Tonights painting is less “On the Edge” than I would have hoped. My original idea was to create a since of urgency or imbalance, but my wife deftly pointed out how overwhelming symmetrical this painting was.
I’ve always liked Edward Hopper’s work. His paintings have an ominous feel, a narrative, maybe even a since of time. When I look at his work I’m pulled into the scene and I’m wondering, what has happened to the characters, or what will happen. Simple, recognizable, day to day objects and places creating drama. Quite amazing.
I’m slowly realizing that technical skill is a good thing to have and is necessary up to a point but what really makes a work great is the emotion that it imparts on the viewer. Movies impart emotion in the audience readily yet too often we forget about the guy holding the camera, the director setting the scene, the actors with their years of training. Music is the same, it lifts our spirits or makes us sad within a couple notes, but how long did it take the musician or host of musicians to learn how to play so well? I’m also sure that the photographer Ansel Adams trained for years to have such a masterful eye for composition. And Hopper… It’s easy to look at this painting and get caught up in the emotion and forget about the training, the years, and multiple iterations of the work before it was fully realized. But this is what it’s all about, train enough for the viewer to forget, or not care about the hard work. Train enough so they get lost in the narrative, the drama.