Artist of the week: David Hockney

David Hockney (British, b.1937) is a painter, photographer, and set designer, first associated with the Pop Art movement, and later renowned for his intimate portraits and naturalistic scenes of both the everyday and the artificial of California life. Hockney was born in Bradford, England, and studied at the Bradford School of Art, exhibiting an extraordinary aptitude for draftsmanship. He later attended the London Royal College of Art, where he met fellow student R.B. Kitaj (1932–2007), who strongly influenced him and inspired Hockney to infuse the personally expressive into his works.

Hockney’s first works included common and commercial images, such as boxes of tea, which caused his early inclusion with the Pop Art movement. Hockney also favored a mix of literature and scandalous subject matter in his early work, including pieces on homosexuality inspired by Walt Whitman poems created in the Art Brut style of Jean Dubuffet. His mature work often draws on photographs, particularly after visiting California regularly in the 1960s, where he created naturalistic paintings with a flat, serene appearance, including his famous Swimming Pools series. He works in many mediums, including set design and photography. Hockney has held major retrospectives at the Royal College of Art in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He currently lives and works in California.



Celia Observing (not in Scottish Arts Coucil or Tokyo), 1976, etching (ed. of 60), 90.2 x 74.9 cm.




Table Flowable, 1991, colour lithograph (ed.44/500), 111.8 x 144.8 cm.


Text and images:

I am not aphotographer, but…

I was downstairs checking on my cat and dog, the weather is cold, winds are extreme and the rain constant. While standing under my balcony with my cat I responded to a friends text with an image of what I was doing. At first the image didn’t seem too significant at first, but upon later review I found the composition intriguing, and the contrast between warm and cool interesting and the dimmed light was just right.

I am not a photographer, but…


New works, new series.

I have recently embarked upon a new series of small abstract/semi-representational compositions in oil paint. Using different palette knives I am creating works that are responding to the world around me; places, people, landscapes, objects, the seasons etc. These works are meant to go alongside my most recent works on paper. Working in acrylic, ink, oil pastel and charcoal on paper differs from working with oil paint only so much. My work is about the gesture, the energy and movement. It’s about recounting a particular experience; embedding my thoughts, feelings and emotions into the work with expressive, but controlled movements of the palette knife, brushes, charcoal, oil sticks etc. These latest works are my way of pushing my current work into different paths, seeking out the potential of different results. The images below are only progress shots, as the works may change; some more dramatically than others. I will aim to make another post about these particular works once I have more completed works. I should also mention the format I am working in and the reasoning behind it. The format is square, 31 x 31cm. One of the main reasons behind working in this format is because I found some ready made frames that would suit this size of canvas. Also the square format forces me to approach painting in a different way, everything has to be considered, every mark and every gesture must be thought through, not to say that I don’t do this with other works in different formats, it’s just that the square format is forgiving in some way and ruthless in others. Well enough jibber jabber from me, I hope that you enjoy the images below.