Artist Q&A Owens

In capturing the natural beauty of an Indiana twilight, artist Patti Paris Owens of Bargersville found inspiration out west.

The multicolored stones, sparkling water and towering trees were brought to mind by a picture Owens had seen during a trip to Montana. But the Franklin native put her own unique touch on it, creating an award-winning effort.

Owens’ work, “Midwest Evening,” was chosen as the winner of the third annual Mallow Run Winery art label contest. The piece was incorporated into the artwork on Mallow Run’s artist series red blend, with a portion of the proceeds of each bottle going to support the Greater Greenwood Arts Council.

Her work was chosen from dozens of submissions during the summer. It was the first contest Owens had entered and serves as an additional honor attached to her existing career as a faux painter in home decoration

“I’m proud of the work. I sometimes amaze myself because I’m self-taught,” she said. “I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. It’s an honor.”

Where did the concept for the painting come from?

My inspiration was, while traveling in Montana, there was a big lake there called Douglas Lake. I was given a picture, and in that picture were all these beautiful multicolored stones.

How did you take the inspiration and apply it here?

In the original picture, there were all these mountains and big lakes. I adapted it to how I feel our landscape is, which is much more tree-like, with more of a stream and waterfall.

How did you capture the unique feel of this landscape?

I’m a mixed media painter, so I have a multitude of original textures in here. When you see the original and feel the original, you can feel smooth textures and raised textures, sandy textures, clumpy textures, sparkly textures. You see all different kinds of sheen, which give it depths and reflect light.

What kind of style do you paint in?

I love abstract, because everyone sees something different. This is not my first abstract, I’ve done several. It’s interesting when different people look at it, they have different interpretations. You have to study it before you can decide what it is.

Is it difficult working with those different kinds of mixed media?

It just takes a while, since in my case, I want to let every layer dry. Sometimes I want things to mix, but I want definition. You can’t necessarily mix gooey with gooey.

What led you toward art in the first place?

I’m a professional faux painter, and I have been in business for more than 18 years. I’ve been working in people’s homes for a very long time. Because of that, I know what’s in style, what the color trends are, and the kind of art people are placing in their homes. I’m seeing all this art brought in, and I’m thinking, I could do that art. It’s an expansion of that for me.

What is your method when creating a piece?

I do not draw anything out first, I just start painting. I sometimes have a little bit of an idea of color, but sometimes the direction that I think it’s going to go isn’t the direction it goes once the colors start mixing and the textures start mixing.

Why was the Mallow Run contest one you wanted to enter?

I’m a self-taught artist. I have work on display in the ProArt Gallery in Greenwood, but I’d never entered a contest. I thought, “Why not? What better way to let people know that I do this kind of work.”

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.