Recent research released today by Sky Arts unveils that nearly half of adults lack art supplies at home, and one in five individuals have never wielded a paintbrush for anything beyond decoration.

The investigation was initiated by Sky Arts in conjunction with the launch of its ‘Celebrating David Hockney’ films. These films, curated and presented by Melvyn Bragg, offer an unparalleled exploration of the life and creations of the renowned artist. In celebration of this launch and to inspire the public’s creativity, Sky Arts is hosting a series of complimentary ‘Inspired by Hockney’ artistic workshops set to occur across the UK in September. Gemma Cairney, the presenter, inaugurated the first workshop this week at Spitalfields City Farm. Here, she honed her painting skills under the guidance of local artist Jade Connolly.

Presenter Gemma Cairney says: “Having the opportunity to get creative is so important, both growing up and as adults too – we should have every opportunity to get immersed in the arts. The free Sky Arts Hockney-inspired workshops taking place around the country are such a positive way to get together and express yourself through paint. Similarly, the ‘Celebrating Hockney’ films, which are available to watch for free, offer an unparalleled chance to learn about one of our greatest living artists.”

An array of artists nationwide will conduct workshops in diverse settings, ranging from a print studio in Bradford to the seafront in Hastings. These sessions, open to all without charge, will also be conducted in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Plymouth. They are designed to accommodate various artistic abilities, with each artist helping participants derive inspiration from Hockney’s vivid world. Attendees will uncover their creative facets through an assortment of mediums, encompassing screen printing, collages, drawing, and painting. Among the contributing creatives are Ben Holden, Lizzie King, Jade Connolly (pictured), Michelle Taube, Natalie Chapman, Molly Hankinson, Anthony Garrett, and Wendy Smith.

A survey conducted among 2,000 adults disclosed that just over half are attracted to the notion of art as a pastime, yet a substantial 63 per cent have never contemplated adopting it as a serious hobby. Among those who haven’t embraced art as a hobby, a significant 69 per cent believe they lack the necessary talent, and almost one in five are concerned about their work not meeting their personal expectations. Additionally, half of the respondents admitted apprehension about potential feedback on their creations, should they attempt it.

Six in ten respondents find the prospect of creating art intimidating, with 28 per cent rating their skills as merely average. Another 31 per cent are self-critical, assigning a ‘very poor’ rating to their abilities.

Phil Edgar Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: “Our research shows there are lots of budding artists out there just waiting to give it a go, but not everyone has access to the supplies required and it can be difficult sometimes to take the leap and try something new. Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people, and our brand new films celebrating David Hockney will give everyone the chance to get up close to one of the greatest artists of our time. So if you’re inspired by his work, put your artistic skills to the test for free and join us at one of our workshops up and down the country. You might discover a hobby that could captivate you for years to come.”To mark the launch of ‘Celebrating David Hockney’, Sky Arts is hosting free creative classes across the UK in a bid to make art more accessible for everyone.

The ‘Celebrating David Hockney’ programme will air on Monday, 28th August and Tuesday, 29th August at 9 pm on Sky Arts, Freeview, and NOW.

Benjamin Holden, a versatile visual artist and printmaker from Bradford, employs bold and vibrant colour palettes in his work, which will be incorporated into his workshop utilising a riso printer.

Wendy Smith, an artist based in Hastings, specialises in landscapes, particularly where land, sea, or river converge. This theme will be the focus of her workshop in Hastings.

Natalie Chapman creates portraits that delve into family identity and social documentation, and she will lead workshops in Cardiff.

Michelle Taube resides in Manchester and has an affinity for colour and observational painting and drawing. Her recent focus on flowers and plants will be a central aspect of her workshop.

Jade Connolly, an artist hailing from Blackburn and now living in London, delves into the dynamics of interior spaces in her work. Her painting workshop will experiment with colour.

Anthony Garratt, a painter and installation artist based in Devon, has orchestrated public participation artworks that have engaged hundreds in the act of painting. His workshops are slated for Plymouth and Dartmoor.

Molly Hankinson, a visual artist, painter, and illustrator based in Glasgow, infuses her work with carefully placed and vibrant colours.

Lizzie King, a multidisciplinary artist situated in Hackney, specializes in dynamic and energetic illustrations. Her workshop in London will breathe new life into the classic staple t-shirt.