Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:16 UK

Hockney turns to mobile artwork

David Hockney
David Hockney has recently returned to his native Yorkshire

In a career that has spanned five decades, artist David Hockney is still at the cutting edge of art.

The 72-year-old has embraced new technology by using his iPhone to create new works of art.

"I'm aware of the history of images. Not as art, but how images are made. I'm aware of new things happening," he told the Radio Times magazine.

Hockney also talked about returning to his native Yorkshire after living in California for over 30 years.

Digital photographs

Speaking about his iPhone work, Hockney said: "One morning recently, I made a drawing on my iPhone while I was still in bed, of flowers through the window, and the sunrise, which I could then [email] to 12 people, without it ever having been photographed or printed, and that's very new."

Hockney has also used digital techniques to paint some of his more traditional landscapes.

To get the right scale for these landscapes, he painted across multiple canvases that he then digitally photographed and pieced together on screen.

"That was the only way to see the [whole] painting," he explained.

"Then I'd take the canvases outside and work on them again. Working this way gives the painter new scope. I'm sure that if Constable or Turner had figured it out, they'd have done it too."

I'm at the time in my life when I'd actually rather just get on with my work and be left alone
David Hockney

After decades in California, Hockney has returned to his native Yorkshire, living and working from his late mother's house in Bridlington.

He said the move has made little difference to his day-to-day working.

"I'm at the time in my life when I'd actually rather just get on with my work and be left alone," he said.

"I live the same as I did in Los Angeles; I don't go out much, and I spend most of the time working and reading. It's partly because of my deafness that I don't like crowds or noise. But if I was in LA, or London, I'd be interrupted too much."

His homecoming has been documented by Bruno Wollheim in his new film A Bigger Picture, to be shown on BBC One as part of Alan Yentob's Imagine… season.

In 2012, Hockney will also have his own show at the Royal Academy which will focus on his Yorkshire work.

He added: "I'm aware I've got a very good subject, and with each season, I begin to see more.

"Remember, I've been living for years without seasonal changes. I'm just happy to be living in a terrific place; a cosy, quiet little town. I couldn't ask for more, really."

Imagine... David Hockney - A Bigger Picture can be seen on BBC One on Tuesday 30 June at 2235 BST.

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