One of the last little trips I made before the pandemic hit, was a road trip with two friends to see the Hopper Hotel show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. I have always been a Hopper devotee. My uncle, an art historian and painter, was a lecturer on Hopper at Washington University in St. Louis, and since I learned to paint from him, I looked at a lot of Hopper paintings over many years. I even named one of our dogs after him... The show in Richmond was fantastic and I fell in love all over again with the painting "11 am" which I have depicted on the left hand wall in this painting. I also stole the wonderful figure from Hopper, reversed her pose and made her the woman isolating alone in "Staying Home".
"Staying Home" oil on linen 36" x 36"
But she is not alone at all. Another silver lining to the pandemic was that many people realized that it was the perfect time to bring a dog or cat into their lives. Pets are companionship and comfort and that is what we all needed. A record number of animals were pulled from shelters and placed into loving forever homes. So the woman in this painting is surrounded by her dogs and cats in the warmth of a cozy interior. The other painting on the wall is Bonnard's "Woman with Dog" -another favorite painting of mine.
Other activities that people were doing while staying home are represented in the painting; such as learning chess, (I think the cat is winning), making sourdough bread, and doing hours of handicrafts such as knitting and needlepoint. My daughter was staying home in Brooklyn. She described her experience being in the city and sometimes called us to let us hear the nightly 7 pm ritual of people coming to their windows, shouting and beating on pots to thank the healthcare workers for their hard work, devotion and personal sacrifice. So that is what is going on in the buildings outside.
I thought of calling the painting "7 pm" to echo the Hopper "11 am" but I finally just settled on