Assignment 5 Research–Paintings

After watching the documentary on Gregory Crewdson where he talks about being influenced by Edward Hopper paintings, I decided to take a look at some of his work and see if I could find inspiration there.

Hopper’s work is deeply entrenched in what Crewdson called “The American Vernacular” so it isn’t imagery I am after with his work, it is more the use of light and the way people are positioned in the paintings.

Two works in particular stood out to me.  One is titled ‘Morning Sun’ and the other is ‘The Woman in the Sun.’ While I don’t plan to re-create these images, I like the melancholy nature of both of them as this is what I am going to try and capture in my project “Postcards Home.”  In my attempt to re-shoot assignment 3, my tutor gave some feedback that has made me think about how I will convey my message, and that was that the image shouldn’t ‘shut down’ the meaning, i.e., if it tells it directly, it isn’t as interesting a photo.  So I have been thinking about this for A5 and I think starting with Hopper’s work is a good place to start because they depict everyday life yet they have a certain ambiguity that makes them interesting and timeless.

The other work I looked at is Vermeer.  His use of side lighting has always been a favorite of mine, so in one of the images I have already taken there is side lighting coming in and it hits my face.  I am not sure if I will include this image though.

The other idea  I have is an Orientalist painting titled ‘Enjoying Coffee’ by the French School from the first half of the 18th century.  It is actually on display here in Turkey at The Pera Museum and it is a beautiful Orientalist painting.  I was thinking I could use it as inspiration and copy the delicate hand gesture of the woman as she drinks coffee and instead of a servant, have one of my sons doing something.  I am not sure how I will create this but I have some ideas and will give it a go this weekend.


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