David Hockney on what turns a picture into a masterpiece

The guardian | David Hockney, Martin Gayford:

Rembrandt’s A Child Being Taught to Walk, c1656

David Hockney: The moment you put down two or three marks on a piece of paper, you get relationships. They’ll start to look like something. If you draw two little lines they might look like two figures or two trees. One was made first, one second. We read all kinds of things into marks. You can suggest landscape, people and faces with extremely little. It all depends on the human ability to see a mark as a depiction.

Martin Gayford: The whole of picture-making is based on our capacity to see one thing as another. We can find such images in the sky, or, as Leonardo da Vinci suggested, on “walls spotted with various stains, or with a mixture of different kinds of stones”. In such random marks, Leonardo, who surely had a powerful imagination, could make out “landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills”… Read more

Image: Rembrandt’s A Child Being Taught to Walk (c1656). Photograph: The Trustees of the British Museum