Unmissable tutorial with Hockney - WeAreOCA
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Unmissable tutorial with Hockney

There are 21 days left to see this insightful programme that is part of the Channel four series promoting young artists by getting them mentored by well known artists, film makers, etc. Hockney appearances in the media are notoriously rare, so seeing him talking about painting and drawing is a real opportunity. It is also great to see the young German artist he mentors working and learning from Hockney.  The key message from Hockney … I think … is observe, draw, observe.  What do you get from it?  Click here to view the episode.


Posted by author: Jane Parry
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9 thoughts on “Unmissable tutorial with Hockney

  • Thanks for pointing this out Jane, I’d have missed it otherwise. I related to what he said about the pleasure of looking and that everything is interesting. One thing I always notice about DH is how he is engaged in this dialogue with photography through his work. I’m not sure I agree that drawing organises and photography doesn’t though.

  • Yes, thank you for pointing this out. I was interested to hear DH’s thoughts etc, but also found it of great interest to see the various stages of making a painting by Mathias- the paint he initially put on the canvas was far removed from the final work.

  • Do you think that the original painting on the canvas was just to get him off the starting blocks and make him paint, rather than ever having anything to do with the finished article? He (Matthias) comes over as being almost clinically structured, especially for a painter, bearing in mind his comments about always working 8 hours a day.
    I liked the DH comment about the camera seeing geometrically and us seeing psychologically.

  • Thanks for letting us know about this, I really enjoyed seeing the programme on 4oD. Many of David Hockney’s comments about art also apply to photography, though I think some of his remarks about photography are based on his personal point of view and are not necessarily universally true.

  • Many thanks for such an interesting programme. I enjoyed seeing the interaction between the two artist, each at different stages in their careers but still learning from each other. I particularly responded to David Hockney’s comment. that ‘you can teach the craft but you can’t teach the poetry’. Love that and will continue to think about it in my own work…..
    Great!

  • For me, the message that came through from both painters was the need for, not only curiosity about the many practices and histories of painting, but also the strange masochistic drive that keeps us painting and unpainting – that makes us aware of our constant doubts and uncertainties as painters, and that forces us to find new ways to do what we do

  • I thought Hockney said lots of insightful things about drawing and photography in this video, so I thought I would capture them for us all, for when the video goes offline:
    ‘I take great pleasure in looking …there is something beautiful wherever you look…..there’s so much there’
    ‘Painting is essentially a lone activity’
    ‘What might look like chaos to anyone else looks ordered to me. Because I look into it, and draw it.’
    ‘If it had been photographed it wouldn’t have looked the same. With drawing I have to decide what is it that interests me, what is it I am excited about.’
    ‘People think the world looks like photographs now, but it doesn’t. You cannot copy three dimensions onto two, you interpret it: ‘what do I see first? What’s most important?’ and so on. The camera gives us what you might call an optical projection of the world, and I think its deceiving us, frankly. It sees the world geometrically, but we don’t, we must see it psychologically.
    On art schools:
    ‘Drawing is important, its a core activity, for anything. I hated them abandoning it in art schools. And all because they thought the photograph was telling us what the world was like.’
    ‘You can teach the craft but you can’t teach the poetry. They gave up the craft and tried to teach the poetry. And you can’t do that.’
    ‘The chinese notion that painting needs three things: the hand, the eye, the heart. I find this quite profoundly true.’

  • Thanks very much Jane! Was just about to listen to this film for the 3rd time, this time pausing it a lot to try and capture some of it in writing. You have saved me the job! Now I can watch it again just for pleasure instead, seeing if there are any bits I want to add to yours. Thank you.

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