David Hockney, iPad drawing

1 June 2015 - written by Andy Maitland

Hockney lessons

'I went to art school but importantly, I went to Hockney'.

I’ve not actually met Mr Hockney (I would like to) but since 2012 I’ve spent a lot of time looking at and enjoying his pictures (his landscapes in particular). I look at his pictures almost daily. I’ve visited his exhibitions (usually twice) to see his works first hand and I own several of his books. Yes, I’m studying his pictures but it’s more than that, I’m studying Hockney (I call him my silent mentor). I find it thrilling to see his work, the economy of marks, lightness of touch, the extraordinary colours, the complexity of subject distilled and simplified, AND then some. Joy. I’m inspired. I want to learn all that I can from Mr Hockney.

By studying Hockney and enjoying his work I’m learning to look. I think there is something to be said of those who show you how to look - to see things - differently. Mr Hockney is one of these people. In my view good teaching is not instruction but a demonstration of someone's view of life. You teach a way of perceiving the world. Hockney has changed the way I look. For me this is thrilling. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Mr Hockney but if I could I’d ask the following painfully edited questions):

How have you learnt to look?
How have you developed your craft?
If you were formally teaching today what would be important to you? What is your most valuable life lesson and could I ask why?

Those would be my openers. And I’d be boldly curious if I were to actually meet the man. Slurp. Coffee break over, back to looking, and drawing.

This month you can view Mr Hockney’s charcoal and iPad drawings at:
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen.
Galerie Lelong, Paris.
Pace, Beijing.

Related Post: Hockney's Woldgate woods >

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