In this work from David Hockney’s The Blue Guitar series, the medium becomes the subject. A large quill or fountain pen is suspended from the ceiling of a white room, inserted into rings that also support a white curtain at the edge of the composition. Blue ink splatters from its nib which is pointed towards a bottle of green ink. Below, two pictures hang on the wall as if to demonstrate the range of styles etching can reproduce. A blue and red rug, softly tufted, sits on the floor below, once again showing the range of tone and texture the artist is able to recreate with this medium. In 1973, on the occasion of the death of Pablo Picasso, Hockney was invited to Paris to work under Aldo Crommelynck, the Spanish artist’s favoured printer, to learn the sugar lift aquatint technique of etching. This new technique meant Hockney was able to introduce more colour into his etchings, which had previously been largely monochrome, and it was put to full effect in this 1977 series of etchings inspired by both Wallace Stevens’s poem of the same name and the work of Picasso, which later also became a book.