John and Fiona Owen exhibition.

If you are in the Gloucestershire area might I suggest a visit to this most extraordinary exhibition of paintings by John and Fiona Owen. I have written before on this blog about my admiration for these artists in particular the work of Fiona Owen who paints in miniature on gilded wooden panels. She paints in oils with teeny tiny watercolour brushes and produces the most wonderful work. You can see their work in more detail here- on their website and learn about their inspirations, however nothing compares with seeing the paintings up close. I know many of you live oversees so I have put together a little selection of images to give you an idea of the exhibition.
Details of the dates and opening times are to be found on their website.

The artists live in a converted chapel high up a green and wooded hillside overlooking the village of Chalford. You climb the steep stone steps and enter through the chapel gate, past pots of plants, through the ancient doorway and up the stairs to the studio.

Prepare to be dazzled, the walls are painted and gilded with images of friends and family worthy of Benozzo Gozzoli.

There are works of art on globes,

On walls,

You might see the artists at work, here is Fiona working on a gilded panel. Firstly she prepares the wood with gesso. She then transfers the design and prepares the areas to be gilded. The gilding has to be done before the painting begins, as the gold would stick to the paint. Finally she is ready to paint in the details using oil paint applied with very fine watercolour brushes.

And after the studio visit you are free to wander through the garden and to admire the spectacular views. The garden has many “rooms” each has its own character which are a delight to discover as you climb up the hillside.

But don’t take my word for it, go and see it for yourself!


  1. Oh, what a magical studio to visit!!

  2. My mother loves to work with gesso! How I wish she could visit this inspiring exhibition! A French teacher of my daughter lives with her family in a restored chapel in a tiny village south of Tours. They hold concerts in the chapel proper which is very cool in summer (and full of mosquitos thanks to a neighbouring river).

    The Owen's home and garden certainly look like the kind of place I would love to lose myself. Thank you for sharing these pictures with us!

    I do hope you are feeling better than a few weeks ago.

    Warmest wishes,


  3. I do wish I could Valerie, it all looks so beautiful.

  4. Lovely to see this Valerie and in such a pretty setting too.

    Like your 'Knot Cover' of the book in your previous post. Lesley x

  5. What a magical place to visit! I only wish I lived closer...oh well, must put it on my list.
    I had a look at the website and Fiona's work is so detailed and intricate. I especially like John's paintings of water images...very lovely. Cheers Val.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I'm ashamed to say I lived less than 10 miles away for over 20 years and I never managed to get there. Shocking I know- must try harder!

  8. Oh my word, how beautiful their work is. What a place to work in too. Really fascinating. I am inspired, thank-you. It all looks so calm there......lovely.

  9. Well Valerie, once again you've shown me an artist and a place that intrigues me so much.

    Thank you for letting me into this exhibit. What a treat it would be to actually see the studio.

    Dreaming. Sometimes dreams do come true.


  10. Yes, I am DAZZLED! Marvelous art, wonderful studio and an incredible garden surrounding AND steep steps, no less. What more could anyone ask for?!

  11. To visit their home and studio and see their artwork would take my breath away. I will pop over and visit their link.

  12. Simply beautiful....beautiful, beautiful. thank you for taking us there.

  13. Oh how wonderful! It looks like a magical place. And there work is likewise magical in its intricacy. Oh to have such skill!