Born at Broken Hill in New South Wales, Australia, Darren entered the workforce at the Zinc Corporation Mine as an apprentice painter, decorator and signwriter concurrently. Darren showed an early passion for various art media, particularly painting. Darren began his studies of visual art ay Broken Hill TAFE, tutored by Joyce Condon. Darren also studied one on one with many local artists including some of the famous brushmen of the bush — he sold his first piece aged just 17 at the Joyce Condon Art Gallery in Broken Hill.
Darren completed a Bachelor of Visual Art and Applied design in Adelaide, South Australia in 1997.
Darrens other passions are sport and music. Darren was involved in playing and coaching Australian Rules Football for over 30 years at regional, SANFL and AFL levels. Starting at 5 years of age as a player in Broken Hill, to being a talent scout/forward scout at Woodville/West Torrens, North Adelaide, and under Dennis Pagan at both North Melbourne and Carlton. As a singer-songwriter, Darren sang his song “Grand Final” at the 2008 SANFL Grand Final pre-match entertainment.
Being inspired along the journey by his mother, classical singer Claire McCrae ( O.A.M. ), he acted and sang on stage as a child in regional repertory/philharmonic productions, such as “The Mikado”, “The King And I”, and later as an adult, “Hello Dolly”. Along with being the lead vocalist in many regional cover bands, Darren, after fifteen years of writing lyrics, started recieving guitar lessons at the Barossa Music Centre in 2008. His debut EP, “Grand Final”, was released in October 2008, and his debut album, “The Real Deal”, was released in 2011. Darrens music has enjoyed airplay across many regional stations, including the ABC, community TV and radio FM stations in Nashville, USA.
Darren continues to do commissioned pieces for public, private and corporate identities. He has also been involved in state touring exhibitions, as well as numerous exhibitions across Australia. As a result, he has enjoyed the patronage of a number of both local and international buyers; he has won art prizes and made several television appearances to discuss his unique contemporary style.
Darren now resides at the McCrae Studio Gallery in Tanunda, Barossa Valley, South Australia.