Paul Corfield is an artist I have discovered through a local art gallery, The Original Art Shop and immediately liked his style of landscape painting. It is very hard to pinpoint what exactly I like in his work – the composition, lines and curves, shapes, colour, perspective or illusion of texture because all work together to form a whole image that appeals both on a visual level and also an emotional.
The following biographical information I have discovered is from a combination of two art galleries and taken from Paul’s own words on his life and how he works.
Paul Corfield was born in Bournemouth in 1970 and originally wanted to apply for art college with a view to becoming a technical illustrator but life took a different turn and instead he worked at an engineering firm for over 13 years whilst painting in the evenings.
After a particularly traumatic period in which his wife was seriously ill after the birth of their first child he did not expect to ever achieve his dreams of becoming an artist but life has a funny way of working and he was subsequently offered voluntary redundancy. The plan was to use the money to live for a year and paint – Paul’s original style was one of realism in highly detailed works and he classifies those paintings as contemporary realism or photorealism. The gamble of that year was paying off as for the next 3 years that realism was his style and his success was both in the UK and America. However during this same period he was also trying a new idea which he kept playing with for over a year – the idea eventually developed into the landscapes that is his style today – after sending his ideas to Washington Green (gallery) they saw what he himself did in the style of brushstrokes and creativity of his imagination.
Paul is lucky enough to live in Poole, Dorset and so has the opportunity to be able to paint landscape and seascapes – both in that area of England are very beautiful and he is also able to share his love for both with his two children and his wife who happily recovered.
The way Paul works is very much dividing his days up into sketching or painting days with neither overlapping – sketching days involves apparently headphones with favourite music in and if he is not inspired he changes the music and this I can relate to as more and more I prefer to have our stereo on when sketching or working on textiles. Paul will work on his sketches until he is happy and the end results are usually fairly complete so he can project them onto the canvas in readiness for painting. Paul states in his biography that projecting the sketch directly onto the canvas enables him to copy all the lines of his sketch accurately without loosing the feeling the sketch had originally and this does make complete sense to me. The canvas Paul uses is a French linen which I personally have not yet come across. The first stage is to paint the white canvas in a red/brown wash which he finds is a good colour to paint on and from then he builds the work up in layers of oil paint using a very limited range of colours – reds, yellows, blue and white so very much a primary scheme which I have seen other artists use to great effect. Before the painting starts Paul has no set ideas on a colour scheme and he lets this happen intuitively as the painting develops. Paul states that initially the colours go on roughly and then he rubs colour off and blends them with rags – apparently this is for the first about 4 or 5 layers. Paul is not someone who endlessly fiddles with his works as once he feels a piece is finished he signs it and ends the work – something I admire as I realise I am potentially a ‘fiddler’ in my own work never quite being satisfied something is finished and need to learn to step away at the right point. As a rule Paul now works on two paintings simultaneously with each taking between 4 and 7 days depending on how much time he can put in each day in his small 7 x 5 foot studio in his garage. Paul is not an artist who has a large purpose-built studio but rather somewhere that is sectioned off with the other end of the garage being for his gym which he uses for gymnastic exercise and at this point I can honestly say this artist has gone even further up in my estimation as I am a life-long lover of the sport albeit one who has arthritis in her knees due to an accident vaulting over a pommel horse aged 13!).
At the time of writing I do not have permission to post photographs of any of Paul’s works but I will be printing some images off for inspiration to go in my theme book but his works can be seen on the following website: http://www.theoriginalartshop.net/artist/paul-corfield/373
As I state above I have become a huge lover of Paul’s works and combined with Clarice Cliff find him inspiring my sketches and work for my final project. I love the shapes and the colour schemes of both artists – one harks back to the Art Deco era and Paul is very much a painter of my own era. I find his use of colour intriguing and also his way of working with no set ideas of colour schemes before he picks up his paint brushes – the sketches are in graphite pencil only. I am finding that I like working from sketches and ideally prefer to let my ideas develop once I am working in paint or yarn although a point of view of showing a tutor or assessor my ideas I appreciate the requirement to either add colour or colour notes in some way – this way of working intuitively is also very much in keeping with the period of art that I have literally just read for my History of Art in particularly the works of Kandinsky or Picasso.
My fiance also is a great admirer of Paul’s works due to the curves and lines of his landscapes – everything flows in harmony with nothing jarring that breaks the continous flow of colour and gentle form. It feels there is no containment in the works with an illusion of scale and perspective in a set space – the paintings seem to expand beyond the boundaries of the canvas.
As I work on my final sketches I am ever more intrigued by Paul’s works and his use of his imagination to create scenes that are so tranquil and peaceful and speak of the beauty of our English countryside.
Evergreen Art Cafe (date unknown). Paul Corfield [online]. [Date Accessed: 26 October 2016. Available from: http://www.evergreenartcafe.co.uk/art/profile/paul-corfield/
Original Art Shop. 2016. Artwork by Paul Corfield [online]. [Date Accessed: 26 October 2016. Available from: http://www.theoriginalartshop.net/artist/paul-corfield/373
Riverside Gallery. 2016. Paul Corfield’s Biography [online]. [Date Accessed: 26 October 2016. Available from: http://www.theriversidegallery.co.uk/biography.asp?aid=190
Washington Green Fine Art. 2016. Paul Corfield [online]. [Date Accessed: 26 October 2016]. Available from:http://www.washingtongreen.co.uk/artists/paul_corfield/profile.asp