While I am working on my next watercolor I thought I would share the work of one of my favorite watercolorists of all time. These paintings make me want to put away my mayline straight edge, templates, and scale ruler, and dive into the three dimensional world of painting interiors.

The artist Elizabeth Hoopes worked for Eleanor McMillen Brown for over thirty years from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. During that time she created an extraordinary collection of paintings that were referred to as “portraits” instead of renderings. They were painted after the rooms were completed instead of being presentation renderings, which showed the client what the room would look like. Hoopes actually sat in each of the rooms and painted what she saw in front of her.

To me her paintings capture the true essence and spirit of each room. One can actually feel the hand of the fabrics, see ones reflection in the mirror, and feel the warmth of the sunlight streaming through the windows. The colorful and vibrant watercolors of John Singer Sargeant come to mind when observing her work.

In this age of computer generated art, Hoopes watercolors are such refreshing statements that reflect days gone by and illustrate the timeless appeal of McMillen rooms.

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