I managed to just scrape in and see David Hockney’s work at the Royal Academy of Arts before the exhibition closed. I won’t pretend I know what I’m talking about on any professional level, but I did like the bigness and the colours and the fact that he has managed to grab so many people. Lots of people sat looking at his ipad work while having a go themselves on their own ipads…. young and not so young alike. That was nice to see.
And yesterday I made it to Saltaire to see the Hockney exhibition at Salts Mill. It’s called 25 Trees, though most of it is made up of portraits of family and friends. I preferred the landscapes and trees at the Royal Academy. However, there was a very good DVD playing at Salts Mill that showed how the large landscapes were painted. Hockney does actually stand in the middle of the countryside and paint. And the 6 canvas pictures – well, those 6 canvases are set up side by side, on easels that are positioned on top of the dirt and leaves, in front of the trees and paths and plants. He paints fast because it’s cold. Hockney does go on to add colour and general Hockneyness to his work in his studio, but the actual recording of the scene is done in situ. Amazing. Oh to be driving in the Yorkshire countryside and see David Hockney filling his massive canvases by the side of the road.