Friday, July 24, 2009

More Lessons from Edward Hopper
















In the last post I mentioned staying and working in Edward Hopper's painting studio on Cape Cod. Above is an 8 x 10" oil on panel I did last October in his studio's painting room. The easel shown is the one Hopper used for decades to paint many of his most famous oils. Pictured below is Rooms by the Sea, now in the Yale University Art Gallery, which is one of my favorite Hopper's. It is exactly the viewpoint Hopper would have had when he sat down to paint his studio doorway opening out to Cape Cod Bay. But he made one big change- moving the sun north so it shone directly onto the door itself. It's an invention on his part that makes the painting happen.

Hopper set a great example in his openness to his surroundings. In looking at the ordinary corner and door way he felt subtle stirrings in his heart and found a way to translate them into shape and color. He evoked similar feelings in countless viewers of his painting. This is a man who never accepted a pat answer on how to make a painting. If I wore a hat (I don't unless I'm painting outside on a bright day) I'd tip it to him now.




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