When I saw THAT New Year’s Eve photo, I just had to paint it
Name: Nicholas StaceyHipkin. What do you do?: I work for my sister who owns a hair extension business in Cheadle. In my spare time, I paint! What were your first impressions of Joel Goodman’s photo of the NYE scene?: I thought it was a beautiful combination of comedy and tragedy. These things, I think, characterise Manchester; a city I’m very much in love with. What prompted you to paint the scene?: I found a huge canvas in a skip and I had no inspiration as to what to paint on it. So I kept it back for a while.
I’d been hoping for some months that something would pop up. When I saw the Manchester photo, I knew. What is the best thing about Macclesfield?: It’s on the doorstep to some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. What is the worst thing about Macclesfield? To people in Manchester it seems so far away, so they don’t come here. But they miss all the natural beauty. Where is your favourite place in Macclesfield?: I love Sutton and Langley, I really enjoy heading out into Macc Forest too. How long have you been an artist?: I started painting last year to try to relax and counter my anxiety. It worked so I carried on. I haven’t trained or studied art, I just took it up as a hobby. What do you enjoy most about doing this?: It feels indulgent, I love bringing a photo to life. It’s an escapism and I can really lose myself for hours! Who are your main artistic influences?: I take inspiration from all sorts but there hasn’t been any one particular person who I’ve sought to mimic. My work has been compared to that of Jack Vettriano, which is flattering. What’s the most memorable thing that’s happened while you’ve been doing an artwork?: I painted a photo which I saw online by Adam Pester who captured a beautiful moment on Deansgate, Manchester, in the middle of a downpour. I sent the picture to him and he liked it so much we agreed to meet in the exact spot and I gave him the painting and I photographed him with it. What is your creative process like?: I don’t actively seek out images to paint, I wait for images to spring up in front of me. Who is your biggest inspiration?: My best friend’s dad, John Usher, has painted as long as I’ve known him. He gave me some helpful advice when I started and even painted me something as a wedding present, which was really touching. Do you support any organisations in your work?: From the sale of my artwork I donate 25 per cent of the fee to the George House Trust, an HIV charity based in Manchester. I’m hoping to do an exhibition later this year and would love any help from local groups and businesses if possible. For information about commissions or Nicholas’s work, phone 07486 401560 or 07486 402376, or email: Njc.stacey@gmail. com. Twitter: @life_for_art Instagram: @lifeforartmcr Facebook: Life For Art
●● The painting of Joel Goodman’s photo. Above right, artist Nicholas