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    Hop A Train

    Paintings by Edward Hopper (1882-1967) are intriguing. They capture the loneliness of city life. The characters in his paintings do never make contact with other people. Hopper's style is realistic but cold, as if the people are completely isolated from the outside world. I like to think that the situations he painted took place in complete silence. I'd like to discuss two paintings by Hopper.
    The first painting is of a lady drinking coffee in a cafĂ© in the middle of the night. She looks elegant in a dark green coat  trimmed with fur, and a yellow hat. I wish women would wear hats more often these days. She looks down at her cup of coffee, as if she is deep in thought. Where does she come from? Why is she here? Where will she go to next, where will she sleep? The mysterious lady keeps the answers to these questions to herself. There is something about this painting that illustrates the romanticism of travel.
    Automat, 1927
    The second painting shows an elegant lady too, but this time she's sitting in a train. She sits with her legs crossed and is quietly reading a book or a magazine. Her hat covers her eyes so we cannot read her expression. The place beside her is empty, which emphasizes the absence of other people. The interior of the train is light green and not very comforting. When we look out the window, we can see that the sun is setting. This painting perfectly captures the peacefull yet lonely situation when you have to travel by train by yourself.
    Compartment C, Car 293, 1938
    For me, these two paintings represent the feeling of travelling by yourself. They make me want to go to the train station and take the first train I see. I always wanted to do something spontaneous like that. I guess I am a hopeless romantic...


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