Monday, 10 September 2018

"David Hockney: A History of Pictures for Children" by Martin Gayford, David Hockney and Rose Blake (Thames and Hudson)

It has definitely been an amazing year for children's books about art and artists, as this book demonstrates perfectly...
"A History of Pictures For Children" by David Hockney and Martin Gayford, with fantastic illustrations by blog favourite Rose Blake is the sort of book that gives us a huge, huge amount of hope that the next generation of kids will indeed find artistic inspiration in books, if nowhere else.

Whereas most art history books or books about artists take a fairly dry and linear approach, this book perfectly matches the curiosity of a child, dancing from one subject to another but always with an eye on the overall theme of the book - to celebrate creativity, artistic inspiration and glorious works of art.

Martin and David collaborate on a potted history of art, not just covering David's own amazing work but gathering in his own influences, and some truly stunning paintings and drawings from other artists through the ages.

David, Martin and Rose. And a lot of dachshunds!
Following an awesome introduction, it's time to dig into those wonderful works of art and get inspired.

"Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper. A painting I've been completely obsessed with since I was C's age. 
I love the idea that art tells stories, and that's demonstrated perfectly in the works David and Martin have chosen as we're guided through the book with Rose's fabulous characterful illustrations complimenting the artworks in the book.

Why do we make pictures? Because it's one of the most amazing ways to express yourself, your individuality and your personality. Plus, we all love to show off a bit, right?
Books like this are so important at the moment, as the arts are eroded and erased from the curriculum increasingly - and funds for arts projects are pared away. Children have many years where they are hugely creative and imaginative, and it's worth nurturing that creativity - not just through books but through understanding that there's more to life than being able to repeat facts parrot-fashion through tests.

We loved this a lot, it's vibrant, colourful and hugely inspirational.

C's best bit: Inevitably the spreads talking about the influence of Vincent Van Gogh who is still one of her favourite artists and has been for many years.

Daddy's favourite bit: So many pieces in here that inspired me as a kid, and still inspire me as an amateur doodler and painter today. Glorious stuff.

"David Hockney: A History of Pictures for Children" by David Hockney, Martin Gayford and Rose Blake is out now, published by Thames and Hudson (kindly supplied for review).