Aberdeenshire artist Stan Fachie’s paintings are a fitting tribute to the city he loves so dearly.
The Granite City. The majestic silvers of the Music Hall, the imposing beauty of Marischal College and the historic Castlegate are but a few of the magnificent buildings held dear in the hearts of its residents.
Turning to these impressive architectural feats for inspiration is local artist Stan Fachie who draws from Aberdeen’s unique skyline to produce his own works.
Aberdeen-born Stan began painting as a young boy when his father, a creative talent in his own right, showed him the ropes.
With a natural affinity for painting he continued art while at school, but later decided that chasing formal qualifications at art school wasn’t for him, insisting that ‘in those days you chose a trade – it wasn’t normal for a man to go on to art school and do paintings, so I worked in a garage instead.’
Setting off on his professional career, Stan’s thoughts rarely turned to the creative arts – that was, until 24 years later when ill health left him housebound and looking for a past time to fill the void.
‘From sheer boredom I picked up a paintbrush again; I’ve not put it back down since.’ Now a much-loved hobby of his, Stan does not allow himself to be constrained by formal training, nor is he influenced by other artists’ techniques.
Since embarking upon his artistic career Stan has experimented with a number of mediums. Beginning with watercolours then moving on to acrylics – a much thicker medium that dries quicker – his skillset has developed through dedicating hours to his craft.
But Stan doesn’t just stick to mainstream mediums – bucking the trend, he also creates 3D paintings using plaster, polystyrene and foam so that partially sighted people can enjoy his art and explore the works through varying textures on the canvas.
Though Stan often works from photos, his imagination tends to dominate the scenes that transpire on the page.
He said: ‘Some of my friends are photographers and they will give me a photo to paint – sometimes I’ll completely change it around. I can adjust any photo to the season I want. Winter is a favourite of mine.’
Four to five hours, or four to five weeks – the length of time taken to complete a piece is not a concern for Stan, only that his work reflects the surrounding environment or brings a smile to people’s faces.
One of his more light-hearted pieces, ‘AFC Fans on the Move’, was a roaring success, earning Stan the nickname ‘sheep man’. The woolly sheep portrayed in the piece are far from ordinary football fans, but sporting Aberdeen FC hats and scarves they perfectly reflect Stan’s love for his home town.
Though Stan happily paints foreign scenes upon request, it is clear where his heart truly lies.
Speaking of Aberdeen, he says that ‘the north east is a beautiful place – there really is nowhere like it. It’s a beautiful place to live and the architecture is amazing. Marischal College and Fittie in particular – I’m very lucky.
‘I’ve travelled the world with my son – Neil Fachie, he’s a world champion cyclist – but I have always stuck to painting in the north east. Although I do keep meaning to paint from photographs I have taken abroad.’
That said, there is one subject that Stan particularly enjoys painting as an aside to Aberdonian skylines.
After undertaking a large piece which has taken weeks to complete, he turns to another favourite – ‘big cats and zebras – something my wife loves!’
Stan’s art gallery – in which he ensures the kettle is always on for any visitors – shows off over 130 of his paintings. Since retirement, Stan spends four days a week in his personal studio gallery which he converted from a garage ten years ago.
He also has a licence to show off his paintings on Aberdeen beach and is usually found there every Sunday – provided the weather is in his favour.
‘I’ve met people from all walks of life down at the beach, so many interesting people who share their stories with me.
‘People recognise my paintings, even youngsters – I have done a lot of paintings for children, like superheroes and such, and I love seeing their faces light up when they see them and recognise the characters. It means I’m doing something right.’
Talking of the importance of family and following your dreams, Stan firmly believes that ‘you can do whatever you want in life, if you work hard.
‘It’s a lovely feeling knowing that people get so much pleasure from hanging my work on their walls, so work hard to do what makes you happy.’
For more information on Stan’s paintings or to view more of his collections visit stanfachieart.co.uk.