Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pegge Hopper

Do you know Pegge Hopper?   She is a Californian longtime transplanted to Hawaii whose paintings of Hawaiian women have become part of the Hawaiian mainstream culture and which are almost emblematic of the beauty and serenity of island life.  She worked early in life in Italy and I find references in her work not only to Paul Gauguin but also to the Italian pre-Renaissance painter Giotto.  Particularly in the simplicity of forms and compositions that she utilizes but also in the sensitivity in the details of the face, hands and feet which are so delicately and exquisitely rendered.  There is also a little bit of the Douanier Rousseau in her representations of tropical environments.  She has recently explored new formats and subjects.  This latest series of cats ("popoki") are very charming.  Mostly her paintings capture the dreaminess that the experience of Hawaii's soft air and gentle waters inspires.

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The dazzling colors of the islands 

and it's people.

The variety and brilliance of it's flora and fauna.

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The luminosity of its skies and waters.

The mysteriousness of Hawaiian beauty and it's secret places.

Pegge Hopper offers original acrylics and giclee reproductions for sale at her website here

A Choice Afternoon 2

I hope you like them.


  1. fabulous!
    absolutely wonderful and I saw the influences your suggest. The atmosphere in the works is really something. Made me wish to visit Hawaii!

    How about you Mlle Paradis... is the paint calling to you?

  2. Indeed I do! So warm, summery and REAL. Love it. :-)

  3. I do know Pegge Hopper. Her work is ubiquitous in Hawaii that is for sure. At least in more refined settings.

  4. These are beautiful paintings! Have never heard of this artist but will certainly be looking up more of work now. Love the one of the woman in light purple staring off at the sea. Thank you for posting about them!

  5. Yes you're right Thomas, Pegge Hopper is pretty ubiquitous in the islands. As an exception who proves what tends to be a rule (i.e., that which is mainstream may often be mediocre), I think she's quite a special talent. (How did you end up at UH for grad school?)

    Glad you all enjoyed. She does have a wonderful fluidity and restrained exuberance about what she does.

  6. Good question. I was never one of those people that longed to go to Hawaii so it wasn't that. I moved there sight unseen. I guess the main thing is that I wanted a Historic Presevation program that was allied with an American Studies program. There were many things about Hawaii that were great but I never wanted to stay beyond my degee so I moved back to Minnesota (before moving on to NY state and DC).

  7. Pretty high contrast Minnesota and Hawaii Thomas! So is that what you do - Historic Preservation? Yes Hawaii is wonderful but you quickly realize that you pretty much have to "go native" and surrender to it's particularities to make a long term commitment to it. It helps very much to be outdoorsy.

    Oh and I forgot to thank Juniper for stopping by. Hi Juniper! - of that other fairy tale island life. What language does one speak in Malta? I've never thought to ask that question before.