F . J o h n &
F i o n a O w e n
C H A L F O R D
G L O U C E S T E R S H I R E
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 30th year at the Chapel, and at the exhibition "Weeds in the Heart - A Five Valleys Herbal" will be on sale once again - this is an illustrated book by Nathaniel Hughes and Fiona Owen. The acclaimed book is A4 size with full colour throughout, including gilded paintings, illuminations & drawings.
The hillside garden is spread over an acre of terraced cliff, with a Gothic tower, moondial, pond house and herb garden.
Every June, the studio becomes an exhibition space for their paintings. It is thirty years since they moved to the Chapel and they have brought up their two children, Laurence and Meredith there - both are now practicing artists .
TO SEE EXAMPLES OF PAST PAINTINGS - GO TO HOME TAB IN TOP LEFT CORNER
Gardens Illustrated: 'Folk memory and spiritual imagery often endow vantage points with an enigmatic eminence that is as intangible as inexplicable. How appropriate, that two talented artists Fiona and John Owen, whose paintings capture the rural scene, should choose to live in a converted chapel, perched high on a Gloucestershire hillside: and that they should also decide to create a magical and allegorical garden in such a spiritually charged setting'. Margaret Buntrock
Country Living: 'The glorious garden that has emerged from rubble is now a place of pilgrimage for horticulturalists and painters alike. You have to see their paintings to appreciate the skill and vision that make John's so strongly evocative of mood and light, Fiona's so perfectly observed, executed with all the richness and precision of illuminated manuscripts'. Miranda Innes
F. J O H N & F I O N A O W E N
TO SEE EXAMPLES OF PAST PAINTINGS
HOME TAB - TOP LEFT OF SITE
The garden is about an acre and there are steps
W A L L P A I N T I N G
In the studio, the east wall of the old Wesleyan Chapel has been painted to celebrate the opening of the Millennium exhibition. It was created over two years, and depicts friends and neighbours coming to celebrate the Midsummer fire festival of St. John, and the Summer Solstice. The figures descend to the Chapel, flanking each side of the garden, playing musical instruments and bearing colourful streamers bedecked in gold.
The wall painting was inspired by Benozzo Gozzoli's fresco cycle at the Medici Riccardi 'Chapel of the Magi' in Florence.
F I O N A O W E N
Fiona 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.
The adjacent painting "As Above So Below" is the cover of the new 'Five Valleys Herbal". www.weedsintheheart.org.uk
XXXth SUMMER EXHIBITION
4th - 25th JUNE
THE OLD CHAPEL
Exhibition & Garden is open daily 10 - 5pm
(garden £3.50 for charity)
examples of some paintings below
F I O N A O W E N
Medici Society Gallery, London, UK ( from 1981 to 1991)
Sagert Gallery, Berlin, GER
Nailsworth Gallery, Berlin, GER
Nevill Gallery, Bath, UK
Lane Gallery, Key West, USA
Diva Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Diva Gallery, Long Island, NY, USA
Southshore Art Center, Boston, USA
John exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for ten years from 1984.
SEE BOTTOM OF THIS WEBSITE FOR DETAILS OF FREDDIE OWEN - WRITER
How to get here
Marle Hill is in Chalford, on the A419 between Stroud and Cirencester..... (GL6 8PN for sat nav)
F R E D D I E O W E N
' W H A T H O ! G I O T T O '
The long summer visits to Italy, its landscape, people and culture (and vino!) have inspired F. John Owen to start writing under the pen-name Freddie Owen.
"There suddenly seemed to be the time and energy to try a different kind of creative activity and I have found writing very enjoyable and engaging; it's the culmination of years of ideas and thoughts and 'getting it all down' has proved very cathartic."
There are two books: 'What Ho! Giotto' is an autobiographical tale of a lifetime of painting and gardens, and the fufillment of a dream by creating a studio and garden in Italy. It has a sketch at the start of each chapter taken from drawing books that were made during his family's travels in Italy. The paperback version now has 20 B/W illustrations going back thirty years to his early paintings. ( above is one of the pencil illustrations)
The second book; 'THE WOODSTOCK TALES' was inspired by a friend at art school who went to Woodstock Festival in the back of a dark truck; throughout the night they told each other stories and swore to stay together through the weekend event... however when the doors opened, they fell into the 500,000 strong crowd and disappeared. They only knew each other by voice and none of them ever met again. This story is a retelling of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, but now with a bunch of hippies, a Vietnam veteran, a black Reverend, soft-porn merchant, a woman's libber etc. in a van on the way to the Woodstock festival, 1969.
' What Ho! Giotto' is available as a paperback from www.Lulu.com and both books available from Amazon as both paperbacks and Kindle ebooks.
GO TO LINK : http://freddieowen.weebly.com
All text and images copyright © John and Fiona Owen 2009