David Hockney’s lockdown creations

David Hockney in Normandy 2019 © David Hockney

David Hockney in Normandy 2019 © David Hockney. Photo credit: Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima


If you’ve completed Netflix or made your twelfth banana bread, you’re not alone. Lockdown has left many of us with some extra time on our hands.

Fortunately for us, David Hockney is self-isolating at his house in Normandy with his dog Ruby and two assistants where he’s resisted the temptation of binging Love Is Blind in favour of creating some brand-new artworks (disclaimer: Hockney may well be watching LIB, too).

Offering some much-needed respite from the news, Hockney has decided to carry on with his work, which he now sees as "very important". After being attracted to Normandy because of the broader range of blossoms it offered, including apple, cherry, pear and plum trees, he’s spent many days in his garden capturing the spring awakening and making sure that we don’t miss the best of the season this year.

In a letter to BBC arts editor Will Gompertz, Hockney said: “I began drawing the winter trees on a new iPad. Then this virus started…

"I went on drawing the winter trees that eventually burst into blossom. This is the stage we are right now. Meanwhile the virus is going mad, and many people said my drawings were a great respite from what was going on."

He added: "Why are my iPad drawings seen as a respite from the news? Well, they are obviously made by the hand depicting the renewal that is the spring in this part of the world."

This latest series of images, including "Do remember, they can't cancel the Spring" below, are the product of him looking directly at nature and representing what he sees by capturing his sensory reaction on paper via a pencil, rather than using a camera and a photograph. They are Hockney’s record of how he uniquely experiences nature and the subject, and can’t help but brighten up your day.

David Hockney “Do remember, they can’t cancel the Spring” 2020 iPad drawing © David Hockney

David Hockney “Do remember, they can’t cancel the Spring” 2020 iPad drawing © David Hockney