Upcoming Events


I am very excited that I was chosen to participate in this event. It's held June 3 - 10. We'll be painting the varied landscape that surrounds the city.


   The show is now over  and I am proud to announce that juror Sterling Edwards chose 2 of my paintings. "An Alley with Heart" got a special challenge category award.


Paintings start with a value sketch design

   When plein-air competitions ended last fall my friends and i did a 4 day painting trip to the Vermillion Cliffs, Kanab and Lee's Ferry - all a pretty short drive from Flagstaff. I got some great plein-air paintings, some of which will become studio pieces this winter.

Painting in February at The Grand Canyon

Painting buddy in Southern Arizona

Plein-air painting in Monument Valley

Linda, Me, Diane and Pat packed and ready to go.

"South Fork Morning "  NAWS  award

Artists' Statement and Background

watercolor paintings

by Marsha S. Owen

"Strong & Stormy" - Victor Colorado

Me with Poster Award winner

​   Not many places can claim the amazing variety of landscape choices

within 50 miles of Flagstaff, Arizona. I can choose to paint the aspen

forests of the San Francisco Peaks at 9,000’ to the floor of the Colorado Plateau and its ancient ruins at 5,000’. In between are the sunflower meadows of my town, mountain lakes and the red rock canyons

of Sedona. My watercolor landscapes have a bold style that reflects

this variety.

   I am an avid plein-air painter. Some of those paintings can stand

alone; others are material for studio work. Doing a painting on site

engages all the senses so that place becomes unforgettable to the

artist. I’m trying to convey that sense of time and place to the viewer.  I’m particularly fond of snow scenes – something we have plenty of in Flagstaff. Watercolors tend to freeze up, so these are not plein-air

pieces. Florals and still lifes offer a nice change of pace.

   My first career was as a Los Angeles area art director. I often

designed ads to use watercolor or pastel illustration and thought to

give fine art a try someday. That day arrived after we moved our

young family to Flagstaff. Ad design proved helpful in approaching

painting with an eye for composition and color. I was able to use layout

marker illustration skills (there were no computers then) for value


   I chose this challenging medium because of its spontaneity and

breadth of application. Great things often happen in a painting when

you let the paint be a partner in the process. There’s no shortage of

things to learn about watercolor so I attend professional workshops,

study magazines and on-line sources, participate in a critque

group and teach a beginner class.

Background and Affiliations

  • Former Los Angeles ad agency art director

  • Competitive plein-air artist

  • Award winning professional artist

  • Flagstaff resident since 1994

  • BFA from Northern Arizona University

  • Juried member Northern Arizona Watercolor Society

  • and its past president

  • Signature member Arizona Watercolor Association

  • Member Arizona Plein-Air Painters

  • Member Plein-Air Artists of Colorado

  • Member Plein-Air Painters of Northern Arizona

  • Member Artist Coalition of Flagstaff

Recent & Past Accomplishments

• Northern Arizona Watercolor Society 2016 Members Spring Exhibition

This show ended on May 23rd. I had 3 pieces accepted with one "South Fork Morning" receiving the Memorial Award.  Juror:  Mike Bailey


• Great experience at Victor Celebrates The Arts Plein-Air competition in Colorado. I sold 4 of 5 paintings displayed and won the Brush Rush event.

• Arizona Plein-Air Painters 2015 Annual Juried Show

Honorable Mention for "Mountain Foothills In Summer"

• Escalante 2014 Plein-Air Competition

Merit Award for "A Wash In Morning Light"

• Victor Celebrates The Arts 2014 Plein-Air Competition

2nd Place Professional Category for "Strong & Stormy" and the Poster Award for "Victor High Rise"


• Northern Arizona Watercolor Society 2013

Spring Exhibition

Memorial Award winner for "Sundown Station".

Juror: John Salminen

• Plein-Air Moab 2012 Competition

I sold 3 out of 4 paintings on display.

• 5th Annual Colorado Mountain Plein-Air Festival

3rd place award for "Stockyards Above the Arkansas"

• Arizona Plein-Air Painters 2012 Annual Juried Show

Best Of Show Award for "Frozen In Between"

• Arizona Watercolor Assoc. 2012 Spring Exhibition

Merchant Award for "Life On The Edge"

• Northern Arizona Watercolor Society 2011

Spring Exhibition

The Gretchen Swarthout Memorial Award for "Monument Valley Impression".  Juror: Tom Lynch

• Arizona Plein-Air Painters 2011 Annual Juried Show

Merit Award for "Sunflower Fields Forever"

• Plein-Air Moab 2011 Competition

Merit Award for "Aspen Ravine"

• Arizona Watercolor Assoc. 2010

National Competition

Merchant Award for "Blue Blanket".  Juror: Frank Webb

• Plein-Air Moab 2010 Competition

2nd place Award for "Steel Bender"

• Escalante Plein-Air 2007 Competition

Honorable Mention for "Autumn Color"