A recent visit to the Hepworth Gallery was instigated by my recent purchase of The Biography Hockney volume 2. There was an exhibition on which had a couple of paintings on show by David Hockney. They were early paintings by Hockney with a brief description. I found his paintings inspiring in a way, as a teacher would say, “try your hand at painting and see what happens, don’t expect too much.” The visit gave me an opportunity to see other works of artists I had never heard of and of course sculptures by Henry Moor and Barbra Hepworth. I found it interesting to learn a little more about Barbara Hepworth’s life and the interesting fact she had triplets. I bought a new book from the Gallery Hockney’s pictures. Not because I loved all his paintings but because I liked the way he made notes about what he was thinking and doing at the time of the painting, what his objectives were and what is expectations were. It’s turned out to be a really interesting read. A particular painting, Rocky Mountains and Tired Indians 1965 page 300 was on display at the Hepworth. In the book he explained. “The whole picture is an invention from geological magazines and romantic ideas (the nearest Indians are at least three hundred miles from Boulder, an attractive campus on the edge of the Rocky Mountains where I was teaching at the time). The chair was just put in for compositional purposes, and to explain its being there I called the Indians “tired”. In the bird, there’s a bit of illusion; it’s a wooden bird.” This is great, detailing his thoughts and processes. A far less description of the painting was given by the gallery. I am inspired to go away and paint whatever I see.
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