Scottish artist Stephen Shankland has been commissioned by one of golf’s most prestigious magazines, ‘Kingdom’, to paint the legendary Arnold Palmer for the front cover of its winter edition.
An award-winning figurative artist, Shankland caught the eye of Kingdom’s publishers, TMC USA, following his first foray into golf art earlier this year when he produced a series of landscape paintings depicting some of Scotland’s most renowned golf courses.
“This issue of Kingdom reviews some of the many special celebrations and accolades bestowed upon Mr Palmer in honour of the King’s 80th birthday and we wanted to mark this momentous occasion with a front cover would give the magazine special gravitas and a commemorative feel,” commented John Halnan of TMC USA.
“We decided that a painted portrait of Mr Palmer would give us the feel we were looking for and perceived Stephen as the perfect choice to portray him given his tremendous talent for producing breathtaking portraits backed up by his association and involvement in golf art.”
In the main, Kingdom is exclusively gifted to existing and new members at over 200 Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses across the United States such as the Bay Hill Golf Club and Sawgrass Golf Club and at a number of Palmer-associated events. The magazine is also available at selected premier resorts, Palmer affiliates and on subscription and contains editorial of the highest calibre written by some of the best known names in golf journalism, covering just about every aspect of the game.
This commission marks the second time Stephen has been called upon to paint a professional golfer. In 2006 the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club employed him to depict the then US Amateur Golf Champion, Richie Ramsey. It was during the sittings for this portrait that Shankland’s interest in golf course landscapes was ignited and he realised that golf courses have infinite potential for abstraction using figures and landscapes together.
Since then he has focused his artistic attention on three of his homeland’s most recognised golf courses; the iconic Old Course in St Andrews, Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, the sixth oldest club in the world and home to the 2011 Walker Cup and Turnberry, host to the 2009 Open Championship.
“I am extremely honoured to have been asked to produce a portrait of Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers ever, given the relatively short time that I have been involved in the world of golf art,” comments Stephen. “It is my new passion and I am looking forward to adding to my collection of golfing scenes and bringing to life in paint the interaction between the landscape and players.
“I paint my golfers with great attention to detail in order to give the viewer a real sense of the game in action and their emotional experience that in turn plays off against the expressive or impressionistic style which I utilize to paint the landscape.”
The result is an energetic and vibrant look at the game that gives a modern take on golfing action that has rarely been seen in golf art in the past.
Shankland is currently looking to extend his golf portfolio by painting Carnoustie, Royal Troon and Muirfield golf courses and then to travel to the US to capture some of America’s most revered courses.
Stephen Shankland’s golf art www.auldkirk.com