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.