Friday, May 22, 2015

The Colors of Chop Suey. . . . Off the Wall Friday

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.
Cool right?!

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?!


Living to work - working to live said...

What a great way to analyse colour in a picture. And the resulting palette is so inviting. Brilliant! Must try it. And I love that picture btw, though I'm not familiar with it and certainly I could not claim to be knowledgeable about Hopper.

sonja said...

you chose wisely i feel as Hopper's people and buildings and the colorsannnnnd light, oh the light, he used have always held stories i wanted to read in books i have yet to stumble upon. you go girl!!.

Anonymous said...

Happy to see your choice of inspiration. Have loved his work ever since I saw an exhibition in a Danish art museum many, many years ago.
Thanks for the link to Color Explorer. I have been looking for it without finding it probably because I didn't remember the name. Link will surely be saved this time.

Maggi said...

What a great choice to develop your colour palette from.

The Inside Stori said...

Thank you to exposing me to so many interesting ways to look at art!!!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

This is so far away from what I do. I am fascinated by this process and I really can't wait to see this one unfold.

Turtlemoonimpressions said...

Wise choice! Such luscious colors in this Hopper!

quiltedfabricart said...

Oh! The fun you are going to have in your class! Yes you did make the right choice and thank you for the information about the color pallette tool - new to me and I can see it being useful.

Claire said...

Thanks for the link to Color Explorer. I think it may solve a problem I'm having translating a photo to a quilt.

Angela said...

I will definitely check out that color tool.

The Idaho Beauty said...

As I said, can't go wrong with Hopper! Although I do wish you'd stayed with your original selection. I felt it offered more variety and contrasts, but this is your project, not mine. ;-)

Thanks for the link to Color Explorer. I've tried several of these free color analysis tools but not this one. I think I like the way it works better than the others which have somewhat frustrated me.