Work by local artist displayed at prestigious London art gallery
PUBLISHED: 15:52 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:54 23 May 2019
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition, at the Mall Galleries in central London between May 9-24, was graced with portraits of royalty, celebrities, academics, mothers, daughters, fathers and sons. Half of the works shown were by eminent members of the society and half were by emerging artists selected through open submissions, which included Owain’s.
With some 200 portraits on show this was the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of recent portraits in the country.
Owain was born in 1994 the third eldest of ten children. He says he has drawn and painted for as long as he can remember and classmates and teachers always said they thought his art was good.
Owain talked to the Resident.
"From primary school to sixth form I always won the end of year art prizes. I first used oil paints in my second year of sixth form and my first portrait, 'Self Portrait at 17' got pre selected for the BP Portrait Award. It didn't make the final selection but I was fairly happy just to be selected as it is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world.
Coming out of sixth form I had strong academic results and was encouraged to go to university. I chose something I thought would make me employable - a BSC in economics and MA in history at the University of Bristol, but my heart wasn't really in it.
I always knew I wanted to paint so after uni I took on three jobs, cleaning at Gordano Services, Starbucks and a business internship, to pay the bills and save.
I started taking on pet portrait commissions too, which remains a regular source of income. I have sent pieces around the world to people who see my work on social media.
I saved money so that I could drop my jobs and go full-time with my painting, which I did in September 2018. I successfully applied to become a member of the Royal Society of British Artists Rising Stars, as one of the emerging talents.
I was astounded that my painting sold within hours of appearing in the online catalogue for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition.
I am now trying to take on more commissions to fund entry into major international competitions. As well as exhibiting with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters I am exhibiting at the Royal Overseas League in London and have been pre-selected for the Royal Society of British Artists annual exhibition. I am also exhibiting in a group show at the Mall Galleries in August.
My next move is to raise money for studio space to allow me to work on more pieces simultaneously so that I can hopefully exhibit around the country and eventually further afield."