During the last lockdown, Brendan who is member of ‘Art of the Olympians’, turned to his creative talents to pass the time away. He started the life size portrait in July 2020, working on it early mornings every weekend. until he completed it in October.
He commented “I was bored and found a bit of lining paper in the garage that I then proceeded to charcoal/oil and gold leaf to a portrait of my hero, Jessie Owens, Long Jump and Relay Olympic Champion 1936 – the 24 carat gold leaf, which surrounds the image represents his gold medals at the Olympics.”
He added “I became interested in art again during the last 10 years doing portraits of friends and family, but this is the first larger scale piece I have attempted and loved the process.
“I now plan to move onto other larger scale works of sports stars including a full size somersaulting Daley Thompson, Olympic Decathlon Champion, and a five-metre-long piece of Martin Johnson the Rugby World Cup Champion, but with three sporty kids I may have to continue to rise early at the weekends.”
The exhibition which is being held at Zari Gallery in London throughout May, can be purchased on-line afterwards, and is raising funds for two sports charities, the Lloyd Cowan Bursary, which provides support and bursary grants to showcase the artistic talents of athletes, and the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, helping athletes with coaching, equipment and travel.