Darren Love’s artwork caught our attention earlier this year at a charity art exhibition. We were not surprised that the piece he donated to the show was sold before we arrived on opening night. Darren’s art wowed the crowd and we needed to discover more about this very talented man.
At 18yrs old, Darren arrived in Australia from New Zealand and fell into the surf industry as a surfboard artist honing his airbrushing skills, but really wanting to develop his hand brushing skills. He took to using acrylics and started painting beach scenes that he sold through art galleries. “I have always been drawing, but painting came later on and oil paint even more so.“ says Darren, “Oil, can’t beat it I reckon.” Cars, streetscapes and portraits are amongst Darren’s favourite subjects to paint. He enjoys a creative challenge and the reward of a finished piece. His studio is a cosy, makeshift space overlooking the family lounge. A commissioned piece or personal portrait on the easel surrounded by his tools of trade. Darren works from photo reference. After stretching his own canvas, he then sketches his subject by hand. “When I’m happy with the sketch and composition I give it a transparent colour wash,” says Darren, “This adds a tonal ground to work with and that makes it easier to get the colours right and gives the finished painting a bit of life.” Mixing his oil palette, Darren adds the colours to his painting, while constantly checking the balance along the way through squinted eyes.
To help raise funds for the Seashepard’s operation against shark finning, Daren was invited to paint a surfboard fin for a group show held in Torquay (Australia). Darren’s fin portrayed a bearded seaman. “There is a bit of a funny story about the guy I painted.” says Darren. “I wanted to depict someone that looked like they had spent a lifetime at sea, a real salty looking character. I trolled the net looking for such a guy. I painted it, and it was used on social media to promote the event. I get an email from a guy saying he likes the art and do I know the guy.” Says Darren. “I told him no and I said he could be on a fishing boat in Norway for all I know. Then he told me it was him!” Surprisingly, the character on the fin lives in Sydney and his beard has it own facebook page. Darren says “He was cool about it, and I think stoked that his face and beard are now an oil painting.”
While busy painting commissions and more fins to help Seashepards cause, Darren dreams to one day have his own show. He says,” I would love to do an exhibition some day but at the moment just trying to balance family, a full time job, and being an ‘awesome dad’ doesn’t leave a lot of time to pursue many other interests right now”. No matter how busy real life is for Darren Love, you can never find him too far away from his easel and paints.