EDITH DEVANEY, 11TH, 12TH, 13TH FEBRUARY 2016
“I was painted twice, first in September 2015 and then again in February 2016; the latter portrait is in the exhibition.
The only instruction I’d had was to tie my hair back; half way throught painting the first portrait, Hockney had determined that this would make a better image. Many female sitters had dressed up for their portraits, so as a contrast I decided to wear more casual clothes. The first and perphaps most intense part of the process was the charcoal drawing that Hockney sketched directly onto the primed canvas. He described this outlines of head, body and chair as ‘fixing the pose’, saying that he paints what he sees, and he makes sure he sees everything. The scrutiny and concentration of is gaze were remarkable, his head moving continuously from subject to canvas.
Once the drawing was completed, the painting began. The portraits were all executed in acrylic paint, a medium Hockney hadn’t used for twenty years. After the first few paintings he started using a new brand that has a higher gel content and thus remains wet for longer. This enabled him, over the course of three days, to make the faces of sitters a little more nuanced”. Edith Devaney