I'm from Waihi, NZ, and I am a portrait artist. I love art in all its forms, have many travel aspirations, and an obsession with books. Seeing pictures come alive on the paper as a child was exciting for me, reality disappeared and a new world began. I've designed children’s T-shirts for a clothing manufacturer, large billboards for a beauty company I worked for, entered art competitions and won awards. I've also worked as an animator on Tiny Toons for an animation company in New Zealand, directed by Steven Spielberg in America. The man running the art department in the company once worked for Walt Disney himself – so who better to learn from! Many a lunch break was spent sitting in his office watching him as he worked.
My biggest influences:
Van Gogh - the vibrant landscapes, the way he used paint on canvas
Rembrandt - his paintings tell stories, they show people in various moods and in different situations in other centuries in great detail
Vermeer - The Girl With The Pearl Earring – his attention to detail and light
Pieter Brugel - great composition, I get a sense of the historic period of the time of people, what they wore, working the fields, the surrounding countryside, the seasons
Claude Monet – amazing use of colour and light, how he captured nature in its glory
Edward Hopper - his iconic Nighthawks - I love the realism of his work and use of light
Andy Warhol - he said that art shouldn’t be for the select few but for the mass of American people. Art should be available for everyone
Rene Magritte – the surrealism of his art, taking ordinary objects and people and adding fantasy
and Art Deco.
The perfect gift for me is a trip to France. I've been very lucky to have lived and worked in Belgium for 4yrs in my 20s, and immediately fell in love with the place, travelling to various European countries - but Paris captivated me, I immediately fell in love with the beauty of the city – its history and beautiful architecture. Underneath the Eiffel Tower I made a promise to myself Iwould return – I'm still waiting for a chance to do that.
The best advice I've ever received? "Follow your heart and do what you love." So now, I just paint and can't be happier.
My art exhibition was due to begin next week for the first 2 weeks in September, but due to Covid outbreak in New Zealand it will now take place at Carlton Gallery, Katikati, NZ, from 3rd January to 16th January 2022. Exciting times!