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

Gang of Four Brings Latest Album to Pappy & Harriet's Stop

Like many bands that have survived over the years. Gang of Four has undergone some lineup changes, but through it all guitarist Andy Gill has kept moving forward and not living by the past.

Rami Jaffee Leads All-Star Band Appearance at Saxony Group Fashion Week El Paseo

Rami Jaffee brings a hefty musical resume of playing with the Wallflowers and Foo Fighters, and he and his all-star band will rock Saxony Group Fashion Week El Paseo on March 23 during "El Paseo Runway Night."

Festival of the Desert Makes Debut at Sunnylands

Festival of the Desert brings an international flavor and artistic edge in its debut March 18 split between Sunnylands and McCallum Theatre.

Bryan Brothers Serve Up Entertainment at BNP Paribas Open

Whether competing on the court as the No. 1 doubles team in the world or delighting fans with their musical prowess, the Mike and Bob Bryan will rock the BNP Paribas Open.

Adam Levine Picks Coachella Valley Resident from "The Voice" Blind Audition

Coachella Valley singer Barry Minniefield hasn’t quite found a signature style of his own, but he has attracted the attention of Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, who chose him during "The Voice's" blind audition.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

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.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
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.