American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967) wrote in 1953:
“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. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. One of the weaknesses of much abstract painting is the attempt to substitute the inventions of the human intellect for a private imaginative conception.
“The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm and does not concern itself alone with stimulating arrangements of color, form and design.
“The term life used in art is something not to be held in contempt, for it implies all of existence and the province of art is to react to it and not to shun it.
Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature’s phenomena before it can again become great.”
Hopper’s work inspires me. Here are two of his paintings with my commentary attached.
When I was growing up, the front porch was a meeting place of all that was good, a safe haven, a place for family and friends and the cats and dogs, and real conversations and big plans. Then, we didn’t need therapists and psychologists, we had the front porch and each other and the stars in the sky and summer nights and summer rain and an occasional storm that would remind us there is a reason we’re here.
in an empty all-night cafe
a woman is thinking
about the man
who is thinking of her.
(from my book “Things I Remember”)