David Hockney has unveiled vibrant artwork created on his iPad during isolation at his Normandy home, capturing the turn of the season in all its glory.
The 82-year-old painter, often dubbed Britain’s greatest living artist, plans to spend every spring day painting in the garden with his dog Ruby.
He is under lockdown in northern France, where he has been located since his last exhibition opened, with Ruby and two of his long-standing assistants, JP and Jonathan.
David Hockney, a celebrated British artist, pictured with his dog Ruby while sat outside in his garden in Normandy, northern France, where he plans to spend every day of the season painting. He has unveiled 10 new images created on his iPad during isolation at his home, including one animation, in an attempt to bolster the nation’s spirits amid the coronavirus crisis
One of the paintings, shown above, feature bright yellow daffodils in front of a gloomy, grey mass, reflecting a splash of colour being added to the dark times faced around the globe during the ongoing pandemic. The painting is aptly titled ‘Do Remember They Can’t Cancel the Spring’ – Hockney previously sent the drawing to one of his friends while it was in progress
A winter tree in blossom during the turn of the season with white petals bursting from the branches. The tree is set against a vibrant green and blue background, depicting the grass, bushes and sky. Hockney said: ‘I began drawing the winter trees on a new iPad. Then this virus started…’, adding he went on drawing the trees going into blossom
The celebrated artist released 10 new images, including one animation. Nine of the creations have never been published before.
His brightly-coloured artwork adds a splash of joy to the dark times faced around the world, by reminding us that coronavirus cannot ‘cancel the spring’.
The British print-maker sketched his Normandy home as well as daffodils, flower pots and blossom trees in bloom.
Hockney described the artworks as a ‘great respite’ from the ongoing crisis and revealed why he plans to keep painting every day.
He told the BBC: ‘I began drawing the winter trees on a new iPad. Then this virus started…
‘I went on drawing the winter trees that eventually burst into blossom. This is the stage we are right now.
One of the paintings captures a tree house perched on top of a ladder, entwined amongst tendrils of branches from a winter tree going into blossom, as shown by bright white and green dots. Hockney has sketched apple, cherry, pear and plum trees
A flower pot sat indoors against an aqua backdrop and on top of a criss-cross patterned tablecloth. The artist’s home is the perfect setting to draw and paint the arrival of spring – an activity he did around a decade ago in East Yorkshire
Hockney also sketched his Normandy home, as shown at various angles by the four images above, with swirling lines displaying a well-mowed lawn and the tree house, seen in an earlier painting, spotted again in the top right drawing
Pink and white flowers sit inside a metal bucket after being dug up from the garden. Hockney found a home with a large garden that was cheaper than anything he could find in Sussex so bought it and built a small studio
‘Meanwhile the virus is going mad, and many people said my drawings were a great respite from what was going on.’
His home is the perfect setting to draw and paint the arrival of spring – an activity he did around a decade ago in East Yorkshire.
Hockney’s Yorkshire pictures and films were used in a 2012 exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. His fans can only hope that his latest spring masterpieces will see the same success.
The painter visited Normandy in the autumn of 2018 after the installation of his stained-glass window in Westminster Abbey.
Hockney bought a house in Normandy thanks to the range of blossoms, trees, blackthorn and hawthorn that grew there. He has sketched apple, cherry, pear and plum trees.
He found a home with a large garden that was cheaper than anything he could find in Sussex so bought it and built a small studio. They have lived there during the entire lockdown, since early March.
A winter tree in blossom sits against a bright green and blue background. The artist recorded how he experiences reality through his artwork, without flattening out this nuance with a camera, with the images as a product of drawing what he sees
A closer-up view of a winter tree in blossom, with another seen further in the background. Hockney said: ‘We have lost touch with nature rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it’
An array of vibrant colours depicted in the painting above, with sparse trees going into blossom. The painter visited Normandy in the autumn of 2018 after the installation of his stained-glass window in Westminster Abbey
A winter tree in a further development of blossoming. Hockney has lived at the property with two of his long-standing assistants, JP and Jonathan, throughout the entire lockdown, since early March
The painter sent some of his drawings in progress to his friends, which persuaded him to release one image of daffodils for publication. The painting is aptly titled ‘Do Remember They Can’t Cancel the Spring’. He is now sharing nine more, all painted in the last few days.
He said: ‘Why are my iPad drawings seen as a respite from the news? Well, they are obviously made by the hand depicting the renewal that is the spring in this part of the world.’
Hockney’s images are the product of him looking at nature and drawing what he sees. He takes a sensory reaction and uses paper and pen to preserve the beauty – rather than using a camera to take a photograph.
He records how he experiences reality through his artwork, without flattening out this nuance with a camera.
Hockney said: ‘We have lost touch with nature rather foolishly as we are a part of it, not outside it. This will in time be over and then what? What have we learned? I am 83 years old, I will die. The cause of death is birth.
‘The only real things in life are food and love in that order, just like our little dog Ruby. I really believe this and the source of art is love.
‘I love life.’