Fine Art/alfred owlys


I have a water painting of house sitting along the water among a couple of sailboats, one of which is under repair...the signature is hard to make out but I believe it says Alfred Owlys..not sure of the last name.  It is quite old.  Have you heard of this artist?

Here are several bios of your artist.  His watercolors don't come to auction frequently, but when they do it is generally at a West Coast based auction house, such as Bonhams in San Francisco.  Prices realized range from $400-$800.  

Enjoy your original artwork!

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"

Alfred Owles, born in the United Kingdom, was a noted painter of aircraft. He flew as an aerial photographer with the British, Royal Air Force during World War I. It was here that he saw first-hand the airplanes of that era in actual combat which he so vividly expressed in his paintings.

He shared a studio in San Francisco with noted illustrator, Wes Carscaden. Owles was an instructor at Jean Turners Art Center in San Francisco. During the late 1950's, he did a series of aircraft paintings for the Standard Oil Company, which were used in their advertisements in "Life" Magazine.  

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Stuart Cartwright


American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

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I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: and


I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

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