Evening Express “Change of career path was stroke of genius for artist Nicole Porter” by Colin Armstrong

For one local artist, opening her own gallery proved to be a stroke of genius.
As she gets set to mark the fifth anniversary of launching her business this year, Aberdeen artist Nicole Porter said she is grateful she decided on a change of direction when planning her future career.
“I was originally going to do law, I was all set and I had my place and then I applied to art school, chancing it. I was accepted and that was me,” Nicole said.
“Law was quite a structured and clear career path. With art school you never really know where it will lead to. I didn’t really think too much about it, I had a passion for it, I just wanted to paint.”
After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design with a first in Fine Art, Nicole travelled to Norway, Paris and New York to gain experience working with international artists and companies.
Returning home to the North-east in 2010 Nicole decide to open The Nicole Porter Gallery on the city’s King Street. “I’m quite a believer in fate and I just happened to be passing by the space at the time and saw the sign up and I thought this place is for me,” she said. “It was a bold move. Creating paintings is one thing but being able to run a successful business Is another thing altogether.”
Spending her days meeting clients, painting commissioned portraits and attending events, there’s one aspect of her role that Nicole enjoys most of all. “My favourite part of my job, it sounds quite strange but it’s actually making people cry,” she said. “If you unveil a painting to someone, say a portrait, and they haven’t seen it throughout the process – when you unveil it, it’s a special moment and lots of clients are moved to tears. To get that emotion it is just the best feeling, knowing that your work has touched someone in that way.”
Offering advice to aspiring artists, Nicole said, “It’s a difficult path but if you feel in you gut you can’t do anything else you just have to go for it. Make the most of every opportunity, there isn’t a clear path – you have to make your own.”

Press and Journal “Artist Draws On Experience To Judge Youth Competition” by Chris Jaffray

An award-winning north-east artist is helping to foster the next generation of talent.

Nicole Porter has agreed to judge a drawing competition open to all schools across the region.

It will include pupils from primary five to sixth year of secondary school.

The 100 best entries will be displayed at the Haddo Arts Festival in October next year when a winner will be selected from each age group.

The competition is being run through the David and June Gordon Memorial Trust, a group committed to arts, community and youth organisations in the north-east of Scotland.

Ms Porter, who grew up in Ellon, said she was thrilled to be taking part.

“I believe that drawing is the key to all creativity as it provides a tool to work through ideas and develop an artistic ability,” she said.

“I as delighted to have the chance to inspire others in something I am so passionate about. A lot of youngsters get in touch to say that they wish they could draw like me, so I see this as a great opportunity to encourage them to pick up a pencil and start drawing.”

Ms Porter, who had a portrait of the Queen accepted into the royal collection at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, is also opening a new exhibition of her own work on December 5 in her gallery on King Street, Aberdeen.  Youngsters taking part in the competition who are looking for inspiration are encouraged to come along.

Express and Star “Couple’s Wedding Day Is Just Picture Perfect” by Tim Spiers

A former member of the RAF from Walsall was over the moon when his bride revealed a touching personal portrait of the couple at their wedding.
Gareth Williams was left speechless after his partner, Scottish artist Nicole Porter, unveiled the picture.
She started working on the painting shortly after the pair got engaged and hid it away until finally showing it to him at their ceremony. The 29-year-old groom posed for the painting but had no idea what it would look like when completed.
He said he was left speechless as it was revealed to him after the moving ceremony in Banchory, Aberdeenshire on Monday earlier this week. Mr Williams added: “It was so emotional to see it. I know how much effort and love she has put into it. For me to just have that 30 seconds of seeing it for the first time for all those moths she has been working on it was incredible. It is such a treasure and a memory that I will take forever.
Nicole, aged 28, artist and owner of The Nicole Porter Gallery in Aberdeen, said she will continue to add details to the portrait as their marriage progresses.
She said: “The concept is that it will never be finished. That is our life together and we will add to it.”
The couple are depicted in the clothes they wore on their first date in January last year, along with the ring bearer at their wedding, their dog Kaja.

Deeside Piper “And the bride wore… a rather unusual veil” by Anna Dove

The dress was not the focus of the big day at a local artist’s wedding after she unveiled a handmade headpiece at the Deeside ceremony.
Aberdeen artist Nicole Porter surprised guests when she married Gareth Williams at the Falls of Feugh Restaurant last week.
Heads turned towards the bride, with all eyes on her very different take on the traditional veil, designed by Perth milliner, Jeanette at Hat in the Cat.
After tying the knot, Nicole went on to unveil a portrait of herself and her new husband Gareth, which was intended to immortalise the couple on canvas forever.
Speaking before the wedding, Nicole said: “We’ve not booked a wedding photographer to capture a snapshot of one day. As an alternative to wedding photos, we will have a wedding portrait.
“Like all my work, the longer the viewer spends looking at it, they will discover through their visual journey of discovery all the symbols that represent aspects of our relationship.”
The inspiration for the Porter Williams ceremony was that Nicole didn’t want a wedding. She wanted a marriage.
The happy couple embarked on their honeymoon after the very different day, which also involved an ice-cream cake personalised by Nicole.

STV News Wedding Feature

The STV News feature on Monday 28th of July Anne Smith, on the unveiling of my “A Hand To Hold” wedding portrait  can be viewed by clicking here.

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