Owen Brown

I don’t have a classic artist’s CV. But here’s a brief narrative of my life. I live in San Francisco. I am older than most people you meet on the streets. My wife and I raised our three children here, where we bought a house many years ago. We met in graduate school. I’ve been through lots of schooling! I have a BA from Yale in languages, where I also studied music composition with Joan Panetti and piano with Michael Friedmann. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago with...

I don’t have a classic artist’s CV. But here’s a brief narrative of my life.

I live in San Francisco. I am older than most people you meet on the streets. My wife and I raised our three children here, where we bought a house many years ago. We met in graduate school.

I’ve been through lots of schooling! I have a BA from Yale in languages, where I also studied music composition with Joan Panetti and piano with Michael Friedmann. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago with a concentration in what’s now called Behavioral Economics, and another in Finance. I have another masters from SF State, I have done engineering coursework at Stanford and at Cal, I ran software businesses in the Valley, I ran non-profits, I worked in banks, and every day, I painted, painted, painted. At one time I studied painting and drawing, quite earnestly, at California College of Arts, back when it had Crafts to its name.

Because I loved to paint and draw. I started seriously, right after Yale, when I found a job working for Roy Binkley Architects in Chicago. I went to Japan to work as a newsman and learn an Asian language, and I drew there – evenings, weekends. The same when at the U. of C. The same in SF: classes, drawings, paintings. I neglected my employer of the time: Hewlett Packard. I decided to be a painter, and I quit. Then we had children, and I thought we needed more cash. So I went back to the Valley, started a number of companies, and ran fast to stay ahead.

But it was like compressing water. I would draw at meetings (still do). I would paint - little bits, when I could. Museums were my second home. To paint, to be more aware of the world, to be more in love with the world!

Finally, I decided that I would rather be a mediocrity as an artist than manage 4128 Associates, a business consultancy. I told my partners I would sell them the business. They’ll have it by the end of 2016.