Hockney’s unrelenting concentration on producing paintings continues into the new year. Particularly labor intensive and emotionally harrowing is Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), which starts with two snapshots that Hockney notices lying adjacent on the floor of his studio: one of a figure swimming underwater; the other of a standing figure with eyes downcast, who becomes Peter Schlesinger in Hockney’s painted version.
The figures never related to one another, nor to the background. I changed the setting constantly from distant mountains to a claustrophobic wall and back again to mountains. I even tried a glass wall.