Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As They Were Meant to Be (oil on canvas, 2014)

The thing I like about Edward Hopper is his use of geometry. The way he uses shapes, with themes and variations, and the way he creates so many interesting shapes by using the edge of the picture plane. One of my favorite Hopper paintings is called "Nighthawks" and I love it because it's filled with triangles. There are dozens of triangles and every time I look at that painting, I discover another one that I hadn't seen before. Hopper was a brilliant designer on a purely two-dimensional level and much more of an abstract artist than I think most people realize. When I was learning how to paint, I copied some Edward Hoppers and I soon found myself plagued with the comparison - to the point that I stopped looking at his work and made a conscious effort to avoid his influence. But, obviously, the influence is still there. The paint application and the color in this image are certainly, uniquely me, but the geometry reminds of Hopper as does, I suppose, the subject. Our heroes will always influence our work in some way, even if it's only through the subconscious. What matters most is that we take what we need from the masters and find a way to make it our own.

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