Friday, September 27, 2013

Closely Looking at Edward Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning" at the Whitney Museum of American Art + Japanese Salad Dressing

"Early Sunday Morning" by American Artist Edward Hopper
1930 - Oil on Canvas  60" x 30"
In the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum of Art, NYC.

"Early Sunday Morning"
A Painting by Edward Hopper

"Early Sunday Morning"
A detail showing the 1930's yellow fireplug and its long, purple shadow.

From time to time we enjoy looking closely at famous works of art, in order to notice all of the details. This week we have selected an iconic American painting by a wonderful American master from the first half of the 20th century, Edward Hopper (1882-1967). "Early Sunday Morning" is one of his most admired, most interesting and most beautiful paintings!

Gail Levin, an art historian, quotes Hopper on why he chose certain subjects to paint. "I do not exactly know," Hopper said, "unless it is that I believe them to be the best mediums for a synthesis of my inner experience." Lloyd Goodrich, a former director of the Whitney Museum of Art, wrote in 1970, "Hopper had no small talk. He was famous for his monumental silences; but like the spaces in his pictures, they were not empty." Hopper definitely preferred to leave all explanations to the viewer's imagination, best summed up in another of his quotes, "If you could say it, there'd be no reason to paint."

Hopper's paintings are loved by many and have been reproduced over and over again in art books and articles. He seems to capture something deeply-rooted in the modern American experience. An experience we still feel today as we try to create individual lives among the masses around us. His paintings are quiet, yet you hear the sounds or the wind or the lack of sound, surrounding his subjects. There is also tension in an ever-present sense of loneliness, but Hopper always finds the essential beauty inherent in his private spaces and environments.

In "Early Sunday Morning" we see his appreciation of a row of attached buildings at W. 15th Street and 7th Avenue in 1930's New York City (Manhattan) with shops on the street level and apartments above.

The first experience of the painting is the stillness that Sunday mornings always exude. We have all lived this moment on Sundays, when everyone else seems to be sleeping-in or taking-it-easy after a long work week and a late Saturday night. The peacefull world around us seems to be ours alone.

The second thing we notice is the palpable glow of the building in the long, warm rays of early morning sunlight and the shadows that light casts.

The structure is painted in red and green, complementary colors on the color wheel, which create a natural contrast and a vibrating effect in the eye.

Complementary colors
are directly across from each other
on the color wheel.

When you walk up to this painting, your eye first goes to the tilted and slightly off-center barber's pole, because the pure white paint against the dark window is the point with the most contrast and the white globe adds a highlight to the whole work. Along with the fireplug, the barber's pole also interrupts the repeated horizontal pattern created by the windows and both give the eye unique places to stop and focus.

Upon close inspection, the windows also have their own unique personalities, representing the individuals inside, and the storefronts represent each individual business.

Notice how each window is different, various window coverings with shades at different levels. Who lives in these apartments? Are the unseen people still asleep or are they reading the newspaper and drinking their morning cup of coffee? Are these people older, younger, male, female, couples or families?

Likewise each storefront is unique, with different business signage, different types of awnings, or no awning, one store is painted red and there are two hanging store signs balancing each side of the painting. 

Through his genius, Hopper has painted the business names on the glass of each storefront window using his perfect scribble. From a distance, they look exactly like hand-lettered, gold leaf signs, but in reality there is no definition to his typography

The words are actually one or two blurred strokes of yellow paint with an impressionistic wiggle of the brush on top. Up-close it looks wrong, as if the technique would not be effective, but it is. Hopper has made his signage anonymous, which adds to the timeless mystery of this work.

The store fronts also appear to be vacant, but at least one door is open. In some deserted, ghost towns a person may see a vacant building with the door open, but never in New York City. This store is most definitely occupied, with someone inside on this lazy Sunday morning.

The top green pediment of the building is quickly rendered with a few messy brush strokes. 

Interestingly, none of the brushwork is precise or mechanical, in fact the whole painting seems to have been very quickly painted. The oil paint on the canvas is mostly applied in a thin layer. In many places the canvas itself, or its weave texture, shows through the scumbled paint.

The long deep shadows of this painting add to the vertical and horizontal essential geometry of his composition. Its simplicity is its beauty: quiet; glowing; enigmatic. 

Edward Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning" is full of mystery and a painting very difficult to explain. Why is it so attractive to the viewer? The eerie stillness of this painting is best described by American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson who called such experiences "alienated majesty."


The Whitney Museum of American Art is currently showing ‘Hopper Drawing’ an exhibition of Edward Hopper's preliminary sketches and other drawings, displayed near many of his paintings, including "Early Sunday Morning." The exhibition continues through October 6, 2013 - for more information go to 

Old photo of actual building Hopper used
 as his inspiration for "Early Sunday Morning."
The building was torn down
soon after Hopper did his 
painting, "Early Sunday Morning." 

(Sources for this article, The Whitney Museum and archives from the New York Times.)

"Japanese Salad Dressing"

One of the favorite parts of eating in a Japanese restaurant is the salad. The seaweed salad, octopus salad and chopped green salads. What they all have in common is the Japanese salad dressing.

1/4 cup julienned carrot strips 1/2" long
1/4 cup diced shallots
1 knob of ginger root, grated
2 tablespoons of dried miso soup mix
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup sweet rice wine, mirin
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup light vegetable oil (walnut)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds on the side to top the salad

Put all ingredients, except carrots, into a blender and mix well
Add carrots.
Put into a covered container and keep chilled.

Ladle over salads and top with toasted sesame seeds.

Until later,


ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved for all content. Concept, Original Art, Original Text & "Original or Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All photographs were taken and/or used with permission. Artworks  © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Art Museum Buildings, Coming Soon! + Crunchy and Delicious Baked Broccoli

Exterior of The Broad Collection, in Los Angeles at 2nd Street and Grand Avenue

(image courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

New Museum Buildings
Coming Soon!

The Broad Collection, a public museum of contemporary art and headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library, will construct a new museum building on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum is designed by the world-renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro for philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad.

The 120,000-square-foot museum will cost between $80 million and $100 million to build for the museum / garage and the land will have a long term lease. The Broad Art Foundation will also set up an endowment of $200 million to cover ongoing annual operating expenses.
(source the Broad Art Foundation)

The New Aspen Art Museum

The Aspen Art Museum selected archi­tect Shigeru Ban for the design of their new building, after they acquired the land at the cor­ner of Spring Street and Hyman Avenue in downtown Aspen, Colorado. Con­struc­tion started in the fall of 2012 with 30,000 sq. ft. total area for art, education and culture. In this sophisticated and art loving community, the design includes an appro­pri­ate amount of Gallery Space (12,500 sq. ft.) for both art pro­duc­tion/education and the quality pre­sen­ta­tion of exhibitions. Design and construction of the new Aspen Art Museum is 100% pri­vately funded and construction is being overseen by the AAM New Building Committee. The project completion date is set for the sum­mer of 2014.

In 1979 the Aspen Art Museum opened its doors in the old Holy Cross Power Plant down on the banks of the Roaring Fork River. For 33 years that facil­ity served the mis­sion of the orga­ni­za­tion well, fos­ter­ing a pro­gram of art, dia­logue, and cre­ativ­ity that has grown into a major cul­tural insti­tu­tion serv­ing Aspen residents, the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado's western slope, and the year-round, world-wide visitors to Aspen. In recent years the museum has seen a 200% increase in money available for contemporary art exhibitions, the num­ber of stu­dents served, and its annual vis­i­tor base. The Aspen Art Museum has transitioned from being a small town art venue to showing world-class artist exhibitions. 

University of California, Davis - Art Museum

The new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis advances the way museum architecture is integrated into a college campus and is considered a new approach for 21st century campus architecture.
Designed by "SO-IL" in partnership with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the plan incorporates a 50,000 square foot steel structure that floats atop a series of interconnected interior and exterior spaces. The gallery alone, will take advantage of 29,000 of those square feet.
The distinct Canopy shaped open ribbed roof will extend over the site to create a landscape for various activities - generating a venue for all of the arts, plus becoming the new central focus for the campus as infrastructure and for events. 
(source: shrem museum - ucdavis)

The Pérez Art Museum in Miami
The Pérez Art Museum, Miami is the new name of The Miami Art Museum, following a donation of $40 million from Jorge M. Pérez. The new museum has been designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron which plans to open this December during Miami's Art Basel, an annual major international art fair. The grand opening will feature an exhibition by controversial contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
Ai Weiwei: According to What? at The Pérez Art Museum,
December 4, 2013 through March 16, 2014
  (source: The Pérez Art Museum, Miami)
The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in San Francisco.
The George Lucas 
Cultural Arts Museum
From Classical Illustration 
To New Frontiers In Digital Film Making & Art
In The Service Of Visual Story Telling

"I'm a storyteller at heart, and I understand the power of a visual image to tell a story. I know how works of art can ignite children's imaginations and even change their lives. They changed mine.

Even before I could verbalize what I was feeling, I was drawn in by Norman Rockwell's ability to tell a complete story in a single image. And so much of that imagery captured American cultural truths and aspirations. It was then that I began to learn the art of visual storytelling. As my career as a filmmaker grew, so did my love of art and passion for collecting.

The Bay Area has always been home to forward-thinkers and artistic innovators-people who push to do things that haven't been done before, like Eadweard Muybridge, Philo Farnsworth, Steve Jobs and companies like Pixar, Adobe, and Facebook. The history of invention here is as exciting as it is infectious. That's one of the reasons why I'm here, why I raised my family here, and why I chose to start my own business here. It's also why I chose this remarkable region for a new museum.

I want to create a gathering place where children, parents, and grandparents can experience everything from the great illustrators such as Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish, to comic art and children's book illustrations along with exhibitions of fashion, cinematic arts, and digital art. The Bay Area was the birthplace of digital arts three decades ago.

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be a center highlighting populist art from some of the great illustrators of the last 150 years through today's digital art used to create animated and live-action movies, visual effects, props and sketches. They're all united by their ability to capture our shared cultural story-from Rockwell's pencil sketches to computer generated moving images. More than just exhibiting illustration and technological innovation, this cross-section of art can help to describe and define our culture-its past, present, and future. It provides a unique way to see what's emotionally important to us as a society and how we communicate those feelings without words. The best way to truly understand art is to experience it." ~ George Lucas

To find out more about the Lucas Cultural Arts Museumclick on the center arrow of the video below.
(source: The Lucas Cultrural Arts Museum)

The new Harvard Art Museum on campus, designed by architect Renzo Piano.

The new Harvard Art Museum, opening in fall of 2014, with a building that combines The Fogg MuseumThe Busch-Reisinger Museum, and The Arthur M. Sackler Museum in a massive $350 million project that embraces the old brick façade of the Fogg, expands the footprint and adds the Italian architect’s love of soaring glass!

With the previous three museums, the internal joke at Harvard was: each museum was so independent, none would ever lend [artworks] to any of the other two Harvard museums - this singular Harvard Art Museum resolves that problem!
(source: The Harvard Art Museum)
Crunchy and Delicious
Baked Broccoli


• Preheat oven to 375°
• Chop a head of broccoli (do not rinse, immediately prior to preparing!)
• Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic

• Put broccoli, garlic, 2 tbsp. olive oil, and a few shakes of salt and pepper in a ziploc bag.
• Shake it up!!
• Spread out on baking sheet, place on top rack, and bake for about 30 minutes.
Broccoli will be crunchy and delicious

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved for all content. Concept, Original Art, Original Text & "Original or Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All photographs were taken and/or used with permission. Artworks  © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Discovery: A NEW Van Gogh! + Advice from Writers on How To Write! + Easy, Slow Cooked Pork Chops

“All research indicates: this work (Sunset at Montmajour, 1888) is by Van Gogh”

Vincent van Gogh
painting is discovered!
‘Sunset at Montmajour’
The Van Gogh Museum has discovered a new painting by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890): Sunset at Montmajour (1888). The long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting spent years in a Norwegian attic because it was thought not to be authentic. It is the first full-size canvas by the Dutch master discovered since 1928. Director Axel Rüger: “A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum. It is already a rarity that a new painting can be added to Van Gogh's oeuvre. But what makes this even more exceptional is that this is a transition work in his oeuvre, and moreover, a large painting from a period that is considered by many to be the culmination of his artistic achievement, his period in Arles in the south of France. During this time he also painted world-famous works, such as Sunflowers, The yellow house and The bedroom. The attribution to Van Gogh is based on extensive research into style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh's letters and the provenance.” Sunset at Montmajour will be shown in the exhibition Van Gogh at work in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from 24 September. 
Detail of the brush strokes.

“We carried out art historical research into the style, the depiction, use of materials and context, and everything we found indicated that this is a work by Van Gogh. Stylistically and technically speaking, there are a plenty of parallels with other paintings by Van Gogh from the summer of 1888. By means of research into literature and records, we were also capable of tracing the earliest history of the provenance of the painting. It belonged to Theo van Gogh's collection in 1890 and was sold in 1901.

The relatively large painting (93.3 x 73.3 cm) has been technically researched by our restorer Oda van Maanen, in cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijkdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed) (RCE), with X-ray photos and computer analyses of the type of canvas used. The pigments used have also been identified. Microscopic research has been carried out into the various layers of paint. Everything supports the conclusion."

The location of the painting has been identified - the landscape not far from Arles near the Montmajour hill, with the ruin of the abbey with the same name - and, moreover, there are two letters from the artist from the summer of 1888 that literally refer to the painting. Van Gogh writes that he had not succeeded, which can be explained, because the painting shows very strong and typical characteristics of Van Gogh, next to weaker and less convincing elements.

(source: The Van Gogh Museum)



J.D. Salinger's letters of writing advice
to young writer Marjorie Sheard.

After reading the short stories of a then-22-year-old J.D. Salinger in magazines such as Esquire and Collier’s, young Canadian writer Marjorie Sheard reached out to the author for guidance. Still a decade from publishing The Catcher in the Rye and his subsequent seclusion, Salinger gladly obliged, between 1941 and 1943 J. D. Salinger penned nine letters and postcards to her. The previously unseen notes offer insight into Salinger’s early creative process, as well as the creation of his most famous character, Holden Caulfield. A highlight among the letters is one in which the young author writes to Sheard of "the first Holden story" about a "prep school kid on his Christmas vacation." 

In "Lose not heart" The Morgan will display the complete correspondence, the first public presentation of these revealing letters.

(Source: The Morgan Library, 225 Madison Ave, at 36th St, 212-685-0008,
In honor of the MORGAN exhibit, Time Out Magazine, New York asked a number of present-day writers to give their advice to budding scribes. We share a few of those comments here. 
For all 15 bits of good advice for aspiring writers (and all creative types), go to their link: 

Joe Garden
Writer/producer for, former features editor at The Onion (
“Work shitty jobs that you loathe, but there’s that one bright spot that makes it momentarily bearable. Work shitty jobs that imbue in you the desire to do something different, something tolerable—and I don’t mean law school. Work shitty jobs, but don’t treat it like research or you’ll be sniffed out as a condescending prick. Work shitty jobs that you can forget the moment you go home so you can work on something you love.

Reza Aslan 
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Random House, $27) 
“The best advice I can give an aspiring writer is the one I received years ago: Nobody cares about you or your work like you do. Your agent, your publisher and your publicist are all wonderful people who work their hardest for you to succeed. But in the end, your success as a writer depends almost wholly upon your own tireless efforts to promote your book and make sure it gets the attention it deserves.” 

Mike Burns
Power Moves: Livin’ the American Dream, USA Style (It Books, $15.99)
“I believe you should be emotionally bonded to the people you write about, whether they be real or fictional. Feel sad for their hardships and happy for their triumphs. If you aren’t truly attached to your subjects, chances are the reader won’t be either. Music is very important to my writing process. I’m fascinated by the idea of using letters as a way to transform sound into images and colors in another person’s brain like some sort of sensory alchemy. Just like great films, great writing needs a great score, even if it can’t be heard.”

Edwidge Danticat
Claire of the Sea Light (Knopf, $25.95)
“It might sound corny but listen to your heart. Let that inner voice guide you, the one closest to your truest self. The story you are most afraid to tell might be your truest one, your deepest one. Don’t let neither success nor failure deter you. Remember the excitement of those first days, those first words, those first sentences—and keep going.”

Ben Dolnick
At the Bottom of Everything (Pantheon, $24.95)
“Get a kitchen timer. Writers are ingenious at redefining what qualifies as doing work (‘If I just spend this morning cleaning my desk…’). A kitchen timer tolerates no such nonsense. Set yourself a daily writing quota (as little as a half hour is fine at first), set the clock and get to work.”

Anthony Marra
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth, $26)
“Read widely. Write for three hours a day, six days a week. Throw out the red pens and retype your work. When the frustrations accumulate and you want to give up, keep in mind that your solitary struggles to shape language into meaning will become the most profound moments of your creative life. Enjoy yourself.”

James McBride
The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead, $27.95)
“Rewrite everything. Even letters.”

Stuart Nadler
Wise Men (Reagan Arthur Books, $25.99)
“A fact: You will always feel like your work isn’t good enough. As a salve, or simply as a way to stay sane, be in the world. Ride the train. Listen to strangers. Occasionally, if you’re brave, speak to them. Walk in the city you live. Pay attention…."

Rob Sheffield
Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke (It Books, $25.99)
" ’Tis of no importance what bats and oxen think,’ as Ralph Waldo Emerson said. You can’t control who reads your work or how they respond. What you can control is how much your writing means to you—if you write about things that fire up your passions, things that stimulate your neurons, writing will probably make your life better, whether anyone else reads it or not. That’s not the only reason to write, but it’s a good reason.”

Choire Sicha
Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City (Harper, $24.99)
“Don’t ever show anyone who isn’t your editor your writing before publication. That’s for goths and drama queens and dramatic goths. Either you’re a narcissist and you shouldn’t be writing, or you’re showing people drafts as an excuse to not rewrite. In any event, most of the time, they’ll send you the wrong way, and then you’re just a dramatic lazy goth with a bad piece of writing. But you didn’t have to be! You could have been an awesome goth, if you’d just holed up in your room one more night tweezing wrong words and rotten sentences!”

Adelle Waldman
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. (Henry Holt and Co., $25)
"…When you can describe people in ways that are both meaningful and consistent and survive the vicissitudes of your moods, then you know you’re getting somewhere.”

(source: Time Out Magazine, New York )


4 3/4" thick boneless pork chops
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 packet dry Ranch dressing mix

Place all ingredients in a ceramic bean pot and cook with the lid on, centered on the middle rack of the oven, @ 200 degrees [f.] for 5 hours.

OR: In a crockpot, layer pork chops, add the cream of chicken soup, then sprinkle dry ranch dressing over chops.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR Low for 6 hours.

The pork chops come out tender with an excellent flavor! You also get some good gravy to pour over your mashed potatoes! Enjoy!
(Source: Facebook Friend)

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved for all content. Concept, Original Art, Original Text & "Original or Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All photographs were taken and/or used with permission. Artworks  © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.