ATV - Pt1 - PJ3 - Picking & Portraying · ATV - Research Points · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

David Hockney 

These research points are always tricky for me; I love to research, I love to soak up all those pictures, facts and information but I always feel uncomfortable writing it all down. Cut & paste made that all too easy! 

When I was at school writing a report showed you had done your research, you’d had to go to the library or find someone else who could tell you all about it or found or bought a book. Now it just means you can type some key words into Google! 

Unless you are doing your research on site at a museum, art gallery or other interesting location, to me there doesn’t seem any need to write down all the stuff you’ve read. 

It’s especially difficult if you’ve got a preconceived idea about whether you like the artist or not. Hockney is one of those artists that I have chosen not to like: the celebrity artists, all parties, drugs and sexy groupies.

Maybe Hockney was a bit like that but, accept my apologies, he’s also a damn good artist. Not that I think he’d care what I think!

He’s never not been fresh, he’s always kept his love of life and positively. There have been periods of sadness and difficult times but he’s always looked for the excitement, beauty and new things to investigate in life.

Hockney’s work covers such a long period and so many genres, mediums, styles and influences I couldn’t possibly cover them all here without being in danger of boring you with information rather than spiking your interest. This official website has some excellent information, including a chronological biography. 

Colour has always been key in Hockney’s work and he’s well known for his quotes. I am especially drawn to his thoughts on ‘seeing’, ‘painting’ and photography.

Shut up and paint

Being one of my favourites.

Over the years Hockney has always embraced the new and exciting: he drew and painted but then took photography to new levels. I particularly like his montages, almost as if he could see the future of photograph as we have it now with camera phones, Instagram and selfies.

He was using the photocopier to make layered pictures long before Art Journals and mixed media. And now he is painting using his iPhone and iPad. 

No hiding behind his age; reading an IPad For Dummies and ringing his grandchildren for help to switch ‘the damn thing on’ for Hockney.

Hockney is showing his ability to reinvent himself time after time by incorporating this new technology into his already vast repertoire and producing some wonderful iPad paintings and as to be expected has some very interesting things to say about it all. I particularly liked this article in the Telegraph

I’ve focused my Hockney sketchbook pages on his quotes and added lots of bold colours. There are more of his pictures on my Pinterest Board: David Hockney – OCA – Research. 

I really have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed this research point, just proves sometimes, you’ve just got to shut up and paint!


ATV - Pt1 - PJ3 - Picking & Portraying · ATV - Research Points · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Floral motifs, fabrics and paintings. 3 of the best. Research Point 2.

1. William Morris

Where else would an exploration into the world of floral decoration start other than with William Morris. His fabrics are a perfect combination of reality and motif. I chose the pink peonies because I love the symmetry of the design and the way the leaves overlap with the little yellow flowers as an extra element and complementary detail. I was immediately drawn to the other 2 pictures because they show the outlining and laying out of the design before the colour was added.


2. Tord Boontje.

I’ve chosen 3 very different examples of design by Tord Boontje that I feel demonstrate his ability to work with the overlapping and layering of flowers and plants in nature. 


3. Jane Askey.

The more I look at Jane’s Floral Summertime the more I like it, at first I thought it was almost too simple but my eye gets drawn back to it again and again. Jane’s choice of composition layout is calming and gentle. I really admire her ability to express complex shapes with bold brush strokes and simple colour selecctions.


4. Marni

This OCA degree broadens my horizons all of the time and this research exercise has taken me down a route I rarely follow or consider. High fashion is not my thing and I’d never heard of Marni before. To me these 3 garments are works of art. They are beautiful and I love the use of floral themes and motifs in such prominent ways.

5. Timorous Beasties.

Very, very yummy and expensive wall paper and fabrics. It was difficult to chose just 3. The more tropical design makes me think of Victorian glass houses and tropical heat and the Bloomsbury Garden is just like having the garden inside. I think the use of the blotch technique is very brave, it’s very dramatic and I’m sure everyone will see something different in the details. Is is wallpaper or a psychology test?


6. Elizabeth Blackadder

My parent’s lived not far from Falkirk in Scotland and my Mom had the most beautiful ‘black’ irises in her garden. They had come from a nursery of rare flowers and flourished, loving the damp conditions in the Glasgow peaty soil. Irises and Flags are delightful flowers and Elizabeth has really done them justice in my eyes.  I chose the other 2 paintings because of the delicate layout of the different elements. In False Palm I can see both Scottish and Japanese influences. The paintings look simple but it’s clear that a lot of skill has gone into their construction and into deciding what should be included and very importantly what should be omitted.


7. Takashi Murakami.

This for me is heaven; I love Japanese design and art and I love ‘Superflat’ paintings, drawings and doodles. These 3 pieces very cleverly mix traditional and contemporary influences. In High Five I like the use of white as an outline, almost as if the colours have been inverted. 

8. Erdem

More art to be worn. These garments are very very beautful. The fabric is a soft and fluid painting. So often floral fabric uses stylised repetitive motifs, sometimes almost doodles but Erdem use patterns more akin to the watercolour and oil paintings usually seen in frames. 

It was difficult to chose just 3 favourites but I couldn’t resist the white dress, it looks so comfortable whilst being very beautiful. I liked the photograph of the detail of the skirt because it demonstrates how Erdem don’t just drape stunning fabric and expect it to speak for itself, they also employ clever tailoring tecchniques.


9.  Zoffany

I have assumed that the name Zoffany, for the purposes of this exercise refer to the Zoffany fabric and wallpaper company. They use flowers and birds as the subjects of many of their products. It’s not my favourite, I appreciate how they are using archives of traditional documents to influence their designs but I find the patterns lacking in tone and dramatic punch. 

As an alternative I have chosen a section of one of Johan Zoffany’s 18th Century paintings, he often included a bouquet or a vase of flowers in his paintings much like tv documentary makers now put an arrangement of flowers in the background of a talking head interview. 


My research for this exercise has been done using Wikipidepia (what else!) and Pinterest and the original links can be found on my pin board OCA-Artists-Flowers/research.


ATV - Pt1 - PJ3 - Picking & Portraying · ATV - Research Points · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary


Looking at the offerings in the Modern Art Museum in Edinburgh made me realise how little I know about the history of art and the political influences on the artists of the 20th Century.

The Deluge is a book I found yesterday in Waterstones, it’s a monster but very readable, I already feel more educated after the first 100 pages!

And the other even bigger book is a World History of Art. Hopefully the next time I go to a gallery I will better understand what I am seeing.

It’s not all about reading though, today I bought up all the marked down flowers from the supermarket so I can start the drawings for Project 3 – Picking and Portraying.

My workroom is going to look like a garden.