David Hockney 82 Portraits and 1 Still-Life: Learning to Appreciate Art


Following a visit to The Royal Academy to see David Hockney’s work, I gained insight into our British artist, (latterly Los Angeles citizen), with his London showcase of portraits and still life. Why 82 portraits; 1 still life? One sitter no-showed, so was replaced with bench and fruit.

Give Yourself Permission to Appreciate Art

Accompanied by Amy Eckersall, founder of art consultancy, vision to open up art to all, I now walk freely into a gallery, take in what I see and make my own personal observations. ‘It’s whatever makes you happy and brings you joy when you see a painting that matters. You are free to comment and say what you feel the artist intended’, comments Amy.

Observing the Body Language

I studied the body language of Hockney’s sitters (a circle of his family and friends), willing to sit 6-7 hours per day while the master crafter evolved his work. Endearing to know he didn’t choose ‘celebrities’ rather people who mattered to him, who made him happy. I observed the people sitting in front of me and realised their visual behaviour conveys their unique personality. Some serious, some quirky, some curious. We’re all on show each day and our facial animation, hand gestures, stance and eye contact are key indicators in our Interviews, presentations and meetings demeanours.

The Power of Visual Storytelling for Development

As trainer and mentor, I value the importance of adding visuals to endorse learning, encourage participants to draw their challenges to help solve problems, and throw light on solutions. It also helps to break down emotional barriers and visualize success.

At school, we were proud to show our ‘masterpieces’; now, we’re more concerned with what people think. Experience shows visuals help spark innovation. Whether it’s presentation skills, sales training or personal brand workshops, people surprise themselves when they draw and see fresh perspective – and – grow in self awareness.

TAGS > ,