Mr Stacey Paul Harding was born in January 1974 in Chertsey, Surrey, Southeast England, the eldest son, to newlyweds Paul and Gillian Harding, he has a younger brother Jason Harding. Living and working most of his life in Woking, Southeast England, he studied at Sythwood primary school and later Horsell High School, now Woking High School.
Stacey always showed an interest in Art even at an early age, his parents supported his interests and supplied materials when available, Stacey was encouraged by his Primary School teacher Mrs Woods to develop his drawing skills in class, at the time popular tv shows for kids like Tony Hart’s Hartbeat supplied practical skills and encouragement for young artists across the UK. Mr Harding bought Tony Harts book “Anyone can Draw” when it was published and as a child found it helpful.
Moving on to high school he found difficulty socialising with his peers and adjusting to the new dynamics, but it was during his third year there that he started to make progress and found enjoyment with classes in Pottery, Technical drawing, Woodwork design, Art, Archery, Badminton and Swimming.
Art was his most valuable lesson with Mr E. Cook and then Woodworking design, Mr Harding completed both subjects in GCSE to a high grade, and it was in these Art classes that he started to learn more about perspective and painting techniques often using acrylic paints.
During his time at high school, he applied to McLaren international racing team in Sheerwater, Byfleet, where he spent time working in each department including the technical drawing office where he experienced the skills needed to draw blueprints. After this experience he realised he wanted a more creative and free flowing process but did not find the career path he so aspired to.
Two days after completing his GCSE’s Mr Harding had earned a place at an influential societal organisation in central London, it was a complete break away from everything he had hoped for. After several years working as a senior clerk in the accounts department he moved to a more local firm in his hometown of Woking.
After starting a family, practising, and completing artwork had faded away and Stacey started socialising with a local American marching band, where he learnt to play brass and read music, going on to be win in competition and become national champions in Drum Corp U.K. in 1999 which was to be his final aging out year.
Mr Harding continued working as an administrator for a local firm where he became a full-time manager often having to work 7 days a week. After suffering physical injury at work Stacey was forced to make some changes, a close friend encouraged and forced a paint brush back into his hand, family began to encourage Stacey to practise his art once again.
Having moved to Scotland in early 2020 Stacey is beginning to explore and spend more time creating art, with the start, the foundations of a career in the Arts is starting to appear, in early artwork his abstract and bright colours featured mostly using acrylic paint, he later explored landscapes in various media from places he has visited, but still experimented in abstract and bright colours using acrylics.
Inspired by thoughts and experiences from museums, art galleries and artistic holiday destinations like St’Ives, Cornwall, has helped his development, working with his children with their own development through art classes in higher education with different techniques and approaches has expanded his view and understanding of what is considered art.
Stacey’s immediate family has been the largest influence on his work, he likes to understand their interests, and these have inspired some of his most personal art pieces, he paints his subjects the way he feels them, he makes a list of interesting ideas and researches the subject if required, if that then feels right to him, that’s what he’ll paint. Stacey struggles to stay engaged if the subject isn’t interesting to him, he doesn’t know who his style compares to if anyone at all and isn’t searching for a style, he paints how he likes and the style can change, but he does take great interest in many well-known artists and enjoys the experience of a wide range of styles and expressions.
Stacey has now become a member of the Isle of Bute Artists Collective, which holds an artist's studio trail every July where residents and visitors to the Isle of Bute can meet local artists in their studios and holds craft fairs throughout the year. 2023 is the first year Stacey's studio will be open to the public on the artists trail, something that Mr Harding has aspired to since even before the move to the Isle of Bute.