George Best a football icon

George Best
George Best football icon

Where do you start with your memories of George Best a football icon? The first time I saw him play he scored 6 goals against Northampton! The greatest player I ever saw play in the flesh and worthy of an oil painting portrait. I’ve painted a few well known icons http://www.cordellgarfield.com/gallery/portraits/ and Bestie remains one of the most enjoyable.

On the 7th of February 1970 I stood on the duckboards of the cricket pitch side on Northampton Town’s old County Ground.  It was the 5th Round of the FA Cup and Manchester United were playing my home town side Northampton. Because it was Manchester United, and because it was football icon George Best playing, it was televised, and the game was a sell-0ut. I even saw myself in my duffle coat on the football highlights programme ‘Star Soccer’ the next day!  The pitch was a mud-bath, a heavy gluepot, which was typical for that time of the year. Bestie glided over the pitch, scored with two headers, with his sixth goal rounded off by walking the ball round the hapless Northampton’s goalkeeper Kim Book.  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=northampton+town+v+manchester+united+1970&docid=608047901096478366&mid=726C3B13A2AE706270ED726C3B13A2AE706270ED&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

That day his skill, balance and speed was the thing that stayed with me. When I watched him on telly it was obvious to me he was the world’s best footballer of the time. Unlike many of today’s modern footballers he didn’t play on bowling greens. He played at a time when defenders took the man first in challenges with the ball being an afterthought. There was no protection for the more skilful players that there is in today’s game.

Fast forward to September 1971 and my first visit to Old Trafford Manchester United’s ground, to watch them play West Ham United, graced by English football royalty at the time. Best, Law, Charlton (the Holy Trinity at Man Utd) and Moore, Hurst, Brooking and even Harry Redknapp for West Ham! Bestie scored a hat-trick, full of guile, skill and athleticism.

Nine goals in two games! Immediately I joined the George Best fan club (run by somebody from a terraced house in Huddersfield I think!). To quote the Fast Show’s Ron Manager “Small boys in the park? Jumpers for goalposts”, I was one of them, clumsily recreating the Best magic on muddy parks. It was phenomenal, pure celebrity, ‘E for B and Georgie Best’ (for those that remember the advertising), the restaurants, the boutiques and model girlfriends. We all got caught up in his career, there had been nothing like it in English football.

From his debut for Manchester United in 1963 to his last game in 1974 his star burned bright for that short window. Admittedly, towards the end, in a declining side, his performances tailed off, he wasn’t the talisman of earlier years. With hindsight we know some of the reasons behind it now. Alcoholism which for many was seen as the ‘Celtic Flaw’ played a big part in his downfall. But for those glory years at his peak, before the decline, he transformed football for you and me.

Portrait painting workshop at Yardley Arts

I recently hosted another portrait painting in oils workshop at the Yardley Arts Centre. This was another enjoyable experience in difficult times with the Covid pandemic. Social distancing was maintained throughout, and with some hard working and enthusiastic students some great portraits were produced.

The Cordell Garfield Portrait Painting Workshop

As with my other portrait workshops http://www.cordellgarfield.com/workshops/  the portrait painting in oils workshop set out to really help beginners and the more experienced. Above all portrait painting and its anatomy are difficult to master and I tried to simplify the process. We approached the portrait painting through understanding the landmarks of the face. This could be the position of the eyes, distances between the eyes, nose and mouth and so on. We also worked on the use of tone and value in a monochrome palette to produce portraits from a photograph. I gave a series of demonstrations to guide students through the process. Here are some examples of the work produced:

 

Portrait painting workshop Yardley Arts
Yardley Arts portrait painting workshop

Yardley Arts Portrait painting workshop
Salvador Dali portrait

Yardley Arts Portrait painting workshop
Portrait at Yardley Arts

Yardley Arts

I also want to give a big shout out to Yardley Arts. Yardley Arts is a not-for-profit arts organisation that is really placing a focus on the arts in Northamptonshire. The spacious and light-filled centre is based at Yardley Hastings. Its range of courses covers drawing, painting, sculpture, jewellery and photography. There is even an animation workshop! Moreover, there is something for everybody with previous experience not necessary on many workshops. It’s not been easy in the current climate, but the centre has continued to keep running within the new pandemic guidelines.

I will be running another workshop at the centre again in 2021, but I would recommend checking out other courses. The courses are all run by experienced artists who will help improve your skills whatever your ability. Have a look at their web site https://www.yardleyarts.org/about

New Studio Space for artist Cordell Garfield

Cordell Garfield Art Studio
Studio shot

Cordell Garfield Art Studio
Art studio Northampton

Cordell Garfield Art Studio
Art studio

New studio space for artist Cordell Garfield! As an artist it’s great to be in my new studio space with the move of the NN Contemporary Art site http://www.nncontemporaryart.org/spaces/. The new central museum next door, opens on 20th June 2020, and my new artistic space is ideally located for me.

Above all the larger new space displays my artwork in a way I haven’t been able to before. This link shows a selection of my portraits, some of which I can now show in the flesh! http://www.cordellgarfield.com/gallery/portraits/

I intend to use this new studio space not only creatively, but also for the Open Studios in September. Keep your eye on developments as I will be selling some of my work in the Open Studios. As always there will be a range of portraits, but also some of my landscapes as well.

Portrait painting in oils workshop at Yardley Arts

I recently hosted another portrait painting in oils workshop at the Yardley Arts Centre. This was another enjoyable experience with some enthusiastic and willing students and some great results.

In the same vein as my other portrait workshops http://www.cordellgarfield.com/workshops/  the portrait painting in oils workshop set out to really help beginners. Above all portrait painting and its anatomy are difficult to master and I tried to simplify the process. We approached the portrait painting through understanding the landmarks of the face. This could be the position of the eyes, distances between the eyes, nose and mouth and so on. We also worked on some colour theory and using a limited colour palette to produce a variety of flesh tones. Here are some examples of the work produced:

portrait painting in oils workshop yardley arts

portrait painting in oils workshop yardley arts

portrait painting in oils workshop yardley arts

portrait painting in oils workshop yardley arts

 

I also want to give a big shout out to Yardley Arts. Yardley Arts is a not-for-profit arts organisation that is really placing a focus on the arts in Northamptonshire. The spacious and light-filled centre is based at Yardley Hastings. Its range of courses covers drawing, painting, sculpture, jewellery and photography. There is even an animation workshop! Moreover, there is something for everybody with previous experience not necessary on many workshops.

I will be running another workshop at the centre in the future, but I would recommend checking out other courses. The courses are all run by experienced artists who will help improve your skills whatever your ability. Have a look at their web site https://www.yardleyarts.org/about

 

 

Alderton Art Festival 2019

It’s no secret that I’ve always been a strong supporter of local art events in Northamptonshire. As a result I will be showing my work in the 43rd Alderton Art Festival. The festival held over Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September as always will host an exhibition and sale of paintings. Furthermore, there are also craft stalls, beer tent and musical entertainment.

Alderton Arts Festival
Alderton Art Festival logo

Set in the picturesque village of Alderton, South Northamptonshire, the festival will feature many high quality local artists. Above all this is a festival that is well supported with something for all art lovers. I will have some original paintings and prints on show for sale. Therefore, for Northamptonshire art lovers the festival is well worth a visit. So come along and have a look.

http://www.aldertonartfestival.co.uk/art_festival.php

https://www.facebook.com/AldertonArtFestival/

Art Fairs – the way forward to buying art?

Abington Park Museum Christmas

A shout out to Northants’ art outlets

 

Yardley Arts Portrait Painting workshop

I recently hosted and run an introduction to portrait painting in oils workshop at the Yardley Arts Centre. This was an enjoyable experience with some enthusiastic and willing students and some great results.

Cordell Garfield Portrait painting workshop student work Yardley Arts
Portrait painting workshop Yardley Arts

My own portrait painting in oils workshop was successful but I wanted to give a big shout out to Yardley Arts. Yardley Arts is a not-for-profit arts organisation that is really placing a focus on the arts in Northamptonshire. The spacious and light-filled centre is based at Yardley Hastings. Its range of courses covers drawing, painting, sculpture, jewellery and photography. There is even an animation workshop! Moreover, there is something for everybody with previous experience not necessary on many workshops.

I will be lucky to be running another workshop at the centre in the future, but I would recommend checking out other courses. The courses are all run by experienced artists who will help improve your skills whatever your ability. Have a look at their web site https://www.yardleyarts.org/about

Talented Art Fair 2019

Painting portrait of woman in bar
Where were you?

The Talented Art Fair #talentedartfair2019 is one of the most successful independent art fairs in London.  This fair has quickly established itself as a platform for emerging and established artists to sell their work. Above all, it is a fair offering affordable work for the general buying public.

For me it is an opportunity to engage and make a connection with art lovers and buyers. Being involved with like-minded artists in a well organised and friendly event is a great way to do this. What better way to display your artwork than in such an environment. For example, in a previous blog post you can read my thoughts on the growing importance of fairs. http://www.cordellgarfield.com/2018/09/25/art-fairs-the-way-forward-to-buying-art/

I will be showing a series of portraits and figurative work, some of which will be musical icons at the Talented Art Fair. Furthermore all of my artwork will be on sale. The fair runs from Friday 1st March to Sunday 3rd March. Hope you can get along to have a look.

https://www.talentedartfair.com/

Lou Reed: New York musician oil painting portrait

Lou Reed 1970s
Lou Reed portrait

My latest oil painting portrait, and this time it’s Lou Reed, New York musician and founder member of the legendary Velvet Underground. Best known in the UK for ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaWSOlASWc and the BBC charity single ‘Perfect Day’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYEC4TZsy-Y. Lou Reed was a big influence on Bowie as well as a few of the bands who came out of the 70s punk explosion. . He had a track record of drugs and alcohol abuse although cleaned himself up in later years. Irascible and an absolute pain for rock journalists, Lou sung a lot about New York and its misfits. His songs touched on no go subjects junkies, transvestites, rent boys, bisexuality and were often no holds barred and provocative.

I chose this image which was probably around 1974 as it sums up Reed at his peak. This was on the back of his success with ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ in 1972. This was the Glam Rock period and Lou was all shades and leathers. He didn’t quite fit in with his British contemporaries (think Sweet, Slade, Glitter Band etc), being more street and savvy. Bowie (obviously), Roxy Music and Iggy Pop http://www.cordellgarfield.com/2018/08/21/iggy-pop-and-the-stooges-raw-power-1972-acrylic-painting/ were the closest to him in spirit at this time.

I really enjoyed painting this one, and it’s only a small oil painting (12 x 10). The pose is great, not sure if the two fingers were a deliberate set up but it works and fits Reed’s punk image. It really is a picture of its time, not long before punk/new wave hit the streets. For the painting aficionados out there I worked quickly, alla prima with a fairly limited palette.

Top Lou Reed song? Difficult to choose but here are some links to a small selection of some more well known tracks:

Sweet Jane – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHxLawJONeQ

Pale Blue Eyes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisHhIRihMY

Vicious – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM9JG-oQm1Y

 

 

Northampton Town & County Art Society’s latest annual exhibition

Northampton Town & County Art Society Winter Exhibition Dec 18
Abington Park Museum Show Dec 18

The Northampton Town & County Art Society is holding it’s latest annual exhibition at the Abington Park Musuem. Set up in 1913 this long standing art society continues to exhibit regularly. Our members and associates continue to produce high quality artwork, making the Society the county’s premier art group.

With the closure of the Northampton Central Museum for refurbishment, the Society has been very busy. The Alfred East Gallery (https://www.kettering.gov.uk/gallery), The Castle (https://www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/castle-theatre) and The Storehouse Gallery (http://www.storehousegallery.com/) have all been exhibiting venues for the Society in the past year. As a Society we have been active, reflected in numerous sales at our exhibitions, particularly the Summer Show at the The Storehouse Gallery.

I’ve exhibited some of my work at these shows http://www.cordellgarfield.com/gallery/landscapes/, and I would recommend a visit to a Society show. A range of the county’s diverse artwork is always on show at the Society’s exhibitions. For instance, you will find original paintings, drawings, printed media or sculptures all produced by society members.

The Abington Park Museum exhibition runs until 20th January 2019. Opening hours are normally 12pm to 4pm and admission is free. You will need to check with the museum for opening days over the Christmas Holiday period (https://www.facebook.com/AbingtonMuseum/).

My visit to the BP Portrait Award exhibition

BP Portrait award Zack Zdrale
BP Portrait Award – Sister – Zack Zdrale

I made my annual visit to the National Portrait Gallery to see the BP Portrait Award exhibition 2018, sandwiched between watching England’s surprising progress at the World Cup!

One of the most prestigious portrait painting competitions, the BP Portrait Award has been running since 1980. There’s usually a mix of professional and student artists. So I just thought I’d put in a word for an inspiring exhibition and praise the art of the portrait.

The BP Award is where I go for inspiration and to marvel at the technical skills of the artists involved. I always find portraits that interest me every time I visit. Whether it’s photo realistic painting, paintings with some great inner psychology or simply colour, it’s all here.

So this time I saw great examples of photo realistic painting and some brilliant compositions. It’s not simply about a likeness, but also a mood or feel. Also I love the attention to surroundings and the depiction of props and clothing.

Looking round the exhibition I was drawn to this small portrait entitled ‘Sister’ by American artist Zack Zdrale http://zackzdrale.com/. Why was this? On first viewing it looked a little imposing and the model, Zack’s sister, a little stern with her intense gaze at the viewer. In his commentary Zack stressed that it was his sister’s expression of strength that dictated his painting. May be that’s why my first reaction was how imposing the pose seemed?

However, I think my reaction to the portrait chimed with what Zack set out to achieve. The slashes of light that hit the face and lower part of the neck immediately caught my eye. The strong triangular composition and use of chiaroscuro links in with the strength of the sitter’s gaze. Using a limited palette and with huge swathes of dark paint, my eye was directed to the boldly lit face.

This is just one of 48 paintings on show at the exhibition. You can look at the other paintings on the National Portrait Gallery’s website https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/bp-portrait-award-2018/exhibition/exhibitors/. However, I would seriously recommend a visit when you’re next in London. The exhibition runs until 23rd September.