Artist Talk: Interview with the artist Evan Woodruffe

We are happy to introduce Evan Woodruffe, an unusual artist, long-time partner and Schmincke brand ambassador. Evan's great expertise in artist materials and his unique works make him an indispensable partner and friend. In this interview, he tells us how he started to paint with Schmincke colours and what makes him special as an artist:

What's your name, where are you from?

My name is Evan Woodruffe. I was born and live in Auckland, New Zealand, a city built on 50 volcanoes and surrounded by the sea.

Since when and in which techniques do you mainly work?

Before 2014, I worked in a representational style mainly in oil colours. I wanted to expand my vocabulary, and during my MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree I developed my current abstract painting approach, using mostly acrylic colours.

Do you have favourite themes? What inspires you?

Colour directly stimulates us, and this is perhaps my greatest fascination. The way colours constantly shift, closing or opening up space, moving slow or fast, occupying shapes differently from one another, and affecting us on a fundamental level.

And where do you paint preferably?

I run Akepiro Street Studios in Auckland's central suburb of Kingsland, home to 14 artistsand just 5 minutes' walk from home. It's modest in size (my studio is 5m x 4.5m), as Auckland is expensive, but has a lively, creative atmosphere.

Do you still remember your first Schmincke colour?

Before I started really painting, I had a set of 12 HORADAM® watercolours that I took on holidays, but the first colour that really opened my eyes to the power of paint was a tube of MUSSINI® Brilliant Scarlet. Life was never the same!

What are your favourite colours?

I love playing between the fluidity of AERO COLOR® Professional and buttery texture of PRIMAcryl®, but like most artists, I'm most excited by the latest colours. The new Candy and Total Cover colours in AERO COLOR® Professional, especially Poppy Red (28 030) and Phthalo Turquoise (28 847) have extended my palette due to their unique properties.

And what is special about them?

AERO COLOR® Professional Candy are super-saturated yet fully transparent, so Poppy Red creates fiery, modulated glazes over textured surfaces, deeper in the fissures and lighter on the tops. It's gorgeous glazed over pale colours, especially yellows. Phthalo Turquoise is usually transparent, but the Total Cover colour is opaque, delivering an exceptional velvet-matte, greenish-blue through my AERO COLOR® Professional Liner pen. It glows when used over dark colours!

How can one learn from you?

Come to New Zealand in 2021 (once travel is possible) and join my Summer School class at Browne School of Art; or attend one of the workshops I run for Gordon Harris Art & Graphics stores around the country. I also write for their blog: and have the AERO COLOR® Big & Brilliant blog on the Schmincke website.
There are video links on my website that give insight into my practice, especially this short film by director Alex Plumb:

And where can one look at your work?

My website provides a catalogue of my practice through exhibitions, art fairs, and projects. My Instagram @evanwoodruffe shows more of the day-to-day making of the work, and the people who help make it happen.
Paul Nache is my close collaborator and agent, exhibiting my work in New Zealand and abroad. We have exciting projects lined up for 2021.
Akepiro Street Studios are open to the public twice a year: for Art week Auckland in October, and at the beginning of the year. We also host private viewings by appointment. And you never know - you might come across my work in someone's collection!

Which two of your artworks should we show to our readers?

These two paintings were very special to make and remain very special to me. Like all my paintings, they're titled by the date they're ready - their birthdays, if you like.

25th April 2018, 200cm x 200cm, acrylic and mixed media on linen. Collection of NZ Ministry Foreign Affairs & Trade.

25th April 2018 is a big work made with four panels, each a metre square. It's well travelled, having been shown in the world is porous at Tauranga Art Gallery, New Zealand, and in Sydney, Australia, before arriving home. Perhaps not for long though - this painting has just been acquired for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, so may be heading to one of our embassies abroad!