Photo by Allyce Andrew
Madeline Owen at the showing her work at the Ballard Artwalk.

Ingraham senior featured in Ballard Artwalk

Mar. 8 marked yet another Ballard Artwalk where a flurry of artistic expression by local artists was displayed at Ballard shops and cafes.

The March feature artist was Ingraham High School senior and Ballardite, Madeline Owen, and she displayed her work at Miro Tea (5404 Ballard Ave. N.W.).

Her exhibit, named “Curious Poses,” featured conté charcoal depictions of animals living in the Pacific Northwest.

Her artist statement put her charcoal sketches into words:

“Each animal moves in a unique way - the bears lumber, the elk walk gracefully and majestically, the wolves have a spring in their step. I want to explore this energy and movement in my art,” wrote Owen.

The collection is named after a Prince song lyric found in “When Doves Cry,” though Owen said the work in not specifically inspired by the song.

“I actually just came up with the title a couple of weeks before the showing. I’ve been drawing animals since August and have been exploring their movements, and so the lyric seemed to be a good fit.”

Owen said the pieces need to speak for themselves and that the title is not as important.

“I don’t spend a lot of time on the titles. I usually go from the gut reaction and don’t ponder it too long because it would seemed forced. ... I try to keep the artist statement short too so that the viewer can make their own interpretation, making it more universal."

Owen started the collection with a series of large drawings of horses and from there she moved on to rabbits and coyotes.

“By doing a series there is not as much pressure on just one piece; and so when I sketch an animal I like to do it many times, exploring their movements. I try to capture the essence or energy of the creature in its various forms. It’s hard to describe in words because it’s very intuitive."

“I sketched a lot of horses over the summer and then branched off to more woodland creatures and animals of the Pacific Northwest because I felt like I related to them more. “


Owen’s work ranged in size with some pieces as large as a few feet in height and others much smaller. Moreover, she said that she uses lots of different mediums in her work but for this collection she stuck with only the conté charcoal to maintain a unified atmosphere throughout.

“I like it (charcoal) because when you get it warm it gets soft and so you can smudge it, and it still maintains the dark color. ... The color creates different moods and a cool atmosphere.”

“Curious Poses” is Owen’s first showing and she said she heard about being a feature artist from a barista at Miro Tea.

“They said there was an opening for the feature artist, and so I left my card in the jar and later I got a call. It has been really exciting considering it’s my first showing.”

As a senior, Owen has aspirations for a career in the arts. She has been accepted for an apprenticeship at Gage Academy of Art on Capital Hill, and she has also applied to Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Owen’s collection will be on display for the rest of month at Miro Tea.

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