When I saw THAT New Year’s Eve photo, I just had to paint it

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

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

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