A native New Mexican, Tiffanie Owen has deep family roots in southern
New Mexico. Her interest in art began at an early age with instruction and
encouragement from her mother and grandmother. Later, Owen studied at
The Art Center in 1994, where she earned degrees in Advertising Art and
Computer Graphic Design.
In 2008, Owen took over directorship of the Hurd-La Rinconada Gallery
& Guest Ranch in San Patricio, New Mexico. This allowed her to meld art into
her daily life, but the work was still not her own.
A search for her own artistic voice led Owen to Master Artist, Lou Maestas,
who instructed her in the technique of oil rub-out. The origins of this technique
are unknown, but what is known about oil rub-out is that it was once a training
requirement of the Old Masters. Before learning color theory, students were
trained to use a limited palette which forces the painter to study values without
the distraction of color. Using only two pigments, darker values are placed first,
then the lighter values are revealed as the artist “rubs out” the highlights, usually
with a rag or other unconventional tool.
Owen further explains this art. “I am attracted to this technique because of
my life-long love of photography…particularly historic sepia photos. Quite
by accident, I have discovered that I can create texture…the look of
splintered wood, crumbling adobe, the tanned leather of a tipi, or the
camouflaged plumage of a barn owl. I think texture adds an extra
dimension to my paintings the same way that it adds feeling and sensation
“I love to paint historic places…especially those that no longer exist. It is sad
when old buildings die…they have charm and personality just like people.
I hate to see history lost to progress,but when I paint the old buildings, it’s like
painting a portrait of a beloved family member who is no longer here…gone,
but not forgotten.”
Owen is currently the Instructional Coordinator at Lincoln & Fort Stanton
Historic Sites. She looks forward to painting some of the historic locations
in Lincoln County. With three successful one-woman art exhibitions in the
past and a current member of the Cloudcroft Art Society, she continues to
participate in several CAS art shows. She also owns a mobile “paint-n-sip”
business called Saucy Paint which allows beginning painters to
“uncork their inner artist.”
Tiffanie Owen's art will be on display July through August.