Hockney and Swimming Pools

We may not be able to swim in pools ourselves right now, but we can enjoy the wonderful feeling of looking at rippling water on a hot day and gazing at Hockney’s ‘Swimming Pool‘ series. So come and create your own vision of a rippling swimming pool with LoLA’s The Big Blue box.

David Hockney is one of the most popular and recognised artists of all times, and for over 60 years he has created bold, colourful and innovative art. Growing up in post-war Bradford he became intoxicated with the idea of Los Angeles. When he first flew to LA and saw blue swimming pools all over, he realised that, whereas a swimming pool in England was a luxury, in LA they were as common as rose bushes. His paintings of LA depict an idealised world of leisure and express his initial excitement at all those backyard pools!

Hockney became fascinated with the problem of painting water, which can be any colour and has no set visual description. In his depictions of it, the play of light is sometimes represented by squiggly white lines running across the surface, as in ‘Sunbather‘ or ‘Peter Getting Out of Nick’s Pool‘ (both 1966), or in the split-second moment of a splash, as in ‘A Bigger Splash‘. Over a period of two weeks, Hockney used small brushes to reproduce the splash from a photograph. The different areas of transparency, the details and traces of the tiny drips contrast with the light and shadow elsewhere on the water’s surface.

Enjoy exploring how to depict water with this month’s LoLA box, The Big Blue.

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