Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Van Gogh

This month the Waverley Art Quilters have been studying Vincent Van Gogh.

Vincent Van Gogh was born in The Netherlands in 1853 and died in France from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1890. He was only 37 years old but had suffered mental illness for years.

Vincent only took up painting in the last 10-15 years of his life and he worked tirelessly with self-imposed training to make up for his late start. He produced many paintings but always felt a failure because he only managed to sell one in his lifetime.

Van Gogh is known as a Post-Impressionist painter. He started using a brighter palette after discovering the Impressionist style and used an impasto technique to create thick layers of paint.

Many of his paintings are worked in complementary colours because he found that they produced brilliant effects together without using any middle tones.

The Impressionists were trying to paint what they saw. Van Gogh was trying to paint what he felt when he saw it.

Van Gogh became obsessed with painting a night sky. Two of his well-known paintings are Starry Night 1888 and The Starry Night 1889.

Starry Night 1888

The Starry Night 1889

In January 2010 I drove to Canberra with my family to see the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. It was the Post-Impressionist paintings from the Musée D’orsay Museum in France.

It was a wonderful exhibition but the painting that stood out for me the most was Starry Night by Van Gogh. They seemed to have a particularly good light on it and the painting glowed.

I decided to make an A3 art quilt using Starry Night as my inspiration and rather than trying to faithfully re-create it, I would try and concentrate on using the complementary colours of blue and yellow and try to create the reflections in the water.

I wasn’t happy with the end result. It looked like a poor imitation of the original painting with none of the vibrancy.

I felt that I had to redeem myself. So I got out a copy of the other painting The Starry Night and just drew the sky part of it onto blue fabric with a white pencil.

Using blue and yellow embroidery thread I covered the lines with stitches. The stitches used were:

Stem stitch

Chain Stitch,

Blanket stitch

Running stitch

Colonial knots

Back stitch and

 Satin stitch

I am so much happier with this result; it is more artistic and brighter.

Next month we are using an Image as Inspiration and we are all using the same image. The photo is a tree branch with a beautiful red leaved creeper growing on it.

Bye for now,



Gina E. said...

You have made this creation your own, not just a copy of Van Gogh. It is beautiful!

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Gina,

I was so much happier with the second one.

pcoxdesign said...

Great interpretation! Love it!

Leonie said...

Helo Linda:
Bravo on your second attempt. You realy did make it your own. My embroiderers' guild did an art series and it was interesting to see how initially folks tended to lean towards a copy but then worked their way through the series and turned out some very intresting takes on the original. It's a learning experience and I hope you enjoy working in the art series.

ann said...

Well done! I agree with your analysis. The final output is really an exciting, vibrant piece.

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Beautifully done! I love that you wrote about your process and revisited your idea in a new way. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

Martha said...

Linda, enjoyed reading your thoughts along the way and it seems you really captured the essence of his work when you created what you felt when looking at Van Gogh's work rather than trying to recreate what he did.

Sam's mom said...

Don't give up on the first one! Would you consider cropping (OK, cutting) into it, dividing it into individual windows, and using each one for a postcard or pillow? or to inset all--in the same position or another--into another composition, with lattice or borders of your choosing? Consider embroidery, beading to give it star-power?--Eleanor Levie

Linda Steele said...

Thanks for your comments everyone.
I usually leave a piece that I am not happy with as it is a reminder of what not to do, but I really like your suggestion Eleonor and I might do that.

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.