Featured Artist John Bowen

Emphasizing light and shadow, artist John Bowen strives to create a mood and tell a story with his watercolor paintings. Visit his website to learn more about this artist.

 

"Garden Gate Eleven" Watercolor, 20" x 28" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Garden Gate Eleven” Watercolor, 20″ x 28″

 

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been intrigued by the magic of art. My dad was an artist working in charcoal, pen and ink, pastels and oils. Of course I wanted to emulate him. I started with pencil, eventually trying them all out over time. In high school my art teacher was a watercolorist. He got me interested in the excitement of watercolor, and there I’ve been ever since.

 

"Antique Car" Watercolor, 25" x 17" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Antique Car” Watercolor, 25″ x 17″

 

After graduating high school, I began working in the commercial art field and continued to paint in watercolor. I’ve spent fifty-eight wonderful years working in advertising agencies and newspaper advertising art departments, and eight years in the United States Air Force, from 1961 to 1969, as an illustrator. This included one year of active duty in South Vietnam in 1968, graphically documenting airlift operations.

 

"Dinner for Two" Watercolor, 28" x 21" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Dinner for Two” Watercolor, 28″ x 21″

 

I retired from the commercial art field in 2008, and I now paint and promote my watercolors full time. I feel blessed that I’ve been able to work in the art field all my life. I know it’s been therapy for me—helping to leave the war in Vietnam behind and getting on with my life.

 

"Key West Lighthouse II" Watercolor, 20" x 28" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Key West Lighthouse II” Watercolor, 20″ x 28″

 

My watercolors have evolved over the years with the introduction of new colors, new techniques, papers and subject matter as well as a very important part of my process—the “photo shoot.”

 

"Blue Bucket" Watercolor, 38" x 20" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Blue Bucket” Watercolor, 38″ x 20″

 

I love going out to different locations and shooting pictures to use for my paintings. All this keeps me evolving as an artist and keeps my interest peaking. I still feel just as excited today about watercolor painting as I did when I first started out sixty years ago.

 

"Art Fair Bikes" Watercolor, 26" x 20" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Art Fair Bikes” Watercolor, 26″ x 20″

 

I like to consider my work “painterly realistic.” Starting with photographs I take, I work up a very tight drawing, usually on tracing paper, eventually transferring it to watercolor paper (usually 300 lb. Arches rough paper). I then strive to create strong color contrasts along with dramatic lights and shadows.

 

"Ready to Go" Watercolor, 38" x 20" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Ready to Go” Watercolor, 38″ x 20″

 

I like to tell a story and create a mood or warm feeling with my paintings. “The Art of Being There” and “Touched by the Sun” are two titles I use for some of my art events.

 

"The Three Sisters" Watercolor, 28" x 20" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Three Sisters” Watercolor, 28″ x 20″

 

The whole process is exciting to me, from photographing the image to the finished product. But the actual act of painting the watercolor is the most fulfilling part of the process for me.

 

"A Face in the Crowd" Watercolor, 19" x 27" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“A Face in the Crowd” Watercolor, 19″ x 27″

 

The joy, and at the same time the letdown, of feelings whenever I finish a piece, never fails to amaze me. I can’t imagine doing anything else in my life. I will probably die with a paintbrush in my hand.

 

"Ready to Fly" Watercolor, 26" x 18" by artist John Bowen. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Ready to Fly” Watercolor, 26″ x 18″

 

In 2013, I wrote and self-published an illustrated, award-winning book called “Eleven Months and Nineteen Days.” It is about my tour of duty in Vietnam as a combat artist. It took me twenty years to write and illustrate it. I’m glad I stuck with it to the end, and I’m proud of my accomplishment.

 

Artist John Bowen invites you to follow him on Facebook.

 

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