A MELTHAM artist has a royal appointment.
Darren Baker has confirmed that he will paint a portrait of the Queen later this year.
He said: “It’s fantastic. It’ll certainly be an experience.”
Darren, who has been a professional artist for 10 years, will paint a full-length oil portrait of the Queen. The sitting will take place later this year, possibly in October.
Darren, 32, came to the Queen’s attention after he displayed work at the Windsor Horse Show two years ago.
He said: “Someone from the castle saw my work and really liked it. They took my business card. I didn’t have to be asked twice when I got the call.”
Darren will be meeting the Queen for the first time.
He said: “I’ve been in the same room as her at the Windsor Horse Show, but I’ve never spoken to her.”
But he has met Prince Charles.
Darren said: “I met him at the Yorkshire Show in Harrogate a few years ago and I ended up doing him a painting which is hanging at St James’ Palace. He’s a very nice man and he does a great deal of good work.”Darren got his break thanks to Prince Charles’ charity The Prince’s Trust, which encourages young business people.
Ten years ago the charity leant him £1,500 to kick-start his artistic career.
Darren said: “I try to support the Prince’s Trust where possible to give something back to them for helping me when I was just starting out. It’s important to help young people who don’t have financial or practical support to make a success of themselves.”The Prince’s Trust Business Programme is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. For more information visit www.princes-trust.org.uk.
A feature on Darren is on page 40 of tonight’s Examiner.