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For this project, I choose Edward Hooper's "Roof, Washington Square", which was created in 1926. It is currently displayed in Carnegie Museum of Art. The art piece is describing a house roof in Washington. The artist intentionally ignored all the skyscrapers and leaved a pure sky at the top of the painting. Actually, Edward had stayed on the roof for days to observe angles, shadows and all the details. This was painted after Edward learned etching. He said "after doing etching, my painting begins criticizing." And we can feel the preciseness and the power underneath those lines and strokes. I choose this painting also because the whole painting is quite unique. It seems like some random daily scene without anything special, but at the very first sight I could feel its power and I was kind of being absorbed into the painting. It feels so strong and makes me feel powerless and trapped in some interesting way.

Experience and Response

Summary of notes, experience and immediate feelings:

The strokes are so strong, but they are still precise. Those strokes are not inspired by feelings, but seem like created by precise observation and careful consideration. Also, the lines are pretty straight and parallel. This kind of repetition does not feel boring because the colors, which are influenced by lights and shadows, vary a lot. However, those parallel lines still give some sense of order and unfreedom.The contrast between sky and ground scene makes me feel those chimneys are trying to grow and escape, but they can never make it. The red is dark. The shadows are so clear and we can feel there is even no cloud in the sky. Everything is exposed and clear. So I feel kind of depressed due to the power and indication of the painting. The whole painting is quite vivid, but not too vivid. The painter actually learned etching before doing this painting, which can explain why his strokes and lines are so strong and organized. Also, he eliminated some skyscrapers which should have been showed in sky. The author actually not just documented surroundings but really created the art piece.


So, in one hour's work, I got this. I tried to express my feeling of depression and unfreedom. Also, I tried to reproduce the power and strength in the original painting.

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