Thursday, September 25, 2014



Who is Edward Hopper?

Who is Carol Hopper?

Carol (that's me) married into the famous Hopper family.  I didn't even have to bribe anyone for entrance.  They needed me, because I am an artist.

How are Edward and Carol linked?

Willem Hopper is our genealogy link. This great man was born in the Netherlands in 1596 and died in 1626.  It is really difficult for me to comprehend how long ago that was.  That was prior to the Pilgrims, prior to New York even being called New Amsterdam when it was a Dutch Trading Post.  Willem was born 208 years before Lewis and Clark departed on the first expedition to explore the western portion of the United States!  Willem came before many explorers came to the United States and unfortunately I don't know when he arrived nor why.  I can only guess that he probably signed on to an expedition to the "new country" as a teenager as Holland was a major explorer of the New World, hoping to gain new land.  It is possible Willem died in the New York area but I don't know that either.
Willem was the First Generation of Hoppers.

Fast forward past the second generation to the Third generation and Hendrick Hopper was born January 9 of 1655 or 1656 in Hackensack, Bergen, New Jersey.  Hendrick is the great, great, great, great grandfather of artist, Edward Garrett Hopper, Ninth Generation of Hoppers.  

Edward Hopper  is one of the best known painters of the 20th century American genre and landscape.  He was born in Nyack, New York on July 22, 1922 one of two children.  His family was solidly middle class; his father, Garrett Henry Hopper owned a dry goods store where young Edward sometimes worked after school.
Perhaps you already know Edward was especially known for his paintings of interiors with isolated figures, for rural landscapes and marine scenes.  During much of his career, he lived half of the year in Greenwich Village, New York in a row house facing Washington Square and the other half of the year near Truo, MA on water with a view toward Provincetown.

New York Movie by Edward Hopper

Automat by Edward Hopper

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

I married into the 12th generation of Hoppers.
Our great, great, count the number of greats...grandfather is indeed one and the same
Willem Hopper.  My husband's grandfather James Calhoun Hopper had a general store, just as Edward's father had a dry goods store.


Edward first came to Maine in 1914.  Around 1914 Monhegan Island began to firmly establish itself as an Artist Colony.  Beginning in 1916 Edward Hopper painted Monhegan Island, Maine for four consecutive summers, concentrating primarily on distinctive rock formations such as Blackhead and Gull Rock.

Blackhead by Edward Hopper

Gull Rock by Edward Hopper

I too love Maine and this summer painted Monhegan Island.

Andrew Wyeth House, Monhegan by Carol Hopper

Edward and I both love the work of Andrew Wyeth.  Andrew Wyeth and Edward were contemporaries and were fond of one another's work.
 Andrew Wyeth spent summers in Maine for most of his life.

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
Christina Olson had a disability and is painted crawling home from the Olson family cemetery.

My pen and ink sketch of the Olson House

Well, I guess there are many dissimilarities as well
 I am nowhere near the painter Edward was and I am not famous, not even a little.  Edward made his living as a painter.  I only WISH I made a living as a painter.  Edward lived near the water.  I live near cactus and sage.  Edward was formally trained as artist. I have informally studied with many wonderful artists.

But for sure we both have traveled to 
 a number of times to paint.

I live with Edward Hopper every day because I chose to paint a legal copy, not for sale of
 "Portland Head Light"
by Carol Hopper after Edward Hopper

Monday, September 22, 2014



I think about my July/August trip to Maine a lot as it was a lifetime event.  I want to go back and often think about buying a little cottage in the mid-coast region.  If only.

I found it difficult to paint en plein air there because the colors seemed flat, the light key very high and the water vistas vast.  Can you see what I mean by comparing and contrasting the photographs below with my completed painting?

It took many days of plein air paintings and corrected paintings to see how important it was to zero in on a smaller area.  Paintings can't capture the vastness the eyes see.  But translating the view to a painting takes practice.  It is so important to sketch before painting.

On my last day on the mainland of Maine  I wandered looking for a coastal painting opportunity.  Way too often what I wanted to paint was on private property so it occurred to me to look for vacant "For Sale" waterfront property.  When I drove to this beautiful For Sale site, a handsome man was working in the yard giving me an opportunity to ask for permission.  He assured me it was ok to paint there.  

Maple Juice Cove, Maine by Carol Hopper
9x12, unframed, oil on gessobord
Click here to purchase

 The gorgeous house on Maple Juice Cove is still for sale and you might like to buy it at   The owner told me even more than I had previously learned about the Olson House which is located directly across the water to the left, out of my photograph.  If you are a lover of history and famous paintings and painters you might like to visit the Olson house website.

Edward Hopper is a very famous painter too, who painted this area.  I have thought about telling you how he is a relative of mine...through marriage.  Would you be interested in hearing that story?

Sunday, September 14, 2014



Let me tell you the truth...


I participated in a weeklong plus three days
Starry Night Plein Air Event
New Mexico

The below painting is my 

it couldn't be counted as plein air
as this crazy tree had a mind and limbs of its own 
that didn't compute to any tree I knew

So tree and I fought
and I had to paint more than the maximum of the allowable 20% in the studio

Plein air paintings must be 80% done in fresh air.

Portrait of a Tree
Beautifully framed
Click here to purchase.

At 8 AM, I couldn't see the tree's shape
What was behind the tree and what was the tree?

Two days later I came back and took a photo of this apple tree from a kneeling position
Ah...I see the limbs...
Who trimmed this tree like this anyway?????
Does it produce more apples if it is a caricature?

Webster Dictionary:  caricature
  "1. exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics"

I had to edit out the entire orchard back in my studio
and paint sky behind the tree in order for the tree to be
seen as a portrait

Lesson learned from this:
Draw first
Paint later

Monday, September 8, 2014



Gate to No Where

I started painting this gate by 8:15 AM, on a typical intensely bright sunny New Mexican day.
All week I painted in Corrales, NM en plein air for the
Corrales Plein Air Event.

It was intense....
daily hauling equipment
dealing with an umbrella that had a mind of its own
Yet I promise you....
in NM you either use an umbrella or find a shady place in which to paint.

Yet it was a fun week filled with meeting other artists
working with Sue Winstead, a most talented coordinator
attending meetings and events

blocking in the underpainting with transparent colors

Umbrella working fine but later did the Mary Poppins thing

"Corrales Winery Blue"
12x12, framed, oil on gessobord

Monday, September 1, 2014



12x12 unframed oil on gessobord
Click here to purchase

For ten colorful painting days I stayed in this magical place.
In this courtyard alone at
Le Vieux Couvent in the Lot Region of France

there were painting opportunities to last for weeks.

I love the color of the flowers, medieval stone building, and the shade umbrella.