Why Did David Hockney Paint East Yorkshire Landscapes?

In 2007, after four decades in sunny LA, David Hockney returned to his home county of Yorkshire to produce a major collection of works, all depicting the natural landscape.

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Garrowby HillGarrowby Hill was chosen by Hockney as the ideal location for a landscape painting of the stunning Yorkshire countryside in the north of England. Garrowby Hill is just one of a number of Yorkshire landscape paintings from the 1990s as the artist returned to the UK for an extended period.

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He loved books and was interested in art from an early age, admiring Picasso, Matisse and Fragonard. His parents encouraged their son’s artistic exploration, and gave him the freedom to doodle and daydream. Hockney attended the Bradford College of Art from 1953 to 1957.

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The exhibition of new paintings marks the artist’s 70th birthday in July. David Hockney: The East Yorkshire Landscape will include five large new paintings, each one around 12ft long. The new works were all painted from the same spot in Woldgate Woods over the course of one year.

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Whilst it may not be of great significance to landscape photographers it is certainly a significant event in the history of landscape painting. It is also playing an important role in promoting the landscape of East Yorkshire and especially the Yorkshire Wolds.

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He had previously been successful with the display of ‘Bigger Trees Near Warter’ at the Royal Academy. This huge 50 canvas painting was done on location in stages over a period of a few weeks in winter and spring 2007. It shows towering beech trees at the edge of a junction near to the small Wolds village of Warter.

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It shows towering beech trees at the edge of a junction near to the small Wolds village of Warter. The location is fairly typical of many others around the Wolds but Hockney saw the opportunity to create a huge painting to show the colour and majesty of the trees and tangled branches stripped of foliage.

David Hockney: The East Yorkshire Landscape

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture – Trailer

How to paint like David Hockney landscape paintings of Yorkshire

Frequently Asked Questions

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Analysis: David Hockney’s “Garrowby Hill” was inspired by the countryside near his mother’s house and his loyal friend’s deathbed combined with his interest in landscapes features. The artwork was created from memory in his studio, after visiting his terminally ill friend in Yorkshire.

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