Afternoons in Hopper's Bedroom
Sun in an Empty Room, Afternoon, oil on panel, 12 x 15", 2013
Here's one of my new paintings. It was done up in Edward Hopper's bedroom in Nyack, New York. Hopper's former boyhood home is now the Edward Hopper House Art Center. Last spring and summer I made two separate trips to Nyack to draw and paint in the house where Hopper was born and came of age.
I've written several times about how central to Hopper's painting the rooms and windows of this house would become throughout the artist's entire career.
Painting is a slow process. I spent a lot of time alone in Hopper's bedroom as I worked, studying the patterns of light and shadow as they changed throughout the day. Painting is a tool for expression of course, but it is also an investigation. If you make a painting from direct observation, as I do, you learn a lot about a place, its light, and its feeling. Spending days in that room let me soak up some the soulfulness of Hopper's painting. Seeing Hopper's paintings years ago when I was struggling to make art student abstractions cleared my head. Hopper's light made me realize I needed to begin working as a realist painter. What an honor to be able to spend many hours in this place where that man's vision began.
Here's my easel set up in the bedroom working on a related painting to my oil at the beginning of this post. The two windows in the photograph are the ones depicted in my oil above.
My oil above Sun in an Empty Room, Afternoon will be included in the show at Isalos Fine Art in Stonington, Maine August 13 - September 2, 2013, Inside Edward Hopper's World: Paintings by Philip Koch. It will include additional paintings from the Nyack Hopper House and interiors painted in Hopper's studio on Cape Cod.