That David Hockney Painted Our House

The Mirror (London, England), November 18, 2005 | Go to article overview

That David Hockney Painted Our House


Byline: By CLAIRE DONNELLY

RESIDENTS of the sleepy village of Kilham love East Street for its charming architecture and friendly inhabitants.

But soon the picturesque address in the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds will be admired the world over - thanks to a new water-colour by legendary artist David Hockney.

The 68-year-old painter - born in Bradford - was so taken with the village that he decided to paint it.

Showing the post office and eight houses, the picture - which could fetch up to pounds 200,000 at auction - is one of 36 landscapes in an exhibition opening in London today.

"East Yorkshire is like California - you get amazing light," says the LA-based painter. "Most people might think it plain but if you look closer, you see very beautiful forms."

Here's what the people of East Street make of the painting...

MIDSUMMER: East Yorkshire 2004, by David Hockney, is at the Gilbert Collection, Somerset House, London, until February 19.

MAUREEN Foster isn't impressed by Hockney's depiction and says she could do better. "I don't like it. It's a bit child-like," is her verdict.

"I go to a water-colour class once a week and we're sometimes given his work to copy but I'm not really a fan."

Holding up one of her own landscapes, Maureen, 63, laughs: "I think that's better, don't you?"

Retired husband, John, 64, agrees. Scrutinising the picture, he adds thoughtfully: "It must have been Thursday when he did this - you can tell because the wheelie bins are out."RETIRED shop owner Ruth Kitcher is proud that her home has been painted.

Especially as it has meant so much to her over the years.

The 61-year-old says that she and her late husband named their renovated cottage Five Pennies, after the famous film. "I think that Hockney's picture is lovely," she says.

"I'm really pleased that he's chosen to feature our street.

"Hockney has connections here - his sister lives in Bridlington - and I have been very happy here.

"Hockney must have seen something special here, too."RETIRED academic Bernard Jennings was stunned when he stepped out of his door and saw Hockney.

"It was only about 7am but there he was, painting away," says Prof Jennings, 77.

"It was quite a surprise but I just slid by quietly."

"I've seen him around since then, so we're hoping there might be more pictures."

Bernard, who has lived with wife Jean, 77, in the village for 20 years, says they love the painting but not the fact that the church has been blocked out by a tree.

"It has a marvellous vitality but I don't know why he paint-ed out the church."ART lover Ron Brooks likes the painting so much, he wants to try to buy it. "If I had the money I'd buy it straight away," says the retired property developer. "I'm a huge admirer of Hockney. I did buy a signed sketch of his years and years ago."

Ron, who has lived in the street for 17 years with wife, Eunice, adds: "I saw Hockney nearby once. He was working away but I was too shy to disturb him."

The Brooks, both in their 60s, love the way the artist has captured the feel of Kilham. …

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