Friday, July 13, 2012

A Hockney fest

 Untitled (work in progress -- almost done)
Acrylic on canvas
12 x 12 inches
Barbara Muir © 2012
I don't know if you like David Hockney's work, but I am a
major fan.  Funds to our wonderful public broadcasting
station CBC have been cut, which means a lot of repeated
programming.  This week the repeats were definitely in my favour
as I heard two interviews with David Hockney
in one week, one with Eleanor Wachtel, and one with Jian

What I loved:

With one interviewer the discussion of scale came up.
Hockney talked about how large scale presented technical
problems.  For instance he is 6 foot, and working on something
12 feet high was double his height.  He talked about how
Monet dug a trench to be able to complete his largest
water lily series.  The interviewer wanted to discuss the
whys of scale, and Hockney the technical challenges.
The largest painting I have worked on to date is 4 feet by
6 feet high.  On an easel, even at the lowest setting the painting
was 7 feet high -- a challenge for a 5'4" woman.  I painted
quite a bit of it standing on a chair.

When Hockney started drawing on his iPhone he sent the
drawings to friends.  He talked about how most items
people get in their emails are requests, and pieces of
information.  So he'd wake up, see a sunrise or a flower
(he likes to have flowers about), and draw that and send it
off.  What he liked most about that was that his friends said
that they enjoyed receiving his little drawings.  Hockney then
switched to the iPad, and had an exhibition in Toronto at
the Royal Ontario Museum of his iPad drawings exhibited
on 40 iPads.

When asked  if he was bothered by how ephemeral digitally
produced images were, Hockney said that everything
is ephemeral.  Nothing lasts.  That didn't worry him, he just
liked recording what he saw.

The artist noted in one conversation that even movies were
reducing the amount of colour on the screen.  He said that
in fact the world is very colourful if you really look at it.
Hockney likes bright colour.  Yay!

Here is a painting I am working on.  I don't in any way
claim to be similar to Hockney, but I do love his work.
I like how Hockney goes forward doing what he likes,
and continuing to innovate as he creates -- not by trying to
be ultra modern, or way out, but by being totally
unique whatever he tries. The irony of course is that by
doing what he likes, he ends up being cutting edge.

Have a being-your-own-artist day.


Linda Popple said...

Always a good post and I love this painting ..... finished or not! :-)

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Linda. I'll finish it tomorrow. I love your work.

XO Barbara

Sheila Vaughan said...

Thanks for the thumbs up for DH. (he lives just over the hills from me). He is a true Yorkshire lad - what you see is definitely what you get. Agree with Linda about the painting. It sparkles with vitality.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sheila,

You Yorkshire lasses and lads sure can paint, and think big. Thanks so much. I'm delighted that you like it. The portraits are amazing.

XO Barbara said...

Love these cropped close ups of food/tablescapes! really nice painting - finished or not. And *love* the notes you posted about Hockney. It's always an inspiration to hear how an artist who's been around the block views their process and art-making. Thanks for sharing!

cohen labelle said...

I love the slice of Spanish onion underneath the grated carrot redolent with Lutein and the cube of ice floating in the tall glass.
It doesn’t surprise me that you’re a Hockney fan but I’d say this piece is a Barbara Muir fest!!! I’d also say put down that brush and pick up your fork and finish that salad!

Love, Marcia

Anonymous said...

Very cool painting, strong and confidant, great colour... i'm looking at it going "mmmm, looks delish" and wondering about what it tasted like, I feel like I'm at the table too. That's really interesting about the Hockney interviews, how did I miss either of them? I listen to CBC often. Great post. Lovin the salads.

Nicki said...

Barbara, I love everything about this post! I adore this painting- the perspective, the colour, the composition, the way you painted that wine glass! Everything! And what a treat to hear the insights you came away with from those interviews. I must read more about DH.

XO Nicki

Melinda said...

What a great post, again, and gorgeous painting too!!

I love your summary of Hockney. Really important points/elements. I do enjoy Hockney. It's an interesting coincidence that one of the workshops for the kids on the Rim was to do a Hockney type project.

Really fabulous work, Barbara. You're on a roll with this series. I'm a fan of Barbara Muir too!

Hugs to you and yours!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Belinda,

Thanks so much. I have been on Hockney's web site and am thinking about where I want to go next. Love your work.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marcia,

You are funny. We had dinner in Hudson, Quebec tonight. The salad was so beautifully arranged like a painting, that I ran out to the car to get the camera, then couldn't find it, and Steven had to shoot the salad with his Blackberry. Funny. Food as object. I did eat it, and it was as delicious as it looked.

Love your drawings.



Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thanks very much. I think you can listen to both interviews on podcasts through the links on my blog.

Talk to you in three weeks I hope.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

What I love about Hockney is how it's so clear what he means when he speaks if you're an artist listening. Scale is a problem, and yet scale transforms everything. I love large scale, but am entranced by small things too. And he said that. Hi iPhone drawings after all were small.

Love your work.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thanks so much. There may be a brief switching up of the series, as we're drawing/;painting on the run right now. But we will see. I must say I am captivated by salad, but also by everything to do with the table. Knives, forks, glasses -- so much hope at the outset of a meal, and so much dreamy contentment, or purpose when it's over.

Love your work.


Marilyn Flanegan said...

Your paintings are pure joy. Color is 'tossed' about masterfully.
: )
Love your take on David Hockney - another great post, Barbara.

SusanA said...

Just stopped by to see what you are up to, and discovered another David Hockney fan!
Your work just gets better and better.

Portrait Artist

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!