Freeman White

Portrait Artist

Project Name

2007

I have been working as a full-time artist as well as renovating my house in Napier. I taught part-time at TLC for a while and then in 2006 I won the Adam Portrait Award. I have an enjoyable lifestyle, but if you want to be a full-time artist you have to work hard and be good at budgeting! I look at the house as an evolving work of art in its own right. It is also where I work from and I have just recently finished renovating the back of the house and converting that space into a painting studio. I paint landscapes and portraits and also do some film jobs. I have at least one solo show per year and have to paint commissions. Winning the Adam Portrait Award in 2006 was the most definitive point in my early artistic career! This legitimised my work and allowed me to get my name recognised. It also opened up a number of opportunities such as my painting residency in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have had several exhibitions abroad; I have shown in Germany, the USA and Scotland. It’s a real hassle getting work overseas and expensive! Most times I have rolled the paintings up and taken them myself or had someone overseas re-stretch them for me. This is really not ideal, however I could not afford to send work any other way. I plan to stay alive for as long as I can! I plan to keep painting and progressing as an artist. That’s really important for me, to feel as though there is still improvement. I never want to become complacent.