Cher’s Famous Art
11 January 2021
Rooms by the Sea
Edward Hopper, 1951, American realist
I love the sea. I love the sound and the patterns created by the waves rolling against the hull of a ship as it cuts through the rolling water of the deep blue ocean. I love the calm lapping of the waves upon the white sand beaches of the seashore. I am dreaming of them today as look out my window at the white snow blanketing my January Minnesota landscape.
Cruising on the Sea
Enjoying the ocean with a 360 degree vantage point while aboard a cruise ship floating on the open water, has become a highlight of my life. For nearly 50 years (yikes!) I’ve enjoyed cruising with friends and family, including an enchanting honeymoon 43 years ago! A mid-winter holiday cruise has become our family tradition for the past 20 years. It provides a time to escape the clutches of the cold weather, relax and leisurely reconnect with one another.
I’ve selected this painting because it reminds me of the view I should be experiencing this week off of our stateroom balcony, with a safety railing of course. Wide-spread cruising cancellations this winter are yet another unfortunate causality of COVID-19!
A Room by the Sea
I am fascinated by Hopper’s work because of his mastery of light and dark values within his art. In “Rooms by the Sea,” I am mesmerized by the effects of the sunlight that floods the room. It invites me pull up a comfy beach chair; pour a cool, refreshing umbrella drink; and soak in the sun and the sea. . . and dream of future cruises in future years when COVID-19 is a distant memory.
Edward Hopper was a mid-twentieth century American painter whose personal inner emotions translated into his paintings. Feelings of desolation, despair, solitude and silence, mixed with an intense sense of beauty are seen in the buildings and objects he painted. There is a sense of aloneness, even in the presence of other people, that exists in his art. Such is seen in one of his most famous paintings, “Nighthawks,” which I discussed in a previous post Aloneness in April, 2020, during the early days of this pandemic. It is still applicable today.
In many ways, “Rooms by the Sea” also exemplifies the emotions many of us are feeling today, during the shut downs, social distancing, and quarantining imposed on us during this pandemic–no matter how lovely the view from the balcony or window.
Being a person typically not being drawn to paintings of despair and aloneness, I love most of Hopper’s work and find his paintings to be engaging. They draw me in. They invoke an inquisitiveness in me as they invite me to inquire about the story within the scene. Who are these people? What is the back story? What is going in? It has been said that in his paintings, he filled empty rooms with the “mystery of existence as well as with his own spirit. In essence, he, like Van Gogh, was painting not just the objects themselves, but turning them literally into self-portraits” (www.EdwardHopper.net).