5 Things You Didn't Know About David Hockney

Posted in Inside Scoop by Rise Art on 20th September 2018

Deemed one of Britain's most distinguished living artists, David Hockney's 60-year career has seen him produce an expansive oeuvre, spanning the mediums of painting, etching, photography and beyond. The artist's retrospective at Tate Britain last year was the museum's most visited exhibition ever and the upcoming sale of his 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)' is anticipated to fetch a whopping $80 million at a Christie's sale in November. If it does, this will smash the record (held by Jeff Koons) for a work by a living artist sold at auction.


Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972 by David Hockney. Photograph: Courtesy Christie's.


To celebrate the iconic, the venerable David Hockney, we bring you a curated collection of Hockney-inspired artworks and a list of 5 things you might not have known about the artist...



David Hockney

"I smoke for my mental health," Hockney told the Guardian in 2007.

Born with synesthesia, Hockney sees colours in response to musical stimuli. Although he has never translated this into his painting or photography, it is a common underlying principle in his designs for ballet and opera stage sets - where he bases background colours and lighting on the colours he sees while listening to each musical score.


2. California Dreamin'

Swimming Pool, 1965 by David Hockney.

A visit to California - where he was to live for many years - inspired Hockney to make his iconic series of paintings of swimming pools in the comparatively new medium of acryclic. "I always loved swimming pools, all the wiggly lines they make," the artist told CNN in 2017. "If you photograph them, it freezes them whereas if you use paint, you can have wiggly lines that wiggle."


Self-portrait, 20 March 2012 by David Hockney. Photograph: David Hockney/National Gallery of Victoria.

Since 2009, Hockney has painted hundreds of portraits, still lifes and landscapes using the Brushes app designed by Apple. “When I began drawing on an iPad I loved it,” the artist said in an interview with artnet news. “I thought it was a terrific medium. Everything is at your finger-tips, there is no cleaning up. I realized I could just reach for my iPhone and draw, even in the dark, which you couldn’t do with watercolor or something,” he added.


Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica, 1990 by David Hockney.


Earlier this year, two works broke the record auction price for a David Hockney in one evening. 'Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica' (1990) sold for $28.5 million and 'Piscine de Medianoche (Paper Pool 30)' fetched $11.7 million at a Sotheby's sale in New York.

5. The phone book

David Hockney Bradford and District Phone Book, 1989.

Hockney designed the cover of the 1989 British Telecom telephone directory for Bradford, where the artist grew up. A copy of the book is on display at Bradford's Cartwright Hall, where a dedicated David Hockney Gallery was opened last year to commemorate the artist's 80th birthday.


Inspired by David Hockney | Browse the Collection >>


Katie Woods on Reinventing the Peach Palace and Collecting Art

Posted in Art Style Files by Aimee Morris on 18th September 2018

Katie Woods wears many hats. She’s an interior design enthusiast, a successful blogger, a dentist and a mum of four. In 2016 Katie started her blog Come Down to the Woods to document the renovation of her new family pad, the Peach Palace - so named because peach-heavy 60s decor dominated its interior. Katie has spent the last two years transforming the house into a stylish home bursting with character, colour and art. Lots of art.


Katie (left) and a shot of the Peach Palace living room (right).


Katie’s eclectic collection of portraits, neons, prints and sculptural pieces have given the Peach Palace of the past a whole new personality. We ask Katie about what inspires her art choices and how she goes about finding the next piece. Plus, we find out which are her favourite picks on Rise Art.



When did you start collecting art and why is it important to you?

I spent my 20s and early 30s thinking that art wasn't affordable. I would pass galleries and avoid art websites just presuming it would be too expensive. It's not until relatively recently that I've realised this just isn't the case. Some of my favourite pieces have been the less expensive ones. I wish that I'd started collecting earlier.



You have an eclectic collection of artwork at the Peach Palace. How would you describe your taste in art?

Unpredictable! I was lucky enough to be given a voucher for a piece of art and most of what I had saved as favourites took me by surprise. Art is like that, you think you know yourself and then something that you don't expect to love comes along and you can't stop thinking about it.



What are two of your favourite pieces in your collection and why?

I am literally obsessed with Andrew Millar. I adore the delicate gold leaf. His pieces are just mesmerising. I also love a canvas by @houseoffiv5 that I've had framed. She's a Dutch artist who I commissioned to produce this piece. It's a bit cheeky but perfect for our home.


Fulfilled by Andrew Millar up in the hallway.


When you're looking for your next piece, where do you start? Do you think about the space first or do you find an artwork you like and then decide later where you'll place it?

I always look for pieces that make me happy before I look at where they will fit. You have to LOVE what you choose.



What's more important when choosing a work of art, its potential investment value or how much you like it?

I've never once thought about investment. William Morris said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." I always look for beauty first. If it happens to become useful by increasing in value then that's just a bonus.



What are your ambitions for the Peach Palace going forward?

This house is like the Forth Road Bridge. It's so lived in (what with 4 young kids and a big hairy dog) that as soon as one room is finished another needs doing. I put so much time and thought into the design of this place though that I just want to enjoy what we have. Saying that, there is another floor that we haven't touched. I can't wait to get my hands on that (just need the money tree to flower first).


A framed Peter Blake print that RIse Art gifted to Katie earlier this year.


What are your 5 favourite works on Rise Art at the moment, and why?


1. A Piece of Swiss Cheese by Clare Halifax

Because pink and green should always be seen.



2. Woman with Striped Skirt by Joanna Ham

This work is monochrome perfection. Simple and captivating.



3. Mr Treat by Anna Marrow

These colours and this composition are guaranteed to brighten your mood.



4. Ceci n'est pas un fishbowl by Miguel Vallinas Prieto

There isn't a piece of Miguel's that I don't adore. Forever fun.



5. About Love and Other Stories by Stella Kapezanou

I don't even know how I feel when I see this, but it makes me feel and that's why I love it.



Discover Katie's curated collection >>


Q&A with Artist Couple Gina Parr and Ian Hoskin

Posted in In the Studio by Aimee Morris on 11th September 2018

"Art is longing. You never arrive but you keep going in the hope that you will.”

- Anselm Kiefer, German painter and sculptor


Gina Parr and Ian Hoskin met as Fine Art postgrads at Middlesex Polytechnic in North London. Gina originally practised as a Painter and Performance Artist before going on to have a successful 25-year career in TV Production Set Design. Ian developed his career in Photography as a freelancer for the BBC Picture Publicity Department and worked on his own photographic projects in parallel, originally working exclusively with film and print in the darkroom before bringing digital techniques into his practice. In 2007, Gina left her Set Design days behind and returned to Painting and Photography full-time.  


Gina in her studio.


Today the artist couple live in Devon and enjoy backpacking around the globe. Gina's work is informed by landscape; she produces painted pieces in the studio and on her travels she photographs marks, decay and texture. Ian, meanwhile, focuses on capturing human subjects - and the traces they leave behind. 


Gina, you worked for 25 years as a Set Designer in television. What made you return to being a Fine Artist full-time?

When I started designing for television, budgets, client expectations and opportunity for creativity were great. But as the years progressed, budgets shrank, expectations grew unreasonable and there were less opportunities for pure creativity.


Archaeology by Gina Parr.


The role of the Set Designer became that of an accountant, facilitator and organiser. I originally trained as a Fine Artist and after 25 years of Television Design it was time to return to my roots. The skills I employed as a designer, like spatial design, visualisation and project management, have all been invaluable to my work as an artist.


Painting materials on Gina's workbench.


What is it about the Devon landscape that inspires your paintings?

As a child I spent time mackerel fishing with my father, and these trips formed my emotional bond with the landscape and seascape of the South West: beautiful, wild open spaces, changes in the weather and terrain and the freedom of natural space. 


Waving or Drowning by Gina Parr.


Counter to this, my life at home was very chaotic and cramped as my mother, a hoarder, filled every available space with possessions and was obsessed with collecting. My father died when I was 17, leading to my mother’s hoarding escalating to extreme levels. My work is a combination of the joy and sadness of these memories and present day reactions to beauty in the natural world, both here in Devon and as I travel.


The artist applying paint to her palette knife.


Does your background in Performance Art come into your current work at all?

I started out as a painter and moved into Performance Art, drawing on the collaborations of Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham and John Cage. My approach to performance was always as a painter working in space. I’ve always been interested in exploring confinement and open space, and this continues in my work today: I create space in my work in order to control it.


An easel in Gina's studio.


Tell us about your photography. What references are you drawing on in this work?

I started photographing abstract marks on walls and surfaces in late 2010 whilst traveling in France, then Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. This was my way of painting with my camera whilst backpacking and on the move.


Tiniente Rey Cuba 3 of 10 Limited Edition by Gina Parr.


Subsequently when I travelled to Southern India in 2013, I found that the subject matter I photographed was influenced by the liminal abstract landscape/seascape themes that had been driving my studio painting work.


Allepey 5 India 3 of 20 Limited Edition by Gina Parr


How do your paintings and photographs function differently, and how do they work together?

I have seen a developing symbiosis between my photography and my painting. I discover fantastical worlds when I photograph surfaces as I travel, and the same goes for my explorations in paint.


Gina surrounded by canvases in her studio.


While photographing, I find colour palettes that I would not usually be drawn to when painting. This then has an influence on the direction I take with my painted studio work. And similarly, my painting process plays a part in my photography after I’ve spent a long stint in the studio.


Discover Gina's Works >>


Ian, what is it about Photography that appeals to you as a medium?

My introduction to photography was as a small boy in a makeshift darkroom my grandfather had. The process seemed magical and alchemaic. I was immediately hooked and over 50 years later that transmogrification from light into fixed image still fascinates me.


Ian (left) and Defaced 4060 (right).


Are people your primary subject of interest?

Yes, people are my primary focus - either by their presence as individuals or as part of a group they form. I’m also interested in the traces people leave behind over time.


Stockman Dummies by Ian Hoskin.


What are the ideas behind your Defaced series?

I’m intrigued by the idea that an image of a person can elevate them temporarily. After that, fame or notoriety can fade. These images of degraded and defaced  posters on walls in Southern India of politicians, movie stars, celebrities, obituary notices and people wanted for crimes are my way of illustrating Warhol’s notion of ‘15 minutes of fame’.


Defaced 3989 by Ian Hoskin.


Sometimes you shoot in black and white, and other times in colour. What informs these choices?

I haven’t used colour film since I worked freelance for the BBC’s Picture Publicity Department 20 years ago.  I can’t develop it in my darkroom and I like to be in control of the image processing at every stage. The translation from colour to tones of grey is important for some subjects and not others.


Topsham Baptist Church. Topsham, Devon by Ian Hoskin.


My Defaced series would be very dull in Black and White, but the series I’m currently working on about the buildings that some Christian congregations use as their churches would (for me) become a simple record of architecture if it were in colour [see an example from this series above]. There is also a timeless element to Black and White.


Discover Ian's Works >>

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