For a short while (1)

   
Flowers like these do not not tend to last long on my balcony. So, I’ll just have to enjoy their colour and delicacy for the short time they are here in this beautiful form.

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Homage to Van Gogh (2)

I really like Van Gogh’s ink drawing of Garden of the hospital in Arles (1888). 

To spend a little time appreciating this work, I copied some of his marks. It is all lines, dots, curves. And with that, he has created a wonderfully rich shorthand depiction of this garden. The overall scene is serene and yet his marks are very energetic.

The drawing is 45.5 x 59 cm. To me, that is alot of marks to be making. For me, on a much smaller 14 x 20 cm page, it felt an an effort to draw in this way – having to create varied shapes, negative-positive shapes, dark to light, detailed shapes versus overall shape. In his work though, I get the sense, these marks just ‘flowed’ from his pen. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know.

I then happened upon his painting version of the drawing and was very surprised to find that his brush strokes are the same or similar to his drawn marks. I have not compared his drawings with his paintings before and never noticed.

And then, I came across a blog post, Making a mark: Van Gogh: Drawing media and techniques which explained my surprise. Don’t you love discovery learning? I do.

And so it is…to learn from walking in the footsteps of someone with a gift that continues to amaze. Thank you.

  

Homage to Van Gogh (1)


This morning I sat with Van Gogh on my balcony. Just a little while. I have to say, he’s most intense. I did not feel I could interrupt him with lots of questions. Instead, I looked over to see what he was doing. I don’t think he minded.

When he starts an ink drawing, he just keeps going and at a fast pace. His drawings have strong focal points and somehow uses light to guide our attention. His visual language is distinctive and so creative. He uses a wide range of marks to form shapes and to depict texture and tone.

Making stuff up again? Well, it’s the only way I’m going to be able to have a chat with Van Gogh, aren’t I?