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News > Profiles of Old Berkhamstedians > George Groves

George Groves

George Groves (2017)
George Groves (2017)

An Old Berkhamstedian since 2017, portrait artist George Groves has loved painting for as long as he can remember. “It sounds stereotypical, but I have painted since childhood,” he says. Studying Art and Design during his time at Berkhamsted under the careful guidance of Mrs Ferguson, George honed his remarkable talent within our school walls. Upon leaving Berkhamsted, George was focused on his full-time role at a Marketing and Design Agency and stopped painting for a few years until the COVID-19 pandemic gave him enough free time to rediscover his passion. Since then, George turned his hobby of painting oil portraits into a career and has boasted A-list sitters in his studio from Idris Elba OBE to Billy Billingham MBE.

Painting portraits for so many huge names made it tough for George to decide on the highlight of his career, but having his work debuted at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville is a particularly fond memory, “once I saw my work displayed there, I felt like I was on the right track”, he says.

Through his art, George aims to tell a story; to capture the essence of the remarkable people he paints. In one of the proudest moments in his career, Groves painted a portrait of Mark Ormrod MBE, a veteran and triple amputee. “Through the portrait of Mark, I wanted to tell his incredible story and after learning about his experience at the sitting, I was motivated to show his resilience through the art”.

Despite leaving Berkhamsted in 2017, George never forgot our school’s value of serving others. He recently partnered with Gregory Porter, Cheltenham Festivals, and Attivo to raise money for the Relaxed Concert for Schools, a musical programme designed for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. George’s portrait of Gregory Porter will be auctioned to raise money for this important cause.

Looking ahead, George hopes to show his work in London and to tell the stories of even more remarkable people through his art.

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