Hawke's Bay is home to a host of talented artists. In this series, Summer Artscape, Linda Hall asks some questions about their work, lifestyle and plans for the future. Today we talk to Freeman White

What is your main medium?

I work mainly in oils on canvas or board but recently I have started making some dry point etchings as well.

How is your personality reflected in your work?


I think you can tell a lot about a person by looking at what they produce.

I am always trying to improve my knowledge of art history and painting technique. I am completely obsessed with painting and spend a great deal of my life researching art, travelling to see artworks in original and producing art myself.

My subject matter is mainly my environment and also the people who inhabit it.

What has been your most touching or amazing moment you've experienced as an artist?

Well, it's hard to narrow it down really but I did have a very moving epiphany of sorts in St Peter's in Rome when I first saw Michelangelo's Pieta. I think the humility you feel in the presence of great art and architecture can be very moving.

What has been your darkest moment?

I get terribly homesick, so I have had some pretty hard times overseas yearning for home and the company of friends, but these times really made me realise what I value in life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

How do you budget your time (in the studio and out)?


I work in my Napier studio 9 to 5 or thereabouts five days a week and the weekends I spend with my partner, Lucy, and our baby girl, Millie Magda.

Before Millie was born we both worked seven days a week. If I have a special project on like an exhibition I will sometimes work late but I prefer to paint in daylight; it shows up all of the mistakes.

Which other artists do you admire?

I have always loved European painters from the 16th century on; Vermeer, Caravaggio, George De la Tour. As for New Zealand painters, Goldie is my absolute favourite. He was a truly great artist.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by discovery so painting is a life-long journey for me. I will never tire of it as I am constantly learning and evolving.


Lately I have been greatly inspired by other artists work that I follow on Instagram. It's exciting to know that there are artists out there all around the world, who are working along similar lines as I am.

I have also started painting a lot more outdoors in plain air. This was directly inspired by what I was seeing other artists do through Instagram. It's a no-brainer really. You just set up your easel and paint from life. It's a great way to enjoy the outdoors and also very challenging as you have to work quickly as the weather can change at any moment.

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to get overseas and do some artist residencies.

I will keep on painting and honing my craft.

I will paint some big paintings and I will paint some small ones and I will probably paint some medium-sized one as well ... see how I go.