When thinking about artists and their muses, one inspiring pairing immediately comes to mind . . . that of David Hockney and his best friend, textile designer Celia Birtwell (who was also muse and wife to Ossie Clark). This triumvirate of characters has been tantamount to my aesthetic development, as we're talking about one of my all-time favorite painters on Earth, one of my absolute personal-style ideals, and a designer whose frocks I could wear solely until my very last breath. Being that Celia has the dreamy eyes and fair ringlets of a Botticelli goddess, Hockney was naturally drawn to her, stating that . . .
"Celia has a beautiful face, a very rare face with lots of things in it which appeal to me. It shows aspects of her, like her intuitive knowledge and her kindness, which I think is the greatest virtue. To me she's such a special person … Portraits aren't just made up of drawing, they are made up of other insights as well. Celia is one of the few girls I know really well. I've drawn her so many times and knowing her makes it always slightly different. I don't bother getting the likeness in her face because I know it so well. She has many faces and I think if you looked through all the drawings I've done of her, you'd see that they don't look alike."
Here are some of my favorites from Hockney's endless archive of Celia studies, which he first began in 1968 and continues adding to: