Brushing up on Durham’s history

Cathedral Tower.
Cathedral Tower.
0
Have your say

An award-winning architectural designer has drawn on his artistic skills to produce a book capturing the dramatic beauty of County Durham.

Stuart Fisher has been hailed as one of the region’s top architectural painters since making the finals of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition in 2013.

The "Miners' Cathedral" at Horden.

The "Miners' Cathedral" at Horden.

Now the Peterlee man, who showed prodigious artistic talent as a child, has published his first book - featuring 75 scenes from in, and around, Durham City.

“I’ve always been interested in art. I had to work hard at every subject except art. It was what I was best at, what I really enjoyed doing,” he said.

Stuart, son of pitman Alf and his wife Esther, was born in Warwickshire. He grew up in Peterlee, however, after his family returned to their East Durham roots.

Awards for his art came early. At Acre Rigg Juniors he won the art trophy two years running - a feat unheard of - and he continued to excel at Shotton Hall.

Durham Cathedral.

Durham Cathedral.

Art school, however, was discounted - as he didn’t want to be “poverty stricken”. Instead, Stuart chose the “next best thing” - architecture.

A career spanning almost 34 years followed; culminating in 2006 with his multi-award-winning design for the Science Learning Centre North East, based in Durham.

Art, however, was always Stuart’s first love and, after taking early retirement, he turned professional in 2010 and has since exhibited throughout the region.

“I try to take a different view to the standard one; to dramatise my work. If you see one of my pictures, you’ll probably notice the drama in it,” he said.

Durham Cathedral in the snow.

Durham Cathedral in the snow.

A wide selection of Stuart’s work is featured in his book, Mostly Durham, which is due for release soon. It can be pre-ordered at £18.99 from www.sacristy.co.uk

“I’m really looking forward to the book coming out. It is a major thing for me, or any artist, to have a book of your work published,” he said.