Britain’s most celebrated artists
Darren Baker has become one of the UK’ s most well known & collectible artists of the 21st century.
A perfectionist for most of his life, developing techniques to create a form of realism comparable to photography.
This master artists accolades include;
- Official Portrait artist to Her Majesty The Queen 2011
- Official artist to the 2012 Olympic games
- Fine Art Trade Guild Award Winner – Best Artist 2010
- Winner of The Garrick Prize at Christie’s, London.
Over the years, Darren Baker has produced an impressive portfolio of art, which grace many prestigious public and private collections, including 10 Downing Street, The House of Lords, St James’s Palace, and the Bahrain Royal household. His celebrated works are becoming much sought after by art collectors around the world.
Painting Her Majesty
2008 was an incredible year for me for two reasons. The first was meeting someone who was to change my life at the Edinburgh Festival, where I was working at the Lloyds HQ on George Street as an artist in residence. Amongst the stream of art collectors coming in and out, there was one person who stood out from the crowd – my wife, Abi.
I exhibited with Lloyds at the Windsor Horse Show, as this was where I had my first conversation about the most significant event of my life as an artist. I introduced myself to Joseph Dublin, who was head of corporate fundraising at the Royal British Legion. They were thinking of ways to celebrate their 90th anniversary and a portrait of their patron. To my surprise, their patron was the Queen, and before I knew what was happening, I was in the middle of a conversation discussing arrangements for sitting at Buckingham Palace.
A commission to paint Her Majesty, not only an incredible person, I had the highest honour to meet, the most famous woman in the world is something every portrait artist’s dream, completed and unveiled in 2011.
I had researched all the previous portraits of the Queen to draw on my knowledge of historical royal portraits. I made several visits to the room where the sitting was to take place and was struck by the way the light filled the room, creating an accentuated the historic regal objects as my background. My attention was the focus of the Queen Victoria Memorial, seen through the window.
When the time came, it was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to meet the Queen in person. She was incredibly gracious and charming, and when she found out that my wife Abi had accompanied me and was looking around the Palace, she invited her to join us.
The Queen’s wristwatch set at 11 am the moment at which the nation observes Remembrance, and the spray of five poppies on her brooch highlights the blossom as the ultimate symbol of the debt we owe. I felt it was essential to making this idea central to the portrait as I am acutely aware of the beautiful work the Legion does for our servicemen and women.
It was important to me that the Legion, having commissioned the portrait, would be pleased with it, and I was delighted with their reaction. The National President Sir John Kiszely described it as remarkably realistic and commented that it conveyed the special relationship between the Royal British Legion and the British Monarchy.
The portrait was unveiled at a commemorative service in Westminster Abbey in Autumn 2011 by Princess Anne, which was a great moment. I have to confess that the press coverage made me smile – the general feeling seemed to be a slight surprise to have a realistic portrait that looked like the Queen. Her Majesty was satisfied, which I have taken as the royal seal of approval.
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