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:
Back stitch and
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,