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Mark Anstis - Aotearoa Artist
Mark Anstis

Mark Anstis - aotearoa artist

Mark Anstis is not sure he can call himself an artist. “When applied to me, I think I’d prefer to earn that title rather than claim it. But I have always loved drawing, ever since I can remember. Five to ten years ago, I started to see a lot more examples of amazing artwork appearing online, and realised I actually knew nothing at all about drawing, and that I had better see about learning.”
“I found out about the Florence Academy of Art (Italy) searching for an art school online. There isn’t an institution in New Zealand – that I know of at least – that specialises in teaching realist art to the rigorous extent I wanted. So I made up my mind to find something overseas. I knew enough about art history to know that Florence had, for a long time, been the centre for the kind of art that I was interested in.” Absolutely amazed at the artists gallery on the website, he took a sabbatical from his day job in Wellington and travelled over to enroll in short, intensive study-condensed versions of their three-year curriculum. The school teaches in-depth traditional drawing and painting skills, working from life and focusing on the human figure. “At the end of my sabbatical I came back to my desk job in Wellington, sat down, and after about five minutes my mind was made up. I kept saving for the next 18 months before I stopped working full time and moved to the UK for a couple of years, via Florence again, to focus on learning to paint.” Since returning to the family farm in Opotiki, New Zealand, Mark has been concentrating on plein-air landscape painting, “The farm and surrounding area is stunning, and I hope to try and capture something of the native New Zealand bush and rural landscape. I really enjoy doing landscapes, but probably portraiture is my favourite genre, there is just something about painting people, so I try to keep this up as often as I can.”

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