Last March, a review of Spring Cannot Be Cancelled by David Hockney and Martin Gayford led me to order a copy from a local bookseller and wait for its U.S. release. It would have been perfect for the late, cold springs we have in New England, especially while anxieties about vaccine availability and COVID restrictions were still strong. Bright colors, sophisticated conversation, a place of cultivated beauty and (let's face it) nostalgic ease of life. I thought about saving it for next spring, when I'm sure to need a lift again—but naaahhh, I'm reading it now during the first hot spell of June, and it has me gripped. Look at some double-page spreads and see why.
In my untutored way, I haven't been a Hockney fan in the past, though I began to take notice with his Yorkshire landscapes, which are immediately gorgeous, no training required. What I'm learning from this book is something of how Hockney draws and paints, what he admires in other artists' work, and how his life is organized to let him keep on exploring what he sees. It is full of reminders that all creative arts require continuous work, oddball idiosyncrasies, a constant lookout for new ways of seeing, and an absorption in the moment. A wonderful vicarious experience of stimulating conversation and thought. Read it!