I was raised by a professional artist, a wildlife sculptor. My father trained me from an early age, when I was 12, I rebelled and decided I would paint pictures rather than sculpt.
After a short stint in the United States, we moved to New Zealand. The change in surrounds fueled my obsession with the landscape, and I started to develop an interest in classical painting. I loved the works of the Hudson River school, and was introduced to the Heidelberg painters and the 19th Century masters of the Victorian era. These artists set the bar high and I was determined to learn how they made their amazing pictures.
I was a distracted student who misbehaved in class, the only thing I wanted to do was to make art and go explore the countryside. Rather than copy out lines or memorize some useless algebra equation, I drew pictures in my textbooks. The teachers told me I wouldn’t amount to much, if I didn’t pay attention.
We were in New Zealand for only 4 years before moving again to Australia where I was confronted yet again by a new and exciting subject. I continued to work through my teenage years accumulating what skills I could before attending University and receiving a Fine Art Degree.
In the early years I slugged it out for minimum wage trying to make my art pay for itself. It didn’t. But eventually with perseverance and bulldog determination, I made my way as a professional, quitting my lousy job and painting full time. That was 13 years ago, and it’s been a wild ride since. I have endeavoured to understand more about the visual world and recreate what I see and experience in every painting. I continually strive; inspired to reach where my heroes have gone before.
As I increased my skills and knowledge base I started to speak to art societies and high school groups, and then discovered a passion for teaching. I began to teach workshops and private classes. Whenever I would learn something new, I couldn’t wait to pass it on! What I did not anticipate was the acceleration in the learning process. The more I gave, the more I received and now I am addicted to teaching. I live for the “light-bulb” moment that can be sparked in people when they grasp a compositional concept, or a colour combination.
My passion for speaking eventually led me to teaching in larger venues, and I began to take on Artist-in-residencies. Often these residencies were in the form of luxury ships and pleasure-craft cruising pristine waters of Australia’s wilderness, or the wild coast and fiords of New Zealand.
Nowadays, my time is spent painting, travelling and creating content for my students and subscribers. I have recently embarked on The Great Art Adventure, a free series on YouTube where I document my travels and painting experience in these free episodes.
I am doing my best to break the mold. I don’t have any awards except for one I was given in high school. I haven’t updated my CV in 3 years. I have never once been asked for my degree as proof of my credentials. I am now certain that the only thing that matters to an artists prospects, is the quality of their work. The rest is just a game, and I learned that the only way to win was not to play.
I am now starting to produce some motivational clips as I have recently discovered a need amongst the next generation of artists to navigate the murky waters of making their way as a creative professional.
I currently live in New Zealand, on the footsteps of the Tararuas with my wife Rachel, 2 dogs and a particularly naughty cat. We have plans to relocate to Queenstown next year.