Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is Edward Hopper Turing Over in His Grave?






















Yes probably.

I suspect he might prefer his notorious desire to be left alone be extended posthumously to his studio.

A number of people who had direct encounters with Hopper later in his life have told me he could be remote or even rude. Well, that at least makes him more real. Often he could paint like an angel. What he lacked in charm with strangers he made up for with the amazing generosity of his eye.

So many people who love Hopper have thanked me for sharing the photos my wife Alice and I took during our last residency in the famous painter's S. Truro, MA studio in late September and early October. I feel I'm performing something of a public service. To get me to stop they'll have to send the art police.

Here I am above sitting in the bedroom in Hopper's studio. The two windows behind me overlook Cape Cod Bay. The bench I'm using is the same one pictured in Arnold Newman's famous 1960 portrait of Hopper sitting outdoors on the north side of his studio.






























Here's an new painting I did on my French easel squeezed into the small bedroom, Hopper's Bedroom and Bench I, oil on panel, 9 x 12", 2012.



The ceramic horse placed on Hopper's bureau was purchased I believe by the Hopper's on one of their trips to Mexico.

My working method for painting often includes doing a vine charcoal drawing of the subject first as I have done here. The charcoal is 9 x 12" like the oil.









The Cape in Fall can be chilly so we often found ourselves hanging out in the kitchen on sunny mornings. That's the small round table Hopper and Jo used to eat at in the foreground. The door at the left is the one they would use most often to come and go from the studio- it leads to the stairs down to the driveway. One the right is the kitchen sink with a view out to Cape Cod Bay.







Here's what Hopper (or more likely Jo) would see when washing dishes. Not a bad spot for kitchen chores. In this photo you can glimpse the Bay off to the right. 





This is the deck that was added to the west side of the studio by the present owners in 1983 (they built it themselves and it is really sturdy, which I find impressive). Hopper had to make do with putting his Adirondack chairs in the sand. You can see the shadow of the studio on the sand along the shore. This is the early morning sun light.




Hopper had one heck of a good eye for real estate. Here's a view of his studio taken from about 1/3 of the way along the winding path that leads down to his beach. The grasses and ground cover have to struggle to survive the often very windy conditions and sandy soil. The vegetation make patterns over the dunes that are very beautiful.










3 comments:

  1. Love reading these posts, Philip. It's almost like being there with EH and Jo! Great food for the imagination!

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  2. Thanks Bonnie. Made me laugh- I once commented to Gail Levin that after reading her biography on Hopper that I was glad I wasn't married to him. She replied she was glad she wasn't married to either one of them. It probably is best we can only approach Hopper from the distance of time. Otherwise his irritable personality might grate on us and prevent our staying open to what he did so well in his paintings.

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  3. Yes please carry on posting such photos and notes about your stay there! We'll stop the police before they find you :))

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