Here's a few questions answered...
Do you take commissions?
I sometimes take on commission work depending on how busy I am and what the project is. Get in touch if you have something in mind. I don't take commissions for my stone work as it is very time consuming and I tend to work at it seasonally, usually in summer.
Where do you get your ideas?
I find inspiration everywhere. I'm never short of ideas, I'm short on time to create them all. The natural world is always an inspiration, from native flora and fauna to the sea. One of the great things about New Zealand is you are never far from the sea or forest and you only have to drive a couple of hours to be in a totally different landscape.
I also love the human form, fabric, fur, negative space and I'm starting to learn about colour. Sometimes just a particular colour is my inspiration, even though I don't use much in my work.
Do you work from photos?
Yes, I work from photos, but not for everything. I try to take my own for most projects, its a large part of my process but if I can't then I can often get images from friends or pay for images online. For portrait commissions I prefer it if I can take the photos but this hardly ever happens. They often don't live in the same area so the client usually provides a photo.
What mediums do you use?
I'm pretty comfortable with pencil, graphite & charcoal but I still have a lot to learn. I'm teaching myself to paint with oils and water colours which is a big challenge, but I love it. Its difficult, frustrating, fun and exciting. I use You Tube tutorials & other artists as teaching aids but really its practice practice practice. Experimenting and failing are the best teachers, for anything.
I use a camera, colour pencil, pastels, permanent markers, ink and all sorts of stuff.
How long does it take to finish a piece?
That depends on the size and medium, but generally quite a while. I love detail which takes time. Even a small drawing can take 10 hours. Some of my larger Charcoal seascapes (2000x1500mm) will take 6 weeks or so. The Bird Mandalas about 30 hours.
Sometimes I will work on a piece for a few weeks, lose where I thought it was going and put it away for a while (sometimes a year or 2) then I'll look at it again with fresh eyes and finish it. sometimes is very hard to know if an artwork is finished, so I hang it up and watch it for a few days or weeks & tweak it. I really love the process, so for me it's not about the finished result. I make lots of work that no-one will ever see.
I work full time as an artist. If I can I'll spend 6-7 hours a day drawing or practicing, any longer and my eyes can't cope. (They get blurry & light sensitive) but I also have to spend at least a third of my time on book work, marketing, social media and filling orders and everything else that comes with having a small business.
If you've got a burning question, get in touch.