|Chop Suey, Edward Hopper, 1929
Thanks everyone for all the great responses last week, on what painting I should pick for Judi Blaydon's class - the ARTful Quilt. Most of the responses reenforced the idea that emotionally, I too was drawn to Giacometti. I mean, what's not to love about bold colors and mother with children? I thought the Kirchner and the Hopper though would work better through the abstraction exercises of the class I asked Judi to weigh in and her response - typical for a teacher was - Why don't you look at more Hoppers? So, I did!
Guess what? I changed my mind! After delving into the fascinating work of Edward Hopper, I found the painting Chop Suey, 1929. I was immediately drawn to Hopper's use of light and the color palette. Plus in this painting, the subjects don't seemed so haunted. Am I the
only one that feels like I move right from viewer to voyeur when looking at Hopper paintings? Not to mention, there are so many great - what Elizabeth Barton calls, "Bits and Pieces" in this piece.
My favorite way to find "bits and pieces" is to use a photo editor. Taking the image, in this case the painting and crop out a quadrilateral section that looks interesting. Taking it out of the original piece will highlight how interesting the composition of the section is on its own. You can play with this over and over till you find one that you like! Wha-laaaa - an inspiration for an abstract piece!
Now that I have the painting picked out, I can analyze the palette I need to bring to class. Judi wants us to bring fabrics inspired from the painting of our choice some of which will probably need to be dyed. My favorite way to pick out the colors of a photo is to use Color Explorer, an online color analyzer. Its super easy and free to use. All you do is upload your photo to the site, pick out how many colors you want chosen from the photo and how detailed you want the colors to be and click!! Instant color Analysis!
For Chop Suey, I chose 25 colors with a semi-fine detail setting. Here are the results.
Once I saw the palette laid out this way, I knew that I had chosen the right photo. I love all the colors and the painting has a really nice range of values from the lightest of lights to the darks. I liked the original painting, New York Movie, but for that one Hopper chose a warm dark palette without a lot of contrast. This one will be more fun colors to play with for class.
Now with the colors all picked, I can look at my hand dyed fabrics (as well as my commercial stash!) and see what I need to dye up in June. I'll need to bring the a wide range of the values from colors.
Thanks again for the comments - they really made me think!!
So what are you doing creatively?!