Monday, March 2, 2015

Katie Heckman- Vincent Van Gogh

Drawing Blog Post #1
By:  Katie Heckman

Vincent Van Gogh:

Despite being considered one of the greatest Dutch painters to have lived, Vincent Van Gogh lived a troubled life filled with poverty, illness and little fame.  Born on March 30, 1852 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands, Van Gogh’s family constantly struggled financially.  From a young age, Van Gogh, like his mother, was drawn to art and in particular painting.  Though Van Gogh loved to paint, he despised the financial aspects of art and pursued painting as a hobby and embraced a life of poverty.  He worked and painted in Paris, London and other cities throughout Europe, constantly stuggling to survive and purchase supplies.  Along with struggling with poverty, Van Gogh constantly battled mental illness.  He is infamously known for removing his own ear, which was a sign of his depression and mental illnes.  In May of 1889 Van Gogh was officially moved into Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum after years of struggle with his physical and mental health.  At the hospital he would paint the gardens and produced two of his most famous works, “Irises” and “Starry Night.”  On July 27, 1990, Van Gogh attempted suicide by gunshot after a confrontation with his brother about his future and his artwork.  Vincent Van Gogh died two days later at the age of 37 in his brother’s arms.  Though maybe of Van Gogh’s works were destroyed, he completed more than 2,100 works, consiting of oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and sketches.

Cypresses with two women
February 1890
Black chalk, pen and reed pen in black ink, on woven paper

I chose this drawing because it shows the foundation from which Van Gogh worked when creating his paintings.  Van Gogh is more commonly know for his painting than his drawings so I thought it was crucial to include a piece that showed his process to creating a painting.  In particular I chose this drawing because I find impressionism fascinating.  I think it is very interesting how he can take his surroundings and represent them in a way that is so different.  Personally I draw realistically, but I would want to try and draw and paint in other styles like impressionism.

View of Hague (‘Paddemoes’)
Ealy March 1882
Pencil, pen in black (faded to brown in parts) on woven paper

I selected this drawing because of the shading and hatching included.  I find it fascinationg that Van Gogh created shapes and objects through his shading and hatching of the paper as opposed to traditional line drawing technique.  The hatching gives the drawing added dimension, depth and texture. 

Woman Seated
April-May 1882
Pencil, pen and brush in black ink, brown/sepia wash, white opaque watercolour, traces of squaring on laid paper (two sheets)

Similar to “View of Hague (‘Paddemoes’)”, I selected this drawing because of the techniques used.  I liked how Van Gogh used a mixture of drwing techniques to guide the eye and fill the page.  Both the chair and the chair are clearly outlined, but he uses shading around the woman in the background to add to the drawing.  The combination of clarity and shading creates a more complex, finished piece. 

Meedendorp, Teio, and Vincent Van Gogh. Drawings and Prints by Vincent Van Gogh in
the Collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Place of Publication Not Identi fied: Thieme Grafimedia Groep, 2007. Print.

"Vincent van Gogh." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

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