Research point: Landscapes

Katsushika Hokusai

I have seen Hokusai’s wave many times before, I have included it here although technically that may be classed as a seascape, its sharpness and vibrancy has always stood out, when you look a little deeper you can see, he translates the ordinary landscape into his own bold colour saturated world. His most used medium is paint and wood block prints. I really enjoy the way his images are almost layered and layed flat on each other until it reaches the horizon, I could almost imagine the images moving in a parallax motion. The level of depth and distinct style means I can look at each part and really study each part of the image, everything rendered in great detail, even the objects that have been placed far away from the viewer, tell a little story or supply a narrative. Hokusai was born in 1760 and died in 1849, but while we can see these works or old and even ancient, the style wouldn’t be out of place in a magazine, comic book or film poster. The wave always seems so fresh, its no coincidence the image has been parodied and celebrated in popular culture and art.


John Constable

Born in Suffolk and focusing on the Essex and Suffolk areas of east England, John Constable was primarily a landscape artist. His color palette is always the first thing that impresses upon me, muted browns and greens, often partnered with blue grey turbulent skys. Swirling clouds painted with such intense movements it borders on violent. I really cant say I get a happy feeling from his work, although reading about him he clearly loved his surrounding areas. In his wikipedia entry it states that he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, “I should paint my own places best”, and “painting is but another word for feeling”. I wanted to include him in my research as he really does produce a mood, and it doesn’t have to be a happy one for the viewer. I can remember my Nan having a similar picture in her house although this looked more like a dutch scene. And it had a very eerie quality to it, with its muted colors and frozen scene depicting rural life below an ominous sky. You cant deny the craft and artistry that has went into his work, the textures he creates alone are inspiring to any creative person.


David Hockney

David Hockney is the only contemporary artist I studied for this research point, as I write this he is alive and 83 years old, he shows little signs of slowing down, most prolific in the 60’s he still creates art having an exhibition as recently as 2019. He has also made a transition from paint to digital art, producing works on apple devices and Photoshop. His work is always vibrant and ranges from almost abstract shapes to highly detailed. The world must always looks like a really interesting place through Hockney’s trademark round glasses.


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