"Between the Lines" - 6 x 6" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas.
Copyright 2007 Maggie Stiefvater.
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Well, I've been very slow to get started with the Van Gogh Project this month (see the first of the month's post or round about there) because I have to confess now that I was not initially overly inspired by the Tragic Painter of the Peasants (hey, he said it, not me)(well, not the tragic bit).
And actually, I found it surprising that I was not entirely lit on fire, given what I remembered of his works and how excited I'd been during my Sargent project last month. But Sargent was an entirely different sort of painter - methodical, formally trained, and far more representational than Van Gogh. Easier to like, one might say, both artistically and as a man.
Van Gogh, on the other hand, was self taught, struggling through mountains of sketches and chasing after some sort of self-revealing style that would make his career. To me, he seems less skilled than Sargent and I (this just my opinion here, please don't lynch me) find his style to be forced and heavy handed on many of his pieces. In short, I thought I'd seen a lot better contemporary painters than 90% of Van Gogh's work.
It took a lot of hunting for me to find the pieces that spoke to me. And I did, finally. Just a few. But enough for me to settle down, stop chafing, and get to work on learning what I can from him. I wanted to show you the piece I've liked the best so far:
And then tell you what I've been planning on doing. I have had an idea in my head for a long time, an image from a dream, that I've wanted to do as a piece of art. It's of a birch forest all in peaches and golds, and I think I could use Van Gogh's broken color and interpretive color methods to pull it off. We'll see. More study is needed, and I guess the next step for me is to do a sketch in Van Gogh's style.
I should also let you know who else is in on this project, too, while I'm at it. Here's Katherine's post with all the participants so far (email me or comment if you want to be added in!)
I have to admit that now that I've studied him more, I have high hopes for what Van Gogh might do for my cityscapes. Okay, VG. Do you stuff. C'mon!