Alfred Owles, British/American (1894 - 1978)

Alfred Owles

Alfred Owles was a painter and illustrator. He was born in Nottingham, England on July 4, 1894. Owles studied at the Nottingham Academy of Fine Art. He immigrated to the United States shortly before the outbreak of World War I. During the war he served in the Army Air Service as an aerial photographer and gunner. It was this experience that was to determine the subject matter of his paintings.

After the war Owles opened a studio in San Francisco, and in 1924 moved across the Bay to Marin County where he had homes in Fairfax and Novato. During the World War II years, his illustrations appeared in Life, Look, Saturday Evening Post, and Colliers magazines. His most famous painting was "Satan's Pipe Organ", a World War II canvas that portrayed anti-aircraft guns pointed skyward.

Primarily a watercolorist, during his early career he specialized in illustrations of airplanes. During his later years he painted landscapes of Marin County. Owles died in Novato, California on May 29, 1978. His works were exhibited at Gumps in San Francisco, the San Diego Fine Art Gallery, and Maxwell Galleries in San Francisco.

Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"

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