• The Creative Duck

Spotlight on: Lizzie Owen

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Artist Lizzie Owen talks inspirations and how she finds her creative flow, from running in the Chilterns to lighting the fire in her cosy Marlow studio.

Photo by Mel Matthews

Tell us a little about your work and your background.

It stems from school, then fashion college and a 20 year+ career in London as a fashion and lifestyle PR. Since moving to Marlow in 2008, I now create abstract oil paintings of still life, portraits and landscapes. I also offer Live Fashion Illustrations at events and weddings, which I love doing as I’m quite a social person.

Illustration by Lizzie Owen

What made you decide to work as an artist?

I seriously became an artist about 2 years ago, after quite a challenging time juggling family with a career (and long commute) in PR, and then freelancing for other lifestyle brands from Marlow. I decided I needed to just accept I was an artist and trial some illustrative ideas. Thankfully, feedback from my Instagram account @mummyinmanolos was hugely positive, and after a few workshops with Henley School of Art to brush up my techniques, I felt ready to just take the creative plunge. It started out as Fashion Illustration, but soon moved to Oil Painting once I was happy with my technique, which is still evolving.

Oils by Lizzie Owen, photo credit: Mel Matthews

Where do you find inspiration?

Currently living in the Chilterns with my family is filled with inspiration, also my childhood growing up on our Staffordshire farm, food, nature, 20+ years working alongside amazing creatives, trend forecasters, designers and brands, and fashion – at the moment, my repertoire is a bit broad, but I do love painting still life.

Oils by Lizzie Owen, photo credit: Mel Matthews

Describe your typical working day in your studio..

I try to go for a run first thing to clear my head – I’ll fix a fire in the studio, wash a couple of canvases with a colour and go back to the house while they dry, dress in my painting gear, sort coffee and breakfast and make my way back, by which time the studio will be cosy with two canvases ready for me to start outlining my subject. I fall into a flow that can keep me there up to 4 hours, by which time I have to come away, as the paintings need me to move away for a fresh perspective – then my girls return from school after 3pm. It’s only until the next day I give the painting time to settle to see what needs changing, while starting on another – this process can take up to 4 days to create one painting before I’m happy and then it needs to dry and finally frame it with the lovely team at Bespoke Framing.

Lizzie's studio

What has been the biggest highlight and biggest challenge to date?

Just seeing my work on someone’s wall is always a highlight. Tori Murphy, who I admire for her beautiful textiles, bought one of my oils this year and was my first customer, ironically I was hers when she launched her brand a few years ago! My challenge is trying to PR myself, I’m so used to doing it for others, but I find it really hard to do for myself.

Best nugget of wisdom you can share with your fellow Creative Ducks?

Just taking that leap and believing in something you’ve always known you should be doing, no matter how nuts it seems. Having that big goal and making it happen by actioning all the little tasks that lead you there - focus.

Where can we find your work?

I have 3 oil paintings in Home Barn , Little Marlow, on my website and with The Creative Duck of course! My website is being updated at the moment, but please do visit over the coming weeks, as there will be a few surprises unfolding very soon

photo credit: Mel Matthews


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