Edward Hopper, Self-Portrait, 1906
July 22, 1882|
Upper Nyack, New York, United States
|Died||May 15, 1967
Manhattan, New York, United States
|Notable work||Automat (1927)
Chop Suey (1929)
Office in a Small City (1953)
|Spouse(s)||Josephine Nivison (m. 1924)|
If the picture needs varnishing later, I allow a restorer to do that, if there's any restoring necessary.
Well, I've always been interested in approaching a big city in a train, and I can't exactly describe the sensations, but they're entirely human and perhaps have nothing to do with aesthetics.
Maybe I am not very human – what I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house.
No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.
After all, we are not French and never can be, and any attempt to be so is to deny our inheritance and to try to impose upon ourselves a character that can be nothing but a veneer upon the surface.
The trend in some of the contemporary movements in art, but by no means all, seems to deny this ideal and to me appears to lead to a purely decorative conception of painting.
In general it can be said that a nation's art is greatest when it most reflects the character of its people.
It's to paint directly on the canvas without any funny business, as it were, and I use almost pure turpentine to start with, adding oil as I go along until the medium becomes pure oil. I use as little oil as I can possibly help, and that's my method.
I believe that the great painters with their intellect as master have attempted to force this unwilling medium of paint and canvas into a record of their emotions.
Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.
If the technical innovations of the Impressionists led merely to a more accurate representation of nature, it was perhaps of not much value in enlarging their powers of expression.
I have tried to present my sensations in what is the most congenial and impressive form possible to me.
I find in working always the disturbing intrusion of elements not a part of my most interested vision, and the inevitable obliteration and replacement of this vision by the work itself as it proceeds.
There will be, I think, an attempt to grasp again the surprise and accidents of nature and a more intimate and sympathetic study of its moods, together with a renewed wonder and humility on the part of such as are still capable of these basic reactions.
In its most limited sense, modern, art would seem to concern itself only with the technical innovations of the period.
Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature's phenomena before it can again become great.
My aim in painting has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impression of nature.
I use a retouching varnish which is made in France, Libert, and that's all the varnish I use.