Influencing Me: Edward Hopper, Repost

Influencing Me: Edward Hopper, Repost

In the past, I always enjoyed doing the Influencing Me posts and I would like to try doing them again. This is a repost of the one I did on Edward Hopper and it seemed like a good idea to show it again. I hope you enjoy it.

Influencing Me: Edward Hopper

Today we are going to look at the work of Edward Hopper.

Here is some information from Wikipedia about him.

Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life.

I was first introduced to his work by a lecturer when I was doing my fine art degree. He thought I would really enjoy his work, and he wasn’t wrong.

This is probably one of his most famous images, and one of my favourites, “NIghthawks”.

Silence

There is a silence in the images, yet there are people in them. It is strange as you don’t normally think of that when you see photos with people in it. Though, when you look at those people you have to wonder if they are happy. Not many do. It could be said the images are almost depressing. Perhaps the colour palette makes up for it.

Drama

I think what really attracts me is the sense of drama in them. The way he shows a scene, like a slice of life. They could be movie stills. You can imagine what the drama is in each one. Work out your own story line, as each one does appear to have a story.

Colours

He uses very bright colours, but they are also muted. It is almost like he desaturates his paintings. His palette is often fall of warm colours which makes them inviting to look at. Red seems to be a dominate colour. When I was at Uni a guy there used to say if you put red in an image it will sell. Perhaps Hopper knew that as well.

Hopper on his paintings

This is also from Wikipedia:

Always reluctant to discuss himself and his art, Hopper simply said, “The whole answer is there on the canvas.” Hopper was stoic and fatalistic—a quiet introverted man with a gentle sense of humor and a frank manner. Hopper was someone drawn to an emblematic, anti-narrative symbolism, who “painted short isolated moments of configuration, saturated with suggestion”. His silent spaces and uneasy encounters “touch us where we are most vulnerable”, and have “a suggestion of melancholy, that melancholy being enacted”. His sense of color revealed him as a pure painter as he “turned the Puritan into the purist, in his quiet canvasses where blemishes and blessings balance”. According to critic Lloyd Goodrich, he was “an eminently native painter, who more than any other was getting more of the quality of America into his canvases”.

That describes the man and his work far better than I can.

Here is a sample of one of his prints. It looks like a drypoint, but without actually seeing it in person, I don’t know.

I often see his work and wonder how I can take similar images. Though I don’t want to put people in them. I love the drama in them.

Influencing Me

I just love his work and have quite a few books with his paintings in them. I love looking through them. He is an important artist to me and he inspires me and his paintings inform my own work. I often think of his images when doing my own. Though I haven’t been doing it enough lately. So this post has been great for me. I hope you have enjoyed it as well.

Autobiography

I did read an autobiography about him once, and I have to say I don’t think he was necessarily a nice man. From the book it sounded like he was self absorbed and only concerned about himself. He was also married to an artist, and when he built his house in Maine he made sure there was a large studio for himself, but his wife wasn’t allowed to use it. She had to paint in the kitchen. It doesn’t detract from how wonderful his images were, though sometimes I think it is better not getting to know those whose work you admire.

I have another selection of images for you now.

27 Responses

  1. Glad you’re back posting on a regular basis. It was quite different not to stop and see what Leanne is doing with her photowork.

    When it comes to artwork, I generally look at it and file it away in my mind, not attaching it a particular artist. Edward Hopper’s work, however, I like and enjoy very much to the point where I make sure I’m able to attach a name. “Nighthawks” is his most recognizable piece and most loved. Most people can identify with the diner scene. A bit of nostalgia in many ways, when diners were so prevalent many years ago, particularly in small town America. The other piece I like is the gas station scene, very nostalgic.

    O/T: I deleted my IG account. I was receiving invites, too many, to follow adult content accounts. The artistic nude, I don’t mind, but those are so very few. Another IG account will come, though, I haven’t decided when.

    • Thank you David, it has been good to hear from many that are happy to see me back doing it. I have to admit, I like it as well.

      Nighthawks is a very distinctive painting and I think many people who don’t know Hopper recognise that painting. I get what you mean about the nostalgia, I think in many ways many of his paintings are like that. We have moved on a lot since then.

      That is a shame about your experience with Instagram, I have had some of them, but I just kept reporting it, and I haven’t had any for a while now. I am with you though, it is just sick some of the stuff that people put up.

  2. Thanks for reminding me/us of his genius with paint.

  3. I love this painting and its many parodies.

  4. I find Hopper’s work interesting. He seems to have been a very economic painter. It creates a starkness which lends itself to the viewers impressions of separation, loneliness and melancholy. He seems to have included a lot of space around his subject which evokes the same. If you play around with the images and crop them, I think the narrative changes significantly. I get the impression he wasn’t interested in the people as much as the scene. Of course, this would run counter to the idea that he intended to convey the emotional sense of lonliness and melancholy. Maybe he was only about separation.

    • I like the way he strips of the scene of anythng that isn’t necessary for the story or mood he is trying to create. I think you might be right about you thoughts on his feelings for people. I don’t know, but you have brought up some really interesting points and ideas, thank you.

  5. Nice post, Leanne. I recall being in Brighton a few years ago and snapping this little homage to Hopper – although it’s a bit more populated than his, and thus becomes more like Tom Waits’ Nighthawks.

    https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/36423520573_4600e4d839.jpg

    Cheers
    Derek

    • It is a great homage to him, I think if I had seen the photo and only told it was like a some famous painting, I reckon I would have been able to pick it, thanks for sharing.

  6. Edward Hopper is my absolute favor too, his work inspires me. Great post Leanne

  7. Ginger Peppers

    Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks is one of my favorites. Fantastic article, thanks for sharing.

  8. I really love this post, I learn so much from it and it’s good to revisit. That’s hilarious about red! Do you know the image I bought from you that is so like a painting, it has red in it! LOL

    You’re right about not getting to know too much about the artist.

  9. Thank you for a nice post. made me think of Bogart, Bacall and Film noir. 🙂

  10. Great article, Leanne! Mr. Hopper’s style is quite fascinating. His work definitely leaves a lot of room for interpretation. I had fun just viewing the paintings and imagining what was going on with the subjects. Yes, I loved it! Thanks so much.

    It is rather sad to learn more about his personality. I guess it just shows how imperfect and how truly human we all are.

  11. Yes, Hopper! Nightwatch was my first intro to him, and I still find it mesmerizing. Sadly, with a lot of artists, if you learn a lot about their personalities and personal lives, it kind of makes you wish you knew less. It’s like someone leaked a memo saying, “If you want to be a successful artist, you must also be an a**hole.” That was a fake memo but a lot of them bought into it.

    • I think it was mine as well. I love the memo idea, it is exactly like that. Though perhaps something to do with how a successful artist needs to be. I don’t know. Thank you.

  12. I remember this post and I am happy to see it again, Leanne. I have always been interested in making up my own stories about this paintings. I think he was brilliant, but, no, not a very nice man. I was so disappointed to read that about him, too. Thank you so much for the repost!

    • I’m so glad to hear that Lois, his paintings are wonderful, and I agree about the stories. I think that is often the way, they are very self involved, he seemed to be. Still a brilliant artist, thank you Lois.

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