Monday, April 9, 2012

Inspired by David Hockney.

This is a self-portrait by David Hockney, a mentor to me (he doesn't know it) and in my opinion one of the great innovators of our time.

Hockney has inspired me on so many levels over the years. He is prolific, creative, always exploring new mediums, and much too busy doing his art to be concerned about his critics.

After living in LA for many years, Hockney has returned to his roots, in Yorkshire, England.
I recently purchased this facsimile sketchbook of his, from 2004.

It is one of many he fills with dashed off impressions in pencil, pen, and watercolor. For me, a window into how the man thinks and sees. (detail)

A few weeks ago, as I was driving down to teach in South Jersey, I lived dangerously and did this scribble, with the sketchbook in my lap, in an attempt to capture shapes in the misty, early morning landscape.

Later that day I did this double-page watercolor sketch, using the earlier pen scratchings as an aid to capture not a specific place, but my lingering impression of the Jersey landscape.

This past Friday, while visiting my Dad, I could not resist setting up a kitchen chair at the edge of the field that I've now painted and photographed many times.

This watercolor took about forty-five minutes to paint. Spring is in the air, and thanks to Hockney, I'm off and running. 



  1. BRAVO & yahoo!
    Wonderful way to start the Spring.
    Now if you could just do a value study whilst driving...

  2. A wise old artist once said to me; "Kid, remember this,
    one persons thumbnail is another persons...not a thumbnail!"
    It didn't make any sense to me way back then, either.

  3. Once found myself standing right next to David Hockney at a John Singer Sargent show
    at the Whitney.

    Intrigued by his art as well as his theory regarding the use of ocular devices by some old masters.

    Thanks for an inspiring post!

  4. I love coming to your blog and reading about all the art that inspires you (as well as (obviously as well as enjoying your art). This post was no exception!

  5. Thank you PB and Kim.
    Right now blogger's recent updating of their site has mysteriously left me with two
    versions of my blog. Check out facebook for the newer posts.
    Gotta' resolve this somehow...?

  6. LOVELY PICS:) I really want to draw when I watch this..I like your blog, do you have facebook or twitter to follow you by??

    If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  7. Beautiful drawing of Hockney, Bill. You have caught him to a "T". He also has a malicious wit which you would appreciate and the most wonderful Yorkshire accent which all his years in California could not erase. He has to be one of my favourites.

  8. The following is sooo much later than your kind words above, Sheila. I wish that had been a drawing by me of Hockney, but it is one he did looking in a mirror. Love the immediacy of it.
    The man has HUTZPA!

  9. I wanted to post this to Facebook, but you don't have on your page the widget to do so with...