Archive for October 11th, 2022

A Little Hopper

Edward Hopper -Early Sunday Morning 1926

Edward Hopper –Early Sunday Morning, 1926

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world… …The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm.

Edward Hopper, ‘Statements by Four artists’, ‘Reality’ 1, Spring 1953

When I find myself struggling with my work, I usually turn to some of my favorite painters. Sometimes just examining again those paintings which once provided so much inspiration often gets me back in rhythm.

Maybe it as simple as seeing a pattern or rhythm or color and recalling how I had once integrated my versions of those things into my own work. Maybe my versions have changed or now absent. Or maybe the future in which I now sit, with some gained knowledge and skills, allows me to glean something new that I had missed in earlier examinations.

Or maybe it is just a break from being immersed in my own work. Reviewing the personal vision of others sometimes allows me to reset and reorganize.

Steady the ship, as it were.

And Edward Hopper does that as well as anyone for me. And it’s not just the work. There is something I get from the limited number of quotes he provided that jibes well with my own views on working as an artist. For example:

The man’s the work. Something does not come out of nothing.

That is akin to something that I have told students I have addressed art classes in the past. Talent and skill is wonderful but without something to say, without being a well rounded person, it will often not amount to much.

And then there’s this:

So many people say painting is fun. I don’t find it fun at all. It’s hard work for me.

I have long stated that this is, like most jobs, a hard and demanding field. It is often frustrating and certainly humbling. And even humiliating when you factor in the amount of rejection to which one is subjected.

It sometimes feels like you are running an endless marathon in which you are continually losing speed. You realize that winning the race is out window and all you can do is keep moving ahead with the hope you can someday reach the finish line having ran the best race you could.

That being said, I wouldn’t choose to do anything else at this point.

It’s what I do.

Let’s look at some of Hopper’s better-known works, okay?

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