Aaron de la Hayé
Bankfoot artist Aaron de la Hayé has been nominated as a Perth Pioneer for his highly successful art business, Stonecold Paintwerks. We’ve been to meet him to find out all about what he does, and why he is pioneering Perth’s bid for City of Culture 2021.
Aaron does all kinds of art you can think of: “It is hard to say what I do because I just do whatever I’m asked. I am not a traditional artist because normally they are either a landscape or a portrait artist, but I do everything there is.
“At the moment I have three paintings to finish – a couple of portraits to do and I have just finished one of three horses. Next month I have a trike to paint and an oil painting of an elephant to do.
“It is a difficult business to be in, because people are crying out for work.”
75% of what Aaron works on is to commission, and the rest is “nonsense out of my own head”, as he put it! A lot of his work is then displayed and sold in Tobermoray to attract the tourism market.
We asked him what his most memorable work was, and he said a piece for golfer Colin Montgomerie’s 50th birthday. He said: “I’ve never been so scared in all my life!”
Aaron chose to set up his art business in Bankfoot for its unique location. Bankfoot has the beauty of being rural with enough space for a proper workshop, and is very peaceful, making it feel more isolated than you really are. Aaron himself paints a lot of wildlife, and says it’s great because there are fields of highland cows and stags only down the road from his house for him to paint.
He has no formal art qualifications, and chose to go into the army instead of art school: “You need to get people who are grassroots artists, because there are plenty of them grafting away who need help getting exposure.”
Aaron is very proud to be nominated as a Perth Pioneer and recognised in this way: “I haven’t even thought about what it means. I must be doing something right at least, and I’m actually quite proud of it.
“It’s a hard game to get noticed so anything like that is a good thing. There are plenty of people who do it part-time and would like to do it full-time but can’t, so knowing that I have been doing this as a full-time job for five years is nothing short of a miracle.
“You can be the best artist in the world, but if people are not buying your stuff, you have had it.”