Thursday, August 25, 2011

In the Movies

Kate Kern Mundie, 8th and Market Streets (Lits Bros.), oil on panel, 30 x 20 inches

I am a little behind in my movie watching. I finally saw “How Do You Know” written and directed by James L. Brooks. It was a cute romantic comedy starting Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. The real reason I watched is one of my paintings is in the movie.  
Image: via poptower. Scene from “How Do You Know”, painting by F.A.N. Gallery Artist Al Gury can be seen in the back ground in the gold frame.

Production for the movie started in the summer of 2009. The movie was filmed in Philadelphia and Washinton D.C. During that time a “How Do You Know” production staff member came into F.A.N. Gallery looking for paintings of Philadelphia scenes. They rented paintings from the artists Treacy Ziegler, Al Gury, Tezh Modarressi, Gregory Prestegord, and me, Kate Kern Mundie. The paintings were used in developing the look and feel of the office and home of the character George, portrayed by Paul Rudd. On the DVD, you can see the paintings in chapters 2 and 3 in George’s office and in his home at the beginning of the movie.

I don’t think I have ever watched a movie that closely for set design before. The paintings were hard to pick out unless you knew what you were looking for, but it was still exciting to see my painting in a movie.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking for Hopper

Edward Hopper's house from the road

Hopper's north facing studio window

Kate Kern Mundie, Mill Pond Road (Truro)
oil on canvas mounted on panel, 16 x 16 inches, 2009
For several years I had been poking around Truro trying to find the house that Edward Hopper built and used as a painting studio from 1934 until his death in 1967. In past years I had seen the house from a distance but had never figured out how to get to it. I had painted along Mill Pond Road and painted his house perched up on the bluffs above the water by Fisher Beach. A few months ago, I found the address of Edward Hopper’s house by looking at Truro zoning information. From the last information I had found on the house, his nieces were trying to get the house turned into a museum and that they had left his easel in the house as a homage to him.  Now, I had an address and  knew exactly where to go. When we got to his road I realized why I had never found the house. The turnoff for Hoppers house is a very long pitted dirt road that looks very private and I had been to shy to go poking along private roads.  The road winds along through the woods for about two miles until it opens up and you can see his house. There was no chain across the drive way and no “No trespassing” signs so we drove down to it. I climbed the long stairs up the hill up to the house and peaked in the windows. Someone lives in it now. I did not see the easel. I guess the plans to make it into a museum have failed. I snapped some shots of the house, porch and Hopper view and then left. I did not want the home owner to find me there poking around their house. Although, if you live in a famous persons house you must expect some meddlesome fans to periodically come around.  
Overlooking Fisher Beach

Hopper's “Rooms by the Sea” is an interior view of this house but he never did an exterior view. I would suppose since he had a great studio space at the house he would be more comfortable painting in the studio and would not have the urge to go out and paint the house.  Hopper painted interiors and exteriors of many of the other places he lived or stayed. Some of his paintings were straight forward landscapes, urban streetscapes, however some paintings become almost portraits of the homes of friends.  Many of his other landscape sites and buildings are a conglomeration of several buildings and points of view combined to make the most compelling composition. TheNighthawks, arguably his most famous paintings, is believed to be thecombination of several dinners and automats and a couple of different streetcorners.

I am glad I found the house. Seeing his house felt like a connection to the man who has had a huge influence on my paintings and drawings.