Georgia Owens’ art on display at the Square
Georgia R. Owens didn’t plan on being a painter.
“I took art in high school in the ’50s, but I didn’t like it,” she said.
It was another decade before she gave it another shot. In the late 1960s, she picked up a brush and has been painting ever since. In the 1990s, she even took some lessons.
This month, she’s showing her work in Thomas Theatre at Hutchins Street Square. It’s her first show in Lodi, aside from occasionally attending church boutiques.
Still, she doesn’t consider herself an artist.
“People call me an artist but I don’t like the title,” she said. “I don’t think I’m an artist. I just like to paint.”
Owens, 85, does more than just paint. She learned how to work with ceramics in her 70s, and has taken several prizes at the San Joaquin Fair. She also does leatherworking and makes wreaths from grapevines.
When shoulder surgery in 2004 made it difficult to paint the large canvases she’d been using, she began painting on small ones. And oysters. And wine bottles.
She’ll paint anything that fits in her lap — and she loves getting lost in her work. It’s good therapy, she said.
Her favorite subjects are landscapes, especially with mountains and trees.
“I just take a paint brush and a canvas — or oyster shells — and go at it,” Owens said.
Born in Southern California, Owens moved to Lodi just short of 40 years ago, when she and her cousin became business partners on a horse ranch. After the ranch, she worked as a bookkeeper.
Now, she paints whenever the mood strikes her.
First Friday Art Hop guests got to see her paintings, as have those taking classes in the theater this month. Others who would like to see her work can make an appointment to visit — but only for a few more days. She’ll be taking her work down next week.
Owens encourages anyone else who wants to try art to pick up a brush or pencil and give it a go.
“I hear a lot of people say, ‘I can’t draw a straight line,’ but I can’t draw a straight line, either. That’s normal,” she said.
The key is to keep going anyway, and improvement will follow.
“It has to be in your head that you can do it,” she said.
Left: Georgia R. Owens’ paintings are on display at Hutchins Street Square. Below: “Elk in valley” is one of Owens’ paintings. Far bottom: “Winter Trail.”