Living and studying in Brisbane, Australia, Darren completed a tertiary degree in graphic design in 2007. He has subsequently made a living working on a broad range of design projects across commercial, government and not-for-profit sectors, with a particular interest in conceptual design, editorial, and brand identity for small to medium business.
In 2016, Darren was inspired to reconnect with his passion and aptitude for fine art.
“For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. It’s always been very instinctual and a form of meditation in a way, even from a very young age. I have never had art lessons or drawing instruction. Some may say it’s a natural ability, but it is really years of experimentation, practice and patience.”
A long-held fascination with the natural world and the relationships between that which make it their home, inspires much of Darren’s art. Every composition is exquisitely hand-drawn, capturing the finest details in a contemporary aesthetic that celebrates the chosen subject. His work relates both a keen observation of reality with an infusion of whimsey and a visual conversation between subjects and their environment. No grid reference techniques are used, meaning every piece is drawn purely “by eye” and come to life over hours, weeks, sometimes months of work.
“I’ve always been taken by works of realism and motivated by the challenge highly detailed subjects present. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I am drawn to animals as a subject, with such an incredible gamut of furs, plumage and musculature. It can be painstaking at times, but the result is satisfying.”
Darren works exclusively with Unison Colour soft pastels (UK) for whom he is an associate artist, and pastel pencils by Faber-Castell (Germany), Carbothello (Czech Republic) and Caran d’Ache (Switzerland). With rich, finely ground pigments and lightfast qualities confirmed by the most rigorous international testing, each piece is nothing short of museum quality.
“Pencils ultimately remain my favourite tool because of the control, precision and line quality they allow. The technology and craftsmanship behind today’s professional-grade pastel pencil is a massive departure from the humble colour pencil that typically comes to mind. Using techniques combining them with soft pastel, you can achieve incredible detail, depth and luminosity in your work.”
Darren’s work has been selected for various local and national exhibitions. He has been a finalist in the Clayton Utz Art Award and a five-time finalist and two-time category winner in the Lethbridge 20000 Small Scale Art Award in Australia. Two of Darren’s pieces were selected for publication in the tenth edition of Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing published by Northlight Books, and his work has appeared in art magazines internationally.
A portion of all sales from all of Darren's art supports conservation and animal welfare projects throughout the world.