Instead, the artist takes the viewer to England through his painting. This is one of his more recent paintings. It was completed in 2009 and like many of his recent works, may either challenge or inspire those who enjoy his art.
Like several of his other outdoor paintings, the colours used in May Blossom on the Roman Road are lush and welcoming. Here, David Hockney moved from the California landscape specifically toward the east Yorkshire scene inland from Bridlington. This is where he now lives for the vast majority of the year.
By setting up his easels in nature or sitting in his auto recording his perceptions with an application on his iPad, he can enjoy the beauty of his native country in a way he was unable to while in California.
Hockney’s reevaluation of himself as an outdoor scene craftsman is not without risk. In addition to nature and the climate, every time he completes a painting of a natural setting, it is compared to everything he has done before. He’s up against history.
The scene here delineates plants in full bloom, their branches overwhelming with the colours seen at that time of the year. The artist has painted a practically dreamlike and visionary scene which may give a viewer a sense of enjoyment whenever they see it. Some viewers and critics may feel that May Blossom on the Roman Road has an otherworldly look to it.
It looks as if caterpillars were climbing everywhere on a sort of frantic topiary, underneath a thundering sky that is somewhat reminiscent of an artist like Van Gogh. Fans of Hockney’s Fauvist pieces may be partial to this one. Hockney catches and enhances something of the shock of hawthorns in blossom.
This, perhaps, is the best way for a traveller to enjoy the sight of flowers in bloom on what may otherwise have been an uneventful journey. Shock and delight may be what the artist is striving for in this piece, with his rich colours and the curved shapes which seem to emerge in bursts from the canvas.