Fall is upon us and I am totally loving these fall colors. Another thing that is wonderful about this time of the year is wearing cozy sweaters and making home made French onion soup. Soup and sweaters and Fall. Made to go together. Love!
This time of the year is also great for taking in a matinee. Last Sunday, I attended a matinee showing of a movie that I have long awaited its release: "Loving Vincent."
"Loving Vincent" in an animated feature film made completely of hand-painted oil paintings by 130 painters from around the world. The story is based on facts and is told from the point of view of the people Vincent painted when he lived in Arles, in the South of France. The film is compelling from beginning to end. "Loving Vincent" is immensely worth seeing especially as it re-creates, through painted imagery in the style of Van Gogh, the life and death of Vincent and the sensitivity of which he felt and painted his world around him. The film is stunningly gorgeous. A literal work of art.
A day or so after the movie, I made the painting above of Vincent. I cannot get his life story, so poignantly portrayed in this animated film, out of my mind.
My appreciation of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh goes way back. In 1985, I I had the opportunity to visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh family holds the majority of Vincent's works. I particularly remember very well my impressions of one of his early works, a masterpiece, the painting of the "Potato Eaters" on the wall. This painting, dark in palette, as is most of his early work made in The Netherlands, is in stark contrast to the colorful work I had known of Vincent at that point. It also better helped me understand the origins of his sensitivity to his subjects. Vincent wanted to portray the workers at the end of the day imparting a sense of their lives. "You see, I really have wanted to make it so that people get the idea that these folk, who are eating their potatoes by the light of their little lamp, have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor and.. that they have thus honestly earned their food. I wanted it to give the idea of a wholly different way of life from ours.. civilized people. So I certainly don't want everyone just to admire it or approve of it without knowing why."
It was not until Vincent went to Paris, and eventually, to the South of France in Arles where his palette exploded with color.
Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters because of his fervent devotion to painting, which he took up professionally when he was 27 years of age, and for his sensitivity to his subjects. Vincent would paint all day long, usually from the early hours of around 8-9 am to the early evening hours of 5-6 pm. In the evening hours, he would write long, detailed letters of his musings about his work, of art and artists, and of the sensations of daily life to his brother and benefactor, Theo, who was an art dealer in Paris, France.
In his very short life, Vincent Van Gogh created approximately 900 paintings and 1100 drawings, creating new work up until a few days before he died in 1890 when he was 37 years old. Vincent only sold only one painting in his lifetime. Unfathomable that so many people missed this opportunity to support such a proliferate artist when he was alive. The paintings of Van Gogh are now worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars, most of them reside in the Van Gogh Museum and other public collections.
Vincent Van Gogh sensed the world around him deeply, compelling him to recreate his world in paint. No doubt, he lives on in his work.
BIO: Mary Lamery is a lifelong resident and native of the Pacific Northwest. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics/Math from Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA. She studied at Parsons School of Design in New York City concentrating on Fine Arts-Painting.
Lamery paints regional landscape in a manner that leans towards 19th century French Impressionism. Her landscapes invite the viewer to add to the backstory of the composition through personal identification with the paintings and story telling of the experience.
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