By Karen Carruth

You may look around you and see all the things on your farm that need done, but from an artist’s point of view, your farm can be a snapshot of a busy life, a business in action, caught in a moment of exquisite light.
Charlie Roy is an artist living in the rural landscapes of Huntly, in the north east of Scotland, who has spent 30 years painting anything that inspires him, and lately while cycling around his rural home, he has caught quite a few of the local farms bathed in an evening sunset that has had him thinking that it would make a terrific composition.
He started painting farmscapes, as he calls them, on commission, and really enjoys the challenge of capturing all the detail that a farm and the surrounding flotsam and jetsom that farms collect.
Charlie is mostly a commission artist, at the moment he is working on portraits and he has had a few pet commissions of late. Looking at his back catalogue, he has a particular talent for capturing horses, his facebook page shows a terrific Clydesdale horse pulling a cart which is so realistic you could mistake it for a photograph.
“Most of my work is photorealistic I suppose,” says Charlie, “I like working on the detail, however it all depends on what it is I’m painting, sometimes they are a bit looser when it is called for.”
Even though he has worked with watercolour and oils in the past, he has settled on using acrylic, favoured for its quick drying which lets him get on with his work.
Up until late last year Charlie was working from a studio he had built up over the nine years in his home, but a massive fire wiped out everything in both his home and his studio, including all the commissions he has ready for Christmas.
“It was pretty devastating, the family literally got out the house with the clothes we were standing in,” this year has been about trying to finish building his house and to work on commissions when the weather isn’t good enough to get outside and carry on with the building work.
“At the moment my family and I are living in a static caravan, but we are close to getting back into the house,” he says, remarkably cheerily despite all that he has lost in the past year.
“It’s a great way of getting rid of all the clutter in your life,” he laughs, but maybe quite a drastic step just to clear out the years of stuff that we all build up.
He lost a lot of negatives collected from his hobby as a photographer as well as all the family photographs, and he continues to remember things that the family loved, but that have now gone. However, he does seem to be a cup half full type of person and he is working toward spending more time on his art business, that he has been enjoying for the last 30 years, after the house is finished.
At the moment, he is working from a room in his local town of Huntly, and it’s from there that he talks about his love of doing commissions.
“Lots of artists find commissions a bit of a bind, though they are a business essential. I love doing them. You never know what you are going to get and it continues to stretch me to work on a whole range of different subjects.”
He continues: “I did a few farmscapes and as it goes with farmers who all seem to know each other, I got quite a lot of business through word of mouth, which was terrific. I’ve not had one for a while, and I was just thinking it was about time that I tackled another one.”
The process is that he will come out to the farm and take, he says, a million photos. He has been working locally in the Turriff area, but is happy to travel further afield. He will then send a basic composition drawing and let the client see it before going ahead and finishing it.
Having a painting of your farm is a wonderful way of tracking the farm through the ages, farms are ever changing and it gives a glimpse of the farm in time. It’s sure to be an heirloom that is passed down through generations. It would also make a truly personal gift, to give a painting of a business that generations of family have invested so much in.
If you would like to talk to Charlie about a commission (on any subject) you can contact him on email at, or phone him on 01464 871022. Prices for a farmscape, size is approx. 30 inches by 20 inches, start from £500.

To keep up to date with Charlie's latest work follow him on facebook at