Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rooms With a View








While I am working on my next watercolor I thought I would share the work of one of my favorite watercolorists of all time. These paintings make me want to put away my mayline straight edge, templates, and scale ruler, and dive into the three dimensional world of painting interiors.

The artist Elizabeth Hoopes worked for Eleanor McMillen Brown for over thirty years from the 1930's to the 1960's. During that time she created an extraordinary collection of paintings that were referred to as "portraits" instead of renderings. They were painted after the rooms were completed instead of being presentation renderings, which showed the client what the room would look like. Hoopes actually sat in each of the rooms and painted what she saw in front of her.

To me her paintings capture the true essence and spirit of each room. One can actually feel the hand of the fabrics, see ones reflection in the mirror, and feel the warmth of the sunlight streaming through the windows. The colorful and vibrant watercolors of John Singer Sargeant come to mind when observing her work.

In this age of computer generated art, Hoopes watercolors are such refreshing statements that reflect days gone by and illustrate the timeless appeal of McMillen rooms.

10 comments:

Meade Design Group said...

Those watercolours are out of this world - I wish I could do something like that but you really need to be good at it.

If you want a good laugh after seeing these amazing examples check mine.

http://meadedesigngroup.blogspot.com/search/label/Watercolours%20and%20Interior%20Design

Style Redux 2 said...

Michael-Stunning-Are these from the book The Illustrated Room? The second to the last one takes my breath away.

The Peak of Chic said...

Michael- I so agree with you; Hoopes' work has always been a favorite of mine too. I've seen your watercolors, and I think you're in the same league as Hoopes!

Blue said...

Dive in and try it. It seems to me that you have the talent.

Sam said...

Michael,

I have been trying to get in touch with you but must have misplaced where I wrote down your email address. It was such a pleasure getting to speak with you at the last dc design blogger cocktail meeting and would love to find a time to pick your brain for advice some more.

You have such a beautiful blog. So glad to have found it.

Best,

Samantha

Mélanie said...

They are gorgeous but so are yours !!!

vicki archer said...

Beautiful watercolours Michael. I love the idea of an interior painting done in watercolours. x

Anonymous said...

Michael- I too have loved her work and have long dreamed of a book of her elegant, extraordinarily fluid paintings. I did not know she did them while sitting in each room....I am now in utter awe!

pve design said...

Sublime. I agree - Sargeant colors...and dreamy portraits.
pve

Rose C'est La Vie said...

thanks for introducing me to the work of Hoopes but making my own work pale into insignificance and beyond!