Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vincent van Gogh

I am busy with a project  and 
not painting so thought 
I would pass my personal
observations on 
 a couple of winter paintings.

We have been hit with an unusually 
large amount of snow here in southern 
New Mexico and it brought to mind 
poor van Gogh moving from 
Paris to Arles 
for the warmer climate 
only to arrive during an 
unusually cold and snowy time.
A true artist... he did get out and paint!

Vincent van Gogh.1888. Landscape In The Snow.

What's not to enjoy when 
looking at these paintings. 
Warm and cool colors bouncing off 
each other add a vibration
of energy to his strokes.
In the top one
The red house has the 
importance of being 
near the vanishing point
with everything converging 
comfortably to it or from it. 
Even the edges of the trees 
and dog fit perfectly. 
I really like the way 
the black hat lines up 
on the horizon, and the 
duller red of the jacket is perfectly 
at home with the 
colors in the front ground. 

Vincent painted the one below
a few days later...and good for him...
he obviously was trying to 
experience a whole different 
Vincent van Gogh  1888
Snowy Landscape with Arles in Background.

His horizon line is still high with 
a secondary focal area 
of house and tree
off to the right, making the cooler
blues he used to paint 
the town of Arles 
appear even more distant.
 The repeat of verticals in this painting
add interest and strength. 
I really like the
 foreground, but have no idea
what his vantage point was.

These two snow landscapes
are rather sparse probably
 because, like all of us,
it takes getting familiar 
with a subject to 
really do it justice.
That... or it was too darned cold!

For example- look how he painted the area
10 months later.
And of course it was warmer then!

Vincent van Gogh 1888
The Red Vineyard
This one is supposed to be the 
only painting Vincent ever sold
during his lifetime.

I have just read Leesa Padget's
new post, and surprise...
she wrote lovely things about me

Thank You so much, Leesa.


  1. You just can't get away from how great of a colorist he was. Honestly. Sun drenched or snow covered, he knew what to do with color in the landscape each time.

    I like reading your observations. It's like we are standing there together looking at the pieces and I get to hear your commentary. Thanks!

    What are you doing with the snow anyway? Maybe not totally prepared for it.

    1. I totally agree about his sense of color, Libby. Nice thought...standing side by side, Yes, we could have shared and most likely in complete accord.
      I was fascinated with your new post about using the crayons. Always informative and you inspire me to try different materials.
      Snow - we had 8 inches. Nice because we didn't have to go out in it and even more importantly it helps with our
      drought. Hate to think of all the destruction and heartache the same storm system has inflicted in other places.

  2. I love your insights into Vincent's beautiful paintings Julie. I hope you are enjoying your own snowy landscape.
    I have just visited Leesa's blog and can see why she chose you as someone who inspires her. I too find your work to be enormously inspiring and uplifting.
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2016!

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment.
      I always enjoy Leesa's blog because she is so creative and shares generously. Hope you go back.
      You did a fabulous job on the wildflower mug. It would make anyone's day brighter! thanks for all the gorgeous beach scenes. A lovely reminder you are enjoying summer!

  3. When you start on another mysterious project I begin to wonder what new delights will emerge.

    Although I like Van Gogh, I can't help feeling he could have used a little coaching on your fracturing techniques to give him mote uumph! :)

    Looked at Leesa's blog and became an instant follower.

    Seems strange you are getting snow, whilst New York was getting a temp. of 70. Here on the West Wales Coast we have had our 6th severe storm in a month, yet the wild gorse thinks it's spring and is flowereing. Your beloved Manchester has been more like Venice!!

    1. Ha - No delights emerging, John. The project is organizing my working space at the Artist Guild Studio. Big job.
      Yes - Leesa is a wonderful and intuitive painter. She is fearless and it has had stunning results for her. If you are like me you enjoy seeing the work of a different style to your own. She can do it all.
      You really made me sympathetic to your crowded schedule when I read your new post, John...go some decisions to make. Betcha the boat is numero uno!
      Manchester flooding is amazing g. It is the rainiest spot in England so they are experts at rain control. They must have changed areas with new buildings and altered the flood control ...maybe? My sister lives in Diss down south, and has escaped it all.
      Happy New year my friend

  4. Hi Julie :) So nice to read your thoughts about Vincent, he is one of my favourites. Don't you think his compositions were so innovative? He had such a sad story, yet many of his works seem so positive. I somehow missed this post as it didn't appear on my dashboard, I just thought I would check in and look at some older posts and there it was :)

    1. Hi, Leesa, I do think he was innovative, yes. If color has anything to do with it one cannot tell he was sad. It is funny how dark and brown his earlier work was to how it ended up. I know I always feel good looking at his work.
      Thank you again for honoring me so graciously. I really enjoyed today's
      post on Tricia. You are introducing me to some fabulous artists i did not know about. I got all excited about seeing the magpie's emerging in your new painting.

  5. Thanks for the art history lesson - enjoyed every word (& painting). Will trade Portland, Oregon rain for some fluffy snow right about now.

    Loved Leesa's tribute to you - simply lovely and very deserving!!!

    1. Happy New Year to you Chris.
      I loved your post sharing valuable links to informative articles..Thank you.
      Our snow only remains in the shade. it was beautiful for a while.

  6. Nice and interesting post, thank you !!!
    Best wishes for a Happy New Year 2016 !!!

    1. Thank you and wishing you a creative and healthy 2016.
      I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful paintings.

  7. Julie, thank you for the insights into Van Gogh's three paintings shown here. I never ever tire of learning about him even though my heart is always both sad and delighted for him. Sad because he never acquired the recognition he deserved in his lifetime; delighted because his work was so unique, exuberant and energetic. There is so much joy in his work - bright colors and energy - it lifts my spirits every time!!

    Leesa certainly wrote so accurately about your generosity and talents! You have a gravitational pull for all of us out here because not only are you a kind, sharing, artist with mountains of expertise, but you treat everyone's attempts with great respect and encourage the efforts of the process as well as the final product.

    1. I do appreciate your generous complements. You make me feel like a million bucks!
      Love your painting of the wrapped gift box. Your colors choices are exquisite. There is always an emotional feeling I respond to in your art.
      I truly wish you a wonderful 2016. May it be full of creative pleasure as well as good health and happiness for you and those you love.

  8. I love the way you have analyzed Vinny's two winter scenes! You made me go back and carefully look at the paintings again and again. While both scenes are a little more sparse than his usual work, there is no doubt about who the artist is because of his lines and energy. How sad that he wasn't appreciated in his time, but is loved and revered by so many people now. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Although we haven't yet seen a snowflake here in NY, my new snow boots are ready to take me out walking in the snow when it comes. I hope you are enjoying the snow. Maybe we will be seeing a snow series soon. Wishing you an inspired 2016!!!

    1. Good to hear from you Joan and happy we share a liking for Vinny - as you call him. That made me smile.
      Snow boots eh? I don't own anything appropriate so I tread carefully into the melted areas.
      Wishing you an inspired 2016 too. I like that...inspired I will take that any time.

  9. Happy New Year, Julie! As always, your blog posts are insightful and inspiring -- and Leesa's comments couldn't have said it better. You have a wonderful, generous spirit that overflows in your work and in your interactions with others. What can I're a gem, Julie! Good luck with the studio clear up. Remember to lift with your knees -- or, even better, with someone else's knees! Hee,hee.


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