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British artist loses landscape mid-series

March 28, 2009 at 4:54 PM

WARTER, England, March 28 (UPI) -- British artist David Hockney, planning to paint a stand of trees in Yorkshire in all four seasons, discovered they had been felled before he got to spring.

Chris Redfearn, manager of the Warter Priory estate, told the Daily Mail the copse was cut because the trees stood close to cottages on the estate, and some the beeches and sycamores were dead and hazardous to tenants. The estate has been owned the past 11 years by Malcolm Stanley Healey, who made millions selling kitchen equipment.

"If he had come to talk to us I'm sure we could have considered what he had to say," Redfearn said.

Hockney, who was born in Bradford, returned to Yorkshire recently after living in Los Angeles for many years.

Hockney had painted the copse in summer and winter. When he returned for spring, he found stacks of logs, the British newspaper reported Saturday.

"The landscape I remembered had gone completely, and what remained looked like a scene from the First World War," he said.

One resident told the Mail that removing the copse has improved his view.

"Mr. Hockney's situation is neither here nor there for me," he said.

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