The content on this page is aggregated and is not affiliated with the artist.
Eliot Hodgkin (19 June 1905– 30 May 1987); an English painter.
Although he began with oil painting, most of his best-known works were highly detailed still lifes executed in tempera.
He described his interest in still life painting: "In so far as I have any conscious purpose, it is to show the beauty of natural objects which are normally thought uninteresting or even unattractive: such things as Brussels sprouts, turnips, onions, pebbles and flints, bulbs, dead leaves, bleached vertebrae, an old boot cast up by the tide. People sometimes tell me that they had never really ‘seen’ something before I painted it, and I should like to believe this… For myself, if I must put it into words, I try to look at quite simple things as though I were seeing them for the first time and as though no one had ever painted them before."
In a letter to Sir Brinsley Ford, he wrote: "I like to show the beauty of things that no one looks at twice."
Hodgkin began painting in tempera about 1937, using a medium based on a recipe given to him by Maxwell Armfield, his friend and former teacher. In 1967 Hodgkin wrote in an article "How I Paint in Tempera": ".... I use it because it is the only way in which I can express the character of the objects that fascinate me. With oil paint I could not get the detail without getting also a disagreeable surface: moreover I should have to wait while the paint dried before continuing."
Later he wrote: '... tempera enables me most nearly to achieve the effects I am aiming at... I try to show things exactly as they are, yet with some of their mystery and poetry, and as though seen for the first time. And it seems to me that, in trying to depict "a World in a grain of sand", perhaps the best medium is tempera, because it combines clarity and definition with a certain feeling of remoteness. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Hodgkin)