Owen Claxton

Introduce yourself

My name is Owen Claxton, I am a freelance artist and illustrator living in Edinburgh

Can you describe your type of art?

Representational. I hope it comes across as relatively competent and honest.

When did you first discover you wanted to be an artist?

I was mildly dyslexic as a child and consequently I tended to draw a lot rather than attempt writing. I became quite good at drawing whilst remaining mediocre at just about everything else, so I never felt I had an option really.

What is your favourite part of the painting process?

Starting something new is usually good and the satisfaction when something is finally finished. It’s the bit in the middle that tends to be a grind sometimes.

Do you have a favourite medium or subject matter?

I like the buttery, slipperiness of oil paint. It’s a very forgiving medium as you are always able to make changes with it, unlike watercolour where if you make a really big mistake then you have to start again from the beginning.People are always the most challenging and interesting of subjects.

What inspires you?

Other peoples creativity, whether it may be in music, film, theatre, dance, architecture, design, whatever. If I see something that impresses me then I tend to think ‘I should really try and achieve something today’.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on some new figurative paintings, trying to improve my watercolour technique and looking forward to whatever FBS has in mind for me.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee and Green tea, I hardly ever touch black tea.

Is there a picture you wish you had painted?

Yes lots. If I have to pick one then ‘Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw’ by John Singer Sargent which hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland is a favourite.

What is your favourite song?

Well there are so many, but I suppose the one that has been a favourite for the longest time is ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us’ by Sparks. My brother had the single and I used to pester him to play it constantly when I was about 4 or 5. I assumed it was a song about cowboys. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that it’s about male insecurities, which actually makes me love it more.

Do you have a favourite book?

Mervyn Peake’s ‘Gormenghast’ trilogy. Peake was a gifted artist as well as a writer so the books are very visually rich. They are a wonderful blend of the grotesque, the beautiful and darkly funny. Also the way that evil slowly rises and infiltrates itself by playing on the various characters weaknesses is gloriously depicted.

What next for Owen Claxton?

I hope to produce a book of some of my best paintings and drawings of the last few years. Oh, and I have to repaint the front door before the winter arrives, every time I shut it a few more flecks of loose paint fall off.  

Some of the art Owen has created for FBS