Tjasa (pronounced Tee-asha) Owen’s work is inspired by her international travels, her love for coastal and inland landscapes and by her colourful sketchbooks and written correspondence. Having grown up by the Atlantic seashore, she is drawn to the ever changing skies and coastal scenes. While living and leading bike tours in France and other parts of Europe for three years, she was inspired by the endless rows of trees, distant hills and color fields which she has incorporated into some of her landscapes. During her foreign travels and time away from the studio, she photographs, sketches and captures landscape details and textures to bring home to the studio.
Rather than representing a specific place, Tjasa is interested in creating views that feel shared and remembered, as though torn from the pages of a scrapbook. She sometimes writes postscripts and incomplete phrases from her journals or sketchbooks on the canvas, to imbue these new places with a sense of time and history. She likens her process to conjuring a landscape postcard in her head and reproducing it on canvas. By adding a thought in words on the bottom of the canvas and sometimes an ink stamp, she is sending it back into the world. By making paintings that feel like correspondence, Tjasa invites viewers to invent their own stories about the places she creates in her work.
Each piece, for me, is unique and carries its own story. My landscapes are inspired by my love for the Atlantic coastline as well as my travels abroad. I will incorporate my memories of different places, textures and colors I have seen into the individual pieces. Rather than documenting any actual place, I am more interested in reassembling the elements of scenes I remember – the way we do with snapshots and scrapbooks – to create views that feel shared and remembered. I sometimes add postscripts and incomplete phrases from my journals or sketchbooks to imbue these new places with a sense of time and history. I liken my process to conjuring a landscape postcard in my head, reproducing it on canvas, and, by adding an ink stamp, it’s as if I am sending it back into the world. By making paintings that feel like correspondence, I invite viewers to invent their own stories about the places I create in my work.
Back in her San Francisco studio she integrates the themes of rural and coastal landscape as well as correspondence to create her well-recognized larger format paintings. The artist employs acrylic, oil pastel as well as collage media in her canvases. Her subtle and whimsical notations on many of the pieces invite the viewer to create a personal relationship with the work of art open to their own interpretation.
Tjasa Owen has studied fine arts, art history, and interior architecture on both American coasts and abroad. She attended and received her BA at the University of Virginia and studied at the National Academy of Art in New York, the Academy of Art in San Francisco and Coupa in Paris. Her work has been shown extensively in the US and internationally and has been acquired by many corporate collections as well as by a distinguished list of private collectors. Currently Tjasa lives in Mill Valley with her husband and two children, Finn & Remy.