My name is Danielle Visser and I live in a town called Rotorua, which is known for it’s geysers and boiling mud and volcanoes, and the (apparently) ever present smell of rotten eggs (sulphur), on the North Island of New Zealand.
My artistic journey started when I was young, I have always loved drawing and so of course decided to include art as one of my subjects at school. I worked pretty much exclusively with oil paint, as this is the medium that our teacher pushed us into. I failed Bursary (senior year) Art by 1 mark. This has always seemed a crime to me – how on earth can someone else judge that your art is a ‘fail’? After that I gave up on art for a long time, but about three years ago I was introduced to the wonderful world of online art communities, and began to regain my passion for art by seeing that the variety of artistic styles out there actually is incredibly diverse (unlike what my art teacher would have had me believe).
So I started to get back into my art again, this time focusing on my drawing and discovering the wonderful medium of pastel pencils.
I am primarily a portrait artist with an added passion for fabric textures (which was my focus subject for Bursary Art), and you will see a fair bit of different fabrics dominant in my work. Recently I have also begun to work on a few animal portraits. I strive for realism as, although I adore many of the surreal and impressionist and abstract art out there – unfortunately I myself am lacking in the great imagination those artists possess, and all of my art is drawn from photo references.
On a personal note, I am disappointed at the way art is treated in schools. Perhaps it is just here in New Zealand but my epic ‘fail’ of Bursary Art almost drove me away from continuing something that I was passionate about for good, and I think that is an irresponsible way for other ‘artists’ to treat an apprentice in the industry. I thought (hoped) that maybe times had changed since I was at school but recently my 16 year old cousin is being treated much the same way by his school. Being told that his art is ‘not good enough’, and pressured to take his art in a different direction than where he feels most comfortable. I have encouraged him to seek out communities like RedBubble to show him that art is not as narrow a field as his teacher believes, and that it is a very individual and unique thing to each of us, one that can never be moulded to be like anyone elses work, no matter how hard our teachers may try.