Monday, February 7, 2011

Picture This

Edward Hopper, "Automat"

All weekend, in between hockey and sliding and ferry rides and gummi bears and yo-yo's (our nephew was here for the weekend :) ), I was thinking about words and images, images and words.  Photographs came to mind, but paintings, too.  Mostly paintings.  I'm an Edward Hopper girl.  One of my goals in life is to write a Hopper painting.  If you're a little bit of a loner like me, and you're stuck for inspiration for the Picture Exercise, perhaps you might Google Edward Hopper and see what happens.  

And remember the above painting?  I offered it this past Friday as possible inspiration for the Picture Exercise, and then over the weekend we took our nephew sliding on the truly monumental hill in our neighborhood.  I suddenly felt like I was in a Bruegel painting myself:

I edited this photo to give it a grainier, colder, and blurrier mood than the original shot, but it was a rather uncanny feeling to watch all those people moving against that stark landscape and those bare trees.  And, yes, that's the ocean at the bottom of the hill.  It only feels like you could slide right into it.  There's a large snowbank that stops you, thankfully.

I've had emails from several people who are doing the exercise, and it sounds like it's going well.  A couple of people even shared their own inspiration photos.  This first one is from Sarah.  She took this evocative photo in Yvoire, France:

And Diana-Marie sent this one, which she took in Brunswick, Maine, at the Joshua Chamberlain House. I love the idea of an inspirational photo that has no people in it, but that does have a dramatic architectural element to help create an interesting setting.  

As for me, I think I'll spend at least a part of tomorrow catching up on my own writing in a little coffee shop.  Too bad there's no more Automats where a lonely girl can go.


  1. Edward Hopper has always been a favorite of mine. When I lived in a small town in upstate NY, I used to tell people that I lived in an Edward Hopper painting. My house was right next to the railroad tracks and the train station. The houses were all the browns and deep green of his paintings.

  2. He's one great and talented man! Love his artworks!

  3. I love Hopper too. Thanks for sharing one that I hadn't seen.

  4. Hi Gigi,
    I was chatting with a group of my writing friends (in person that is) and told them about your blog exercise for this week. They were wondering why I didn't send you one of my photos... I wish I had. There is a strong fairy tale quality to the photos. I'd love to see what someone else would come up with. Oh well, next time... I'll be right on it!

  5. I am not writing right now, but I do love your art for inspiration. The lonely girl in the first picture would definitely inspire a story. For me this time of year it is bookkeeping and taxes. Oh will I be happy to have it past and go on to more fun things. Enjoy your writing in the coffee shop. My son is writing right now and spent a few hours in the greenhouse today just writing.

  6. i love hopper - we have a great one at our little museum here.

  7. Interesting! I've often thought, as I look at Hopper's work, that the writer John O'Hara evokes his paintings more than anyone else. Chances are you could do better.

  8. I do love Edward Hopper too...That sliding hill looks like so much fun!

  9. A Gal writing is not lonely - too much company in her head. I often use photos to inspire writing and visa versa. The idea of sliding to the sea is intriguing.

  10. Ahhh... Automat is one of my favorite paintings ever. Maybe it is my number one favorite. Love this.

  11. Great shot of your winter landscape!! Brings me back to days long ago...

  12. i have been away from here too long...i always get so inspired when i visit with you, my friend

    i am a loner as well, so it is so much fun to stop by and see what you have been up too...

    i love all of the photographs....lovely

    sending warm and cozy love to you today,


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