View Full Version : Art heritage #3 Edward Hopper

08-30-2008, 08:29 AM
Welcome to the art heritage project for September/October, 08:clap:

Our artist to study for the next TWO MONTHS is the American realist painter, Edward Hopper.

Please join in by
1.posting interesting links to Hopper;
2.creating your own composition in a 'Hopper style'; or
3.making a study-copy of one or more of his paintings.:thumbsup:

I like his figures compositions and also the study of light and shadow in his landscapes.

Some information, mainly from artchive.com follows......

08-30-2008, 08:29 AM
Edward Hopper made solitude and introspection important themes in his painting.

He was born in the small Hudson River town of Nyack, New York State, on 22 July 1882. His father owned a dry goods store where the young Hopper sometimes worked after school. By 1899 he had already decided to become an artist, but his parents persuaded him to begin by studying commercial illustration because this seemed to offer a more secure future. He struggled later in life to throw off the commercial illustrator tag.

Hopper was a slow developer - he remained at the School of Art for seven years, latterly undertaking some teaching work himself. However, like the majority of the young American artists of the time, he longed to study in France. With his parents' help he finally left for Paris in October 1906.

He said later: '[America] seemed awfully crude and raw when I got back. It took me ten years to get over Europe.' For some time his painting was full of reminiscences of what he had seen abroad, but failure to gain recognition for these paintings, threw him back on American subjects.

His first fully mature picture is said to be ‘The house by the railroad’, and with its deliberate, disciplined spareness, it is typical of his mature works.

Painting technique for this painting:

"1. Indications of the structure of the house were brushed in with a minimum of black paint in a turpentine mixture. The columns and windows on the right shadowed side of the house clearly show this.
2. The house was then painted from dark to light: Hopper gradually added more oil paint to the turpentine and built up the forms with free, often diagonal brushwork.
3. The side of the house in bright sunlight was executed less freely with transparent darks and opaque lights. Lines of blue were added after the opaque white to define forms.
4. The railway line and embankment were also executed from dark to light. The orange and ochre on the bed of the track are virtually impasto with short brushstrokes applied in various directions.
5. Although the sky may well have been indicated from the start of the painting, it appears to have been brushed around the form of the house and may have been the final part of Hopper's painting procedure. In the blue areas, the paint is thin with the grain of the canvas clearly visible. White areas were applied more thickly, but not as thick as those of the house, and brushstrokes are visible."

His paintings combine apparently incompatible qualities. Modern in their bleakness and simplicity, they are also full of nostalgia for the puritan virtues of the American past – the quirky nineteenth-century architecture Hopper liked to paint, for instance, could not have been more out of fashion than it was in the mid-192OS, when he first began to look at it seriously. Though his compositions are supposedly realist they also make frequent use of covert symbolism.

‘Hopper became a pictorial poet who recorded the starkness and vastness of America.’

Links to more Hopper info and images

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Hopper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Hopper)

http://www.museumsyndicate.com/artist.php?artist=54 (http://www.museumsyndicate.com/artist.php?artist=54)

http://www.mfa.org/hopper/ (http://www.mfa.org/hopper/)

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/hopper/ (http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/hopper/)

08-30-2008, 08:35 AM

Hopper: Chop suey 1929

Looking forward to seeing your art.:heart:

08-30-2008, 07:56 PM
Oh, goody! Hopper and his lonely people and beautifully painted houses.

By the way June, how did you like the Kahlo diary?

08-30-2008, 11:26 PM
I enjoy dipping into the diary Trafford. I look at the facsimile and I've read a little of the translation...not much yet!! Glad you like Hopper.

08-31-2008, 09:22 AM
June, your introduction to Edward Hopper is great! I can't wait to have some quiet time, a cup of coffee, and sit down and look at his sketch book on the mfa site. That was a wonderful online fine. :) Thank you so much for putting together this program. I'll add a link to an online source of an oral interview kept at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Interview with Edward Hopper
Conducted by John Morse
June 17, 1959


08-31-2008, 01:44 PM
Hi Nickel. The sketch book is good. I've had a peek and see there the start for several of his paintings.

I hope to visit the interview link soon.

09-01-2008, 10:44 PM
Hi Trafford, June, Nickel and a hopefully a host of soon comers - This artist is a nice change of pace. And two whole months should provide a nice long acquaintance time.
I hope to post something soon.

09-02-2008, 05:43 PM

The offer
Oil on canvas
8x8 inches

Here's one from me in the style of Hopper. I love the mood he creates between the interaction of people. In this I wanted to give that sense of isolation when someone has dropped a bomb into the conversation...leaving it for the viewer to consider


09-02-2008, 09:26 PM
Like how the one/woman's face is shown and the other person has his back to us...and how her expression is hard to read...( do I see a slight frown line, is her arm in a defensive posture, or just casual?.... or is that just my take...or for that matter reflective of who I am- a female- and what I bring to the picture )?:confused: ;) ...title fits, that's for sure!:thumbsup:

You've got how I read Hopper....being in the moment...in silence and with endless speculation...


09-03-2008, 02:24 AM
Yes Ryan, this has really caught the spirit of what Hopper was interested in. Isolation and together at the same time. Congrats on being the first to post work in the project.

09-03-2008, 05:46 AM
Like how the one/woman's face is shown and the other person has his back to us...and how her expression is hard to read...( do I see a slight frown line, is her arm in a defensive posture, or just casual?.... or is that just my take...or for that matter reflective of who I am- a female- and what I bring to the picture )?:confused: ;) ...title fits, that's for sure!:thumbsup:

You've got how I read Hopper....being in the moment...in silence and with endless speculation...


Chris thanks for your feedback- I'm pleased that I've managed to get you (the viewer) to interpret some of the 'clues' I threw into the mix. Its interesting to hear your interpretation of the body language.
It was tricky to leave the face loosely rendered and not get too detailed.


09-03-2008, 05:56 AM
Yes Ryan, this has really caught the spirit of what Hopper was interested in. Isolation and together at the same time. Congrats on being the first to post work in the project.

Thanks June- I do love that sense of loneliness and isolation Hopper gets accross in his work. Not sure if there are any of his works in London, but I'll keep my eye out!

I like the new image upload as this image is sight size 8x8- cool!


09-03-2008, 07:01 AM
I spent some time on the mfa site writing down words from the pod cast about Hopper. Ryan your painting fits this word.

Taciturn :)

I had to look this word up. But my take on your picture, maybe she is a bar maid and he wants a drink. :thumbsup: The white background, a mirror.

You had good control over the vastness of their expressions. Good job. :)

Hi Azul! :wave:

09-03-2008, 01:24 PM
Hi all,

Ryan - your Offer makes a memorable impression. It is quite in keeping with EH....... provides one of those times when we can watch people

09-08-2008, 05:39 AM
...Ryan your painting fits this word.

Taciturn :)

I had to look this word up. But my take on your picture, maybe she is a bar maid and he wants a drink. :thumbsup: The white background, a mirror.

You had good control over the vastness of their expressions. Good job. :)

You're not the only one who had to look it up!!:confused:

(meaning non-comminicative?)

I agree there is a barrier between them (emotional). Again interesting to hear your interpretation. Not one I thought of, but a valid personal interpretation all the same. There is the look of a bar now you've pointed it out


09-08-2008, 07:46 AM
Ryan - your Offer makes a memorable impression. It is quite in keeping with EH....... provides one of those times when we can watch people

You definitely get that with Hopper- a sense of people watching that leaves you guessing what they are talking about- my favourite is Nighthawks

This was done from a sketch I did at Dublin airport the couple were having a heated discussion:( . I obviously could not hear what was being discussed but wanted to capture the mood and that sense as a viewer when to are trying to figure out the relationship in a people watching type of way.

I think from the different interpretations so far I'm happy that viewers are being invited to interpret the scene and interact with it

Thanks Azul!

09-08-2008, 08:33 AM
I managed a quick watercolour sketch this morning. I took the figures straight from a photo in the RIL. I will post the sketch to show I am thinking about the Hopper project, and I love his work, but it may take a bit more time to 'get into' it.

here are the men, about 4 by 6 ins, cartridge paper.:)


09-08-2008, 11:01 PM
By that body language...one sprawled in his space,he other tightly perched...it looks like they are both trying to pretend the other is not there...also looks like it's a scene from Greece or Turkey?

09-09-2008, 05:55 AM
Hi wildgoose, its from a photo in the RIL and I can't remember exactly but I think it was France. (not my photo). I posted it because it was figurative rather than very Hopper-like. I'm still 'thinking' on that one!

09-09-2008, 02:53 PM
June - fun piece, pleasant to look at and contemplate - guess that is what Hopper was about.
Perusing the link and selected 3 very different pieces.
After looking at his work, I want to go read about the guy.
looking thru the photo library - good idea:thumbsup:

09-09-2008, 05:42 PM
Hi June- great watercolour! I get the feel they were friends that have let something come between them- the body language says it all!


09-10-2008, 09:02 AM
I did a little sketching from the TV this morning...'Frasier' has lots of cafe scenes to sketch from. I think I'll take the camera out with me and visit the local cafes, some day soon.

I suppose there might be cafe scenes in the RIL too. Must do a search there. See you later.

09-10-2008, 10:00 AM
June great job with the shadow and lights. These guys look like they are waiting on doves to show up so they can feed them. Or another take, they are sitting outside the hopital waiting for news. Regardless, they are not talking. I can't wait to see what you come up with at the cafes.

Azul, let's us know what you find out when you get to read more about Hopper.

Ryan, intersting story on your painting.

Hopper reminds me of Turner.

:) Nickel

09-10-2008, 10:16 AM
woooohooo- good Idea June - I thought about photographing some of the students at the middle school (6, 7th & 8th grades) this morning but was afraid I'd be percieved as inappropriate......it would be fun to roam around town with the camera though......hehehe

Nickel - how does Hopper remind you of Turner?

09-10-2008, 03:07 PM
Hi azul, I am a bit worried about photographing people in public places such as cafes. I wonder if you need to ask permission etc. Maybe best to do my photos outdoors at the market or park. Hope you get some good photos.

09-11-2008, 08:53 AM
June - I really know what you mean. I never see anybody doing it (photographing people in public) and wonder what reactions would be.

My Friend fell and broke his wrist . Was in the hospital yesterday and later that night the images of people in rooms, looking so small in the midst of all the technology struck me . If I visit him again I will cautiously take my camera, nothing ventured nothing gained ...Maybe if we look on the photography forum we would find some idea of situations etc.

09-11-2008, 12:50 PM
I broched the subject in the photography forum here


This is a Hopper1927- Automat..... 5 X 7 inches.....but I messed up- being new to colored pencil I tried it on watercolor paper - not so good

09-11-2008, 10:16 PM
maybe you can see it better this way


also check out Andrew's reply in the photography thread link in above post

09-11-2008, 11:50 PM

Read Andrews' reply, and think that's the route I'd take, if I could...use a zoom lens!
Except my old Pentax K1000 uses film; and my digital is just that... not a new super-duper SLR/Digital combo with interchangeable lenses, et al.....

Your picture,-even with that old water heater (?) in the corner is just so topical in feel...exceedingly:cool: how those multiple lights just kind of trail [/I[I]]off into eternity, or some kind of ever-waiting limbo...

(...can remember doing laundry in the college dungeons at 2:30 am or so, it really IS some kind of Purgatory; especially if you forgot to bring something to read !
...this has been out of my frame of reference for years....don't know if I should thank you for conjuring it up again) !;)

09-12-2008, 10:35 AM
Thanks for asking about the photography Azul. I took my camera to town this morning, but wasn't brave enough to use it... and anyway, I was rather busy trying to find the right ink package for my printer. Luckily we have 2 months to get around to it. Maybe we could post our photos in a separate thread? I'll start one in the projects and you can post your 'Hopper-related' photos there.

I got a book on Hopper out of the library.

I like your cp of the automat. She looks so lost and lonely.

09-12-2008, 07:24 PM
Hi Folks,
Azul, the colors are most magical in your newest work. It's quiet the charmer. :)
You asked how Hopper reminded me of Turner, back when we did some studies on his work, I wrote something to the effect he didn't talk much rather letting his art speak for his thoughts. And I quess Hopper's lights triggered a recollection of Turner although after another look tonight, Hopper doesn't quiet match the glory of Turner's light in painting.

Compare this post of Turner's work, however, watercolours rather than oils but good examples of the light I refer to: Color Beginnings , Moonlight or S. Giorgio Maggiore: Early Morning


and this link to an oil painting by Hopper
Railroad Sunset, 1929


09-15-2008, 10:11 AM

Acrylic painting, 11 by 15 ins. 'Sunday papers'. An attempt at a Hopper-style work. I saw this neighbour reading, accompanied by her cat, and thought it would make a 'Hopper-style' for the project.

09-15-2008, 01:21 PM
June your painting is indeed Hopperish. I like the expression on the cat as if you were caught in the act of painting. :) The painting has a wonderful light.

09-15-2008, 04:39 PM
Hi Nickel, this one was enjoyable to do...quick, one session, and it was done. I used my interactive acrylics...I think the colours of the interactives are more subtle, like oils. Also they feel like oils, not as plasticky as my usual acrylics..but then I was using fairly cheap acrylics in the past.

09-16-2008, 06:54 AM
Have been watching everyone's progress and you all have certainly got the Hopper feeling. Azul's "Automat" and ryster007 "The Offer" and June's "The Men". Love the cat in "Sunday Papers" A June touch?

June, if you take pictures, I'll bet you'll find Hopper characters everywhere.

Here's something on Jo Hopper http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2004/apr/25/art1 and a movie?

Still working on my Hopper. I tend to get too fussy.....Janet

09-16-2008, 02:01 PM
Looking forward to your 'Hopper', Trafford. I swithered about whether to put the little cat in, but I like him/her, and this woman is always surrounded by her cats. Plenty of time yet to do another?

I still haven't followed all the links!!

09-17-2008, 05:52 AM
Hi again. I read the interview with Hopper (link that Nickel supplied). Interesting to read hopper used Winsor & Newton materials. His argument for the need to involve 'imagination' (artists inner life) and conveying/responding to 'life of nature' in painting, were aspects of the interview which interested me.

I see there are a lot of Hopper video tributes on Youtube.com

09-19-2008, 02:15 PM
June, your neighbor a la Hopper is delightful. The cat looks like it's puzzled "now how did she get all those stripes, she wasn't a tabby yesterday."

Nickel - thanks, I just do the colors I see on the printout. Our printer is not the greatest....oh and now I got sardine oil on the keys......our cats will probably be logging in .....:cat:

Trafford - Hi , thanks for the links, I'll check em out soon. Am looking forward to your Hopper. We are going to move the piano to my daughter's this weekend - up a flight of stairs - might get some good photos for a composition, maybe

WildGoose- most laundrymat are depressing, but I'd hate to be doing laundry anywhere at 2:30am!!!!

09-20-2008, 01:51 AM
Thanks Azul. Good luck with the moving. Hope you get some good photos too.

09-24-2008, 12:07 PM
Here is a Hopper landscape I am copying and here is the first little bit I've done in colored pencil

09-24-2008, 12:49 PM
A very solid landscape to study. Lots of interesting bumps and valleys!! Do you like the squaring up method? Looking forward to seeing the progress with this azul.

09-24-2008, 01:09 PM
Beautiful peice to copy. It reminds me of Idaho. Should look great in CP.

09-24-2008, 05:37 PM
We are going to move the piano to my daughter's this weekend - up a flight of stairs Hope you got to watch the Laural and Hardy piano moving movie - get tips on what to avoid...:D:eek::lol::lol:

09-25-2008, 01:06 PM
June - yes I do like the squaring up method. It allows me to focus on the shape relationships in small doses , phasing out the left brain pull.

Coffeecup12 - is that your average coffee consumption per day?:eek:
I think it a strong landscape too. It is California....
ObjArtist - haven't seen that Laurel and Hardy, bet it is a scream.

Here is something fun that was in CP forum - ah, it has to do with plants...


10-01-2008, 10:28 AM
Hello :wave:

I was browsing the forums and came across this project about Edward Hopper and wondered if you would like to see my version of his painting, Lighthouse Hill 1927. Acrylic, 10"x 7" on "acrylic paper".This is one of my favourite paintings, partly because of the isolation discussed and also because of the slightly abstract vegetation in comparison to the buildings. To me, the lighthouse and station are like two people standing apart from one another. Making the house bigger than in the original was accidental (Freudian according to one of my friends!).

I first came across the picture in: Edward Hopper by Ralf G Renner, pub. Taschen, 2000 (trans from German).

The original painting can be seen on this link http://www.talkingphotography.com/archive/2007/hopper.htm

I shall look out for some pictures which can be adapted for a painting, might even have a go at producing my own original :)


10-01-2008, 12:05 PM
Lovely work Anne. I like that sweep of orange vegetation amongst the greens. The white buildings look well against that super blue sky.

I hope you take up the challenge and produce your own composition in Hopper-style.

Great to have you join us here!

10-02-2008, 07:02 PM

Great undulations in that piece; having just started working in CP, I can see the attraction of that medium for this piec...all those green hues to work with!


Very expressive piece....can see exactly what you mean about the apartness of those very stark 2 buildings...definitely each occupying their own, very seperate space! Emotionally glacial whites!


10-03-2008, 11:39 AM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2909251873/AnnSage - that is a nice piece, his landscapes looked mildly uninteresting until I started copying one alot of things arise. That is why I like to copy pieces. Sometimes I will purpously pick one I don't like initially.

Chris - thanks but I think I might have ruined the fine start with my heavy hand and unsurety with the medium but I still feel the "pull" of colored pencils and Hopper.

Here I've finished the landscape - it is small 4 X 5/12 http://http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2909251873/

10-03-2008, 11:40 AM
Humm - the image isn't showing - maybe now?

didn't realize my grid pencil marks would show.

10-03-2008, 06:31 PM
Its a beauty, Azul. Copying something you don't like initially sounds an interesting way to get to know something. Sometimes I use colour combinations I don't really like for a similar reason...a kind of learning progression.

10-03-2008, 07:15 PM
Thank you for your comments.

June - yes, the orange vegetation was almost my own invention, it may even be a sleeping volcanic animal - but it wanted to go in there whatever it is!

Chris - I like the word 'glacial', very appropriate; I'm proud of those buildings :)

Azul - I love your coloured pencil drawing, it's very lively. The purples look good in the foreground. As for mine, afraid I chose one I liked - but copying a painting you don't immediately "get" sounds a good idea.

10-06-2008, 10:09 AM
These are from way back. Edward Hopper has always been in my TOP FIVE.


10-06-2008, 01:26 PM
Marvellous work, Steve. The white house on the hill is very splendid.

When did you do these? Are you thinking of doing any hopper-style or copies again?

10-06-2008, 03:05 PM
The first two were art school projects from 30+ years ago. The other two are from a few years later.

Here is a 9 x 12 Acrylic from a recent Different Strokes challenge. Still influenced by EH!



10-07-2008, 02:47 AM
Yes, I can see the Hopper influence in this one too. Good work!

10-13-2008, 01:06 PM
Shunter - the lighthouse one has the Hopper lighting on the building.

Over lunch today I read the Hopper links - here is a quote at the end of the interview. I've heard this sentiment expressed by Harold Speed also...mainly that work on technique but all the while do not neglect your inner visions. I think Blake readily demonstrates that with his simple early imaginative drawings and watercolors. He doesn't wait for excellence he dives right in and creates joyously on the level he is on.

here's the quote

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. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. One of the weaknesses of much abstract painting is the attempt to substitute the inventions of the intellect for a pristine imaginative conception. The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm and does not concern itself alone with stimulating arrangements of color, form, and design. The term "life" as used in art is something not to be held in contempt, for it implies all of existence, and the province of art is to react to it and not to shun it. Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature's phenomena before it can again become great.

10-18-2008, 09:47 AM
Nice landscapes Annsage and Azul....Shunter too, especially the second image down and the subway. Is that Bleeker Street?

Finsihed my Hopper like painting and now I can't upload it, something to do with cookies??? Don't know if it's WC or my computer, which has been acting most peculiar lately. Will try to find the attachment instructions and try it that way.

10-19-2008, 07:29 AM

10-19-2008, 08:11 AM
Marvellous Hopper-style imagery Trafford. I love this!!

10-22-2008, 08:45 AM
Trafford - this is absolutely delightful, what medium is it?

10-22-2008, 08:48 AM
Hoppers charcoal - and my WIP

10-22-2008, 01:58 PM
Azul, this really looks good so far. I forget about Hopper's drawings, so much emphasis is put on his paintings.

I used acrylics for my painting. Some day I'll open my little box of water based oils and give them a try. Had trouble with the shadows but finally just went for it.

I can't tell you Azul, June and Nickel how glad I am that I stumbled into Classical Art. The challenges are getting me to do all sorts of paintings that I wouldn't have done before. I even did a miniature:smug: Can't believe it.

10-25-2008, 11:42 PM
yes, I know what you mean about the minatures. I can't believe I tried one. It made me go just about crosseyed!!!

10-28-2008, 10:12 PM
I finished the charcoal study and did one in the Hopper vein from a photo. Here they are.

10-29-2008, 04:49 PM
Hi azul. I love that charcoal drawing. It reminds me of the Cezanne paintings of men playing cards! Like Trafford, I never thought of looking at Hopper's drawings. I think he kept a good record of his work...as seen on one of the links above.

Also, I love what you achieved with your watercolour. The original photo is just great for a Hopper interpretation!:thumbsup:

Talking of water-based oils, I am into those at the moment...because they are like using watercolours, but the result looks like oils, and NO smells. I have only managed a few colour charts and a stab at abstracts so far.

I got a little tin of caran d'ache water-soluble crayons today, and so I am looking forward to experimenting with them. The colours look very rich..so I am pleased. I usually use the non-soluble ones...but they take a lot of blending. Water should speed that process up!!

10-30-2008, 09:15 AM
Azul, love the drawing. Such a good idea to use something different of Hoppers. The man in chair photo shows that there are Hopper people everywhere, just waiting to be painted.

Hope you like the Caran d'Ache crayons June. Guess you could use them with watercolors as certain kinds of blending etc. I must do more experimenting.

One of these challenge months I'll brave the water soluble oils. I'm afraid of trying these things and them end up loving them.