|"Brewpub," oil on panel, 24x16, 2018|
|Edward Hopper, "Early Sunday Morning," 1930|
Although my work has been compared to Edward Hopper, the are a lot of differences. Mr. Hopper was a painter well known for his city settings, for example. The streets in his paintings generally empty, though. Mr. Hopper's work (by his own estimation) deals with loneliness, so it's no surprise that when they are present people are often alone or in couples. You seldom see a group. But Hopper's people are nearly always indoors and we see them as if we're peeping in. His streets are desolate. An excellent example is Early Sunday Morning, shows a city building raked with early morning light. No people are in sight. But cities today aren't so empty. Cities are teeming with people, especially now that moving into city centers is the trend. There are people on the sidewalks. There is nightlife, and congregations of people.
My concept of cityscape painting involves combining what Hopper did with facades, shapes, light, color and so on with the passing human parade. In my view of the city people are everywhere--walking, sitting, arguing, loving, simply being human. It's hard to exclude figures from a cityscape without making the painting seem like an architectural rendering. That is, it's important to me to imply narrative and emotion. I want my figures to be expressive. In Brewpub there is a couple who are having a bad moment of some kind--she is walking away head high and arms crossed, and he is watching her go with arms spread wide as if in confusion. What is happening between them? Your guess is as good as mine, but whatever is happening, perhaps it reverberates for viewers of the painting.