboy Artists of America. He worked on only a limited number of paintings in a given year, and kept tight control over the outlets of his work,” says Phil Berkebile, owner of the Great American West Gallery. Studying one of his paintings, you can feel the grime on your face and the trickle of sweat down your back. Bill Owen was born in 1942 in Gila Bend, Arizona to a mother who was an artist and a father who was a cowboy throughout the early 1900s. 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 was 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.He surely saw himself, at least in part, as a documentarian, as evidenced by his true-to-life renderings of even the minor details in a painting’s storyline: the kink in a rope; the once-white face of a Hereford cow, faded gray by layers of dust; the visible ribs on a horse that’s not wintered well; the Rorschach sweat stains on a cowboy’s hat; or the way in which late-afternoon shadows play across that cowboy’s shirt.Owen’s work pulled a viewer into a scene.
He entertained at Butlin's holiday camps and performed in repertory, joining the Unity Theatre where he attained respect as a stage producer. “Bill was less interested in the economic aspect of art and more interested in painting subjects he wanted to depict, and doing it in a way that met his high standard. 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. “He was such a proponent of the cowboy lifestyle, and concerned that making a living as a cowboy was increasingly difficult,” Berkebile says. Compo actor Bill Owen dies at 85 Mon 12 Jul 1999 20.28 EDT The actor Bill Owen, who starred in Britain's longest running sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine, died yesterday at … A piece didn’t leave his hands unless it was his best effort.”Owen also gave back to the ranching culture that served as his inspiration. He knew early on that entertaining was the life for him. This English actor was born of humble, working class beginnings and became well-known for playing the same kind of blokes on both film and TV. And you share the cowboy subject’s fatigue, as well as his unapologetic lack of interest in an easier way of life.Still, Owen’s work was — is — about more than mere documentation. He is on the ballot in the Republican primary on August 4, 2020.