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Showing posts from August, 2019

Three Things Edward Hopper Wants You to Know

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Here's a painting the young Edward Hopper made in art school. Tomorrow I begin teaching my final class at MICA before moving on to being a full-time painter. Fittingly my class is Life Drawing class. Probably I'll begin the class by showing the students this painting.

In Hopper's oil above we can see him working to master the basic grammar that would serve him so well in his ensuing years of painting. His painting from the model offers us a host of lessons about about painting and about seeing itself. 

Here are three that I think are among the most important.

1. Color in reality is more unexpected than we think. The pinks and subtle oranges we imagine we're going to see in the model's skin are shown instead in a world of cool grays and gray-greens. Hopper sees her color as part of the overall mood of the light in the room.

2. Hopper walked around for awhile before starting his painting to check out all the possible vantage points. It's not the normal way to present…

Brandywine River Museum of Art- N.C. Wyeth Exhibition

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N. C. Wyeth, Blubber Island, Port Clyde, Maine, tempera and oil on hardboard, 1944, Brandywine River Museum of Art

N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives, organized by the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art (in Maine) is on display at the Brandywine Museum through Sept. 15. It heads up to Portland Oct. 4, 2019 through Jan. 12, 2020. My wife Alice and I drove up to see the exhibition last Friday. In a word it's super.

Sometimes we head into a show intending to spend more or less equal time with all the works. That didn't happen as I totally fell into the first two paintings I saw as soon as I entered the gallery.
First is the one above of a solemn rocky island adorned by a device the wall label identifies as a hydrographic signal. That signal lifts our eye up from the heavy mass of the rocks and gets us to look into the sky. 

At first I wondered why the signal and the several seagulls flying off to the left felt so right. Then I realized that if your string the s…