It’s a new season and we have new paintings in-store to mark the occasion. Painted by our talented Resident Artist, Gabrielle, she drew on our Nighthawks collection inspiration to create these new works. She too has a strong affinity to New York City and shares my love of Edward Hopper. I sat down with her to chat new season, new artworks and what inspires her most right now.
What’s inspiring you right now?
Right now I’m loving the autumn light and being able to sit outside in the sun and enjoy it without the intense heat of high summer. I’m loving that it’s raining again and the way the colours are all crisp at this time of year. We’ve got this wicked tree outside our house that’s starting to form pine cones.
We’ve been exploring new beaches around Auckland lately. Hunting out ones that are friendly for my little girl and ones that are a little closer to home. It’s been great making new favourites and trying new things rather than sticking to our usual haunts such as Piha and Tawharanui.
Recently I went to the Sam Foley exhibition at Pah Homestead which really inspired me. Hopper was part of his inspiration for the works - I could really see it, and relate to it. There is this one painting of the Grafton Bridge that has really stuck with me. It’s my old neighbourhood and I’m still thinking about it a few weeks on. You should check out his works if you don’t already know him.
From Grafton Bridge, Auckland, Sam Foley
What are your thoughts on Hopper?
I’m a long time fan of Hopper. I first discovered him at high school and had a print on my bedroom wall during my uni days. There is something foreign and exciting about his paintings. But, at the same time, they are everyday life. I find the people in them interesting, they seem like they have a story to tell even though they appear as normal everyday people. I also love the play of light in his paintings. He really seems to capture a place and time. I feel like there is something really clean, or abstract or cartoon-like about them, technique-wise. These three works are my favourites.
Office in a Small City, Edward Hopper, 1953 & New York Movie, Edward Hopper, 1939
Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942
Tell us about your paintings?
I’ve created two larger works this season. Both channel different elements of my inspiration but I feel work cohesively together.
I’m really into homes and interiors and landscapes at the moment as well as creating environments. It seemed quite natural to me to paint that. The Courtyard is a secret hidden, quiet and private space and you can go through doors to other spaces, perhaps another courtyard. I think that the idea of sanctuary is quite interesting. I love the patterns, shapes and the colours of North African architecture and wanted to bring that into this piece. I combined that with dappled light and the movement of the sun creating the shadows cast from the sun shining through the leaves. Really what I wanted was to capture that sense of warmth.
This painting is of my apartment building in Brooklyn Heights, New York. It has a beautiful façade, and is the oldest apartment building in the neighbourhood. Instead of Hopper’s office workers, it features the neighbourhoods current inhabitants - pushing strollers and going about their day-to-day lives. This painting mixes a high-summer urban-ness with greenery, combining the two spaces that Hopper usually paints separately.
What are your favourite styles from the new season?
I really like the Natalie dress and the Margie coat. I’m getting a lot of love out of my Alisa top right now as well. I’m eyeing up the pink/red Hazel dress.
Check out the full Nighthawks collection here
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There are three body measurement points that you need to know to ensure a great fit – bust, waist, and hips.
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