Watch as David Hockney Creates ‘Late November Tunnel, 2006’

David Hock­ney turns 75 today, and he’s still going strong. Hav­ing lived most­ly in Amer­i­ca since the mid-1960s, Hock­ney moved back to Eng­land a decade ago and has spent a great deal of time paint­ing land­scapes in his native York­shire.

In the footage above, filmed by Bruno Woll­heim for the 2009 doc­u­men­tary A Big­ger Pic­ture and set to music by Anna Rus­batch, Hock­ney is shown work­ing en plein air in one of his favorite places: a qui­et stretch of coun­try road lined with trees that he calls “the tun­nel,” near the vil­lage of Kil­ham, in the York­shire Wolds. “Late Novem­ber Tun­nel, 2006” is an oil paint­ing made on two can­vas­es fused togeth­er. It’s one of a series of stud­ies Hock­ney has made of the same place at dif­fer­ent times of the day and year. The series, like sev­er­al oth­ers Hock­ney has made around East­ern York­shire, calls to mind Claude Mon­et’s famous four-sea­son stud­ies at Giverny. After years liv­ing in the Mediter­ranean cli­mate of Los Ange­les, writes Mar­tin Gay­ford in the Win­ter 2011 issue of RA Mag­a­zine:

Hock­ney found the spec­ta­cle of the chang­ing sea­sons fas­ci­nat­ing, and decid­ed to start work­ing on the land­scape of the York­shire Wolds, near his house in Bridling­ton (a com­fort­able base which was once a small hotel). In a way it was a return to his roots, a land­scape of mem­o­ry. He had grown up in Brad­ford on the oth­er side of York­shire, but as a teenag­er he had worked in the fields in the York­shire Wolds dur­ing school hol­i­days. And he would vis­it his late moth­er and sis­ter who lived in Bridling­ton. Hock­ney began this phase of his work by mak­ing draw­ings and water­colours, then paint­ing oils in the open air–like nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry painters such as Mon­et and Constable–standing beside the road in all weath­ers.

“Late Novem­ber Tun­nel, 2006” and oth­er paint­ings from the series, includ­ing lat­er works cre­at­ed by Hock­ney on iPhones and iPads, were includ­ed in a major exhib­it ear­li­er this year at the Roy­al Acad­e­my of Arts. The exhib­it has moved on to the Guggen­heim Muse­um in Bil­bao, Spain. The cat­a­logue, David Hock­ney: A Big­ger Pic­ture, is avail­able from Abrams.

Relat­ed con­tent:

David Hock­ney’s iPad Art Goes on Dis­play

Down­load David Hock­ney’s Play­ful Draw­ings for the iPhone and iPad

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