Erica Hopper: Opposites Attract

The painter uses contrasting elements to convey emotion and desire



Blancas Bench (2006), oil on canvas, 17x20 inches.

Courtesy A Gallery Fine Art

Erica Hopper paints the contradictory. Her knack for illuminating opposites — be they ideas and beliefs or colors and shapes — translates to visually powerful expression.  

Add the sensation of traveling through layers, past obstacles, through the depths of a creative spirit where the journey is the destination, and Erica Hopper’s work becomes deeply provocative.

See, for example, her abstract diptych Distraction (2006). The muted shades of gray play like chess pieces with bursts of ochre against the white canvas. She embeds mystical spirals into straightforward crosshatching. Geometric divisions compound even less abstract pieces such as Just Arrived (2005), a painting slashed by shadow with a female figure walking past others down a street — a wondrous contrast of fluid brightness with dark shadow.

Always, there seems to be a gesture of motion, not only in the textured depth of pieces like Gainsbay Blue (2005), a globe-like canvas embedded with falling wishbones, but also in the more figurative M&M Debate (2005), Hopper’s take on formal political argument.

Slashed by strong diagonal lines over subtle squares of cross-hatching, Debate becomes almost Cubist.

Hopper’s Wishbone series was inspired by her first Thanksgiving with husband Gary, a dentist. They carefully pulled the wishbone from a turkey carcass, cleaned it, and tucked it away. Years later, while rearranging their Rancho Mirage home, Hopper found a tiny box where she had secreted the wishbone. It rekindled happy memories and inspired a trio of oil paintings.

Her background includes fine art and graphic and custom textile design. She has worked in clothing, furniture, and textile production, owning a textile company for nearly 20 years.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Hopper attended University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and San Diego State University. She moved to the desert in 1987 and worked with interior designer Steve Chase.  

Pointing to nature as her major inspiration, Hopper explains, “Each piece derives from a personal experience or insight or a dream. I try to paint aspects of emotions, desires, or part of the subconscious, what one would like to be or do.”

Erica Hopper’s work is exhibited at A Gallery Fine Art

This article was originally published December, 2006 and updated for the web June, 2007.

More Art
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

The Evangenitals' Alternative, Edgy Music Finds an Audience

From what started as an imaginary band between founders Juli Crockett and Lisa Dee, The Evangenitals have found an audience for their off-beat, no-holds barred music.

Happy 2015!

Ring in the new year at a party that suits your style. 3, 2, 1 ... Cheers!

Lisa Vanderpump Will Preside Over Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade

A place on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars and now Reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump will be the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 23rd annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade on Dec. 6.

"The Imitation Game" Garners Ensemble Award from Palm Springs Film Fest

"The Imitation Game" will receive the Ensemble Performance Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 3.

Tom Dreesen Performs Act to Benefit Barbara Sinatra's Children's Center

Tom Dreesen recalls Frank Sinatra didn't go to bed until sun up, so they would leave Sinatra's Rancho Mirage compound in the middle of the night and drive around the Coachella Valley talking politics, sports, and Sinatra's childhood.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.