"Fall Patchwork"9" x 12"  plein air near Durango

Paintings start with a value sketch design

"Sriking Gold"  9" x 12"  plein air near Teluride

Artists' Statement and Background

  A kind Israeli tourist took our photo at Monument Valley.

Diane, Me, Linda and Pat took a 3 day painting trip in late April. I'll be doing some studio paintings from the  plein airs I did there.

Plein-air painting in Monument Valley

watercolor paintings

by Marsha S. Owen

Painting buddy in Southern Arizona

Painting in February at The Grand Canyon


The Plein Air Artists of Colorado

23rd Annual National Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Sale

June 1 - 28th, 

Reception: June 1st, 5 - 8pm

location: Studio 8369 Gallery

1117 Grand Ave., Grand Lake, CO

   Two of my plein-air paintings were accepted into this show. I'm very happy to deliver them and then paint in Rocky Mountain National Park near where this gallery is located.

Recent & Past Accomplishments

• Northern Arizona Watercolor Society

2019 Exhibition

"Snowmelt Cascade" was accepted into this show

and sold.

• Boulder 2018 Invitational Plein -Air Festival

"Broken Rail Fence" won the 2nd place award in a very competitive field

Two of my paintings were accepted into this show. The work had to be from Arizona.

• Northern Arizona Watercolor Society

2018 Exhibition
    I am proud to announce that juror Sterling Edwards chose 2 of my paintings. "An Alley with Heart" got a special challenge category award.


• 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"


​   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