Van Gogh Journal Pages 59 & 60

Hello Friends!

Yesterday I spent the day creating these and the next two pages of this journal. I will have only four more pages left to do now, and it will be done! It seems like the past four months have gone by quickly since I began this fun project. 

The person on the right hand page is Vincent Willem van Gogh, Vincent’s “Uncle Cent” as he was called. He was one of many of Vincent’s uncles and the wealthiest. After he secured employment for him in a bookshop in Dordrecht, however, Vincent only worked there for a few weeks. So instead of continuing to help him financially, Willem bestowed his benevolence on Vincent’s brother, Theo. Theo was left an inheritance by Uncle Cent, so perhaps this was how he was able to provide for Vincent’s art supplies. And perhaps Uncle Cent left the money to Theo knowing he would use it to provide for Vincent but do so as a good steward. I don’t know this for sure, but it makes sense. 

Tomorrow I will post the next two pages. In the meantime stay well.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

Van Gogh Journal Pages 57 & 58



Hello Friends!

For these pages I wanted to do polka dots but in a random way. I also wanted to keep the color scheme the complementary colors of purple and yellow.

So firsr, I used a big stencil for the yellow pattern in the background. It isn’t as prominent now, though. Next I used a lighter to melt some yellow and purple dots onto the paper from a couple of crayons. The close-ups are of the wax dots. I also used a sponge to make the flatter purple shapes.

I mixed the purple and yellow acrylics to get the brownish rust color to paint over the hair, moustache and beard in the black and white photograph of Theo. I am not sure if Vincent ever painted a portrait of his brother, but I couldn’t find one in any of my books.

Next I painted over his jacket with the purple and made the outline of it with black acrylic ink.

I decided to be whimsy with the page on the left by incorporating some faces in the pattern of dots. And the largest one reminds me of a fake nose and glasses or Groucho Marx, ha ha!

Lastly, I painted purple lines around the outer edges of each page to frame them.

I only have four more pages to go now, and this journal will be complete!

Have a wonderful day! 😀

Van Gogh Journal Pages 55 & 56


Hello Friends! 

As with the last two pages of this journal with Van Gogh’s portrait of his mother, I chose not to do a whole lot with these pages either. I wanted to simplify them as well. So I just used acrylic inks with stencils to paint the left page and around the portrait. I wanted to keep it in monotone colors, however, I bought a new color of Liquitex acrylic ink that I was anxious to use. It is Bronze, and I love it! 

Vincent painted this portrait of his father, Theodorus van Gogh in 1881, seven years earlier than the portrait of his mother. The emotions Vincent depicts of his father come across to me as distant and repressed. They had vastly different views of Christ and the vocation of the clergy. Basically, they just didn’t get along because of their differences which I find sad. I wonder if perhaps Vincent had experienced acceptance by his father for who he was, that maybe he would have lived a longer life. Personally, I think if Vincent had been encouraged by his father in his pursuit of being an artist, maybe he wouldn’t have been filled with so much self-doubt and despair. But I admire the way he still had such a strong passion to do what he loved. His choice to stick to his own beliefs instead of living to try and please his father proved to be the best one he could have made. Otherwise, we may never have been blessed with the art of such a beautiful soul. 

Have a wonderful day! 😀


Van Gogh Journal Pages 53 & 54

Hello Friends!

I kept these pages pretty simple. I used sponges to dip into acrylic inks for the design on the left page and around the portrait of Vincent’s mother, Anna Carbentus van Gogh, on the right page. Then I embellished her portrait with some darker colored inks. I didn’t want to alter it very much, though.

Vincent painted this portrait of his mother while living in Arles, in 1888. In a book I have by Barrington Barber called Through the Eyes of Vincent Van Gogh, Revealing the Genius of the Great Master, it is stated on page 64, 

“The portrait of Van Gogh’s mother was made from a small black and white photograph of her. He wrote at the time, ‘I am working on a portrait of Mother. Because the black and white photograph annoys me so. Ah. What portraits could be made from nature with photography and painting. I always hope that we are still to have a great revolution in portraiture.”

I really love this portrait of Vincent’s mother. But I don’t know what his relationship with her was like. He seems to have had a real love and respect for his parents even though they didn’t understand his NEED to become an artist after he felt like a failure in his attempt to become a priest like his father and grandfather. 

I admire him for living out his dream. He may have never monetarily profited from his work, but he left a huge legacy of courage, determination, and love through all of his beautiful drawings, paintings, and writing. 

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Van Gogh Journal Pages 51 & 52

Hello Friends!

The page on the left had Vincent’s family tree on it. But I forgot to copy it before I painted over it, ha ha! I painted all of it with Liquitex acrylic inks. And I chose the bright yellow for the background so that I could still read the text on the right page. But then I got carried away with painting flowers, so I can’t read all of the bottom of the page. That’s okay, though. I have all of his family history in other books anyway. Also, I cut the clouds off some small stickers I have and then added the darker blue ink to them.

Then I added a ribbon bookmark. I love this blue color! I threaded it through the opening in the binding and hot glued it on both ends so that a small piece sticks out the bottom and the larger part of the ribbon can be moved about as a bookmark. I recently purchased a used book which came with this type of book mark, and I love it! So that’s where I got the idea. 

I hope you are all having a great week! Stay well!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Van Gogh Journal – Pages 49 & 50!

Hello Friends!

It has been quite a while since I worked on my Van Gogh journal! Our oldest child is visiting for a few weeks before going back to work another trails season for the summer. So we have been visiting, and I wasn’t feeling real artsy until yesterday! Then once I got going, I ended up creating FOUR more spreads! (I was on a roll!) So I will be posting the other three page spreads over the next few days. I only have three more spreads to create now, and this journal will be done! I will have mixed feelings about finishing it, though. But the next journal I plan to do will be about Degas. I will be creating all of it on my own, though, since I don’t have a book about him like this one that I am willing to rip pages from to make a journal.

For this spread in this journal I was feeling happy! I used some washi tape of flowers and birds, stamped a few turtles and blue circles with a sponge, embellished the painting of van Gogh with a bird’s wing and painted over it a little. Then I added some flowers I cut out and painted. And I glued down cut out copies of grasses I had drawn years ago on my badger pencil drawing. I used acrylic inks for everything except some fluid acrylic paints for the blue circles. I also added a thick blue ribbon in the binding for a bookmark. There will be a picture showing more of the bookmark tomorrow; it shows up better on the next pages.

The painting of Van Gogh here was not done by Vincent. It was painted by Francis Bacon in 1957. It was part of a series of six paintings he dedicated to the subject of Van Gogh. This particular painting was inspired by Vincent’s painting The Painter on the Road to Tarascon which he did in 1888. However, it was destroyed in World War II, so Bacon never saw the original and worked from a reproduction. This painting is called Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh IV. Also, I think he did other paintings in Vincent’s style.

I have never read about or studied any of Francis Bacon’s paintings, so that’s going to be my next art research project! I won’t be dedicating a journal to his work, but now my curiosity is peaked, so I am interested in finding out more about him.

I hope you are all doing well! We have had both of our vaccinations now, but are still practicing social distancing and wearing our masks. Stay well my friends!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Van Gogh Has Gone to the Birds!

Hello Friends!

Yesterday I guess I was feeling a little cuckoo! There aren’t any cuckoo birds on these pages, but the quail has the feet of the Blue-Footed Booby whose head is in the righ top corner of the right hand page. And it has had its feathers dyed orange!

Vincent has the left eye and beak of a bird and has apparently started growing some feathers on his back. And it seems that his letters must be coming from Theo by air mail!

All these birds should be watching out for the fox that’s sneaking into the book at the bottom right hand corner, though. She looks hungry!

Lastly, I made a book mark for the second pocket in the book which is on the left-hand page. 

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Van Gogh Journal Pages 45 & 46


Hello Friends!

Yesterday, I began painting these pages with a mixture of red and blue acrylic inks to get this shade of purple. Then I painted the vague shape of an ear on the left page with Burnt Sienna acrylic ink. Next I used black, white and green acrylic inks to paint the eye with tears. On the right page is an abstract profile of a discouraged Vincent with a green eye and bloody ear. I mixed some Burnt Sienna with some white and painted the face and body. And again I painted his bloody ear.

The last thing I did on these pages was come up with as many words as I could to describe the myriad feelings that Vincent expressed during his life of trying to make it as an artist and the hospitalizations he experienced for manic and depressive behaviors. Here are all of the words I wrote: sadness, vagabond, frustration, disfigured, madness, unsatisfaction, stain, defeated, hopeless, desperate, flawed, insane, weakness, lunatic, mistake, lethargic, overwhelmed, failure, labeled, black sheep, trashy and lost.

But on a more positive note, I chose the word GENIUS. That is what I feel Vincent van Gogh was the most.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

House in Mixed Media


Hello Friends!

A couple of days ago I painted these background colors of the blue and green with acrylic inks. I didn’t have a plan really except that I wanted to draw a scene I used to doodle all the time when I was growing up. Just a house on a sunny day…a house that looked like a happy home.

A lot of my childhood was not very happy and was emotionally stressful and draining because of my dad’s alcoholism. But my mom, as anxious as she was most of the time, did the best she could to take care of my two brothers and me. She took me to cheerleading and softball practices and let me take piano lessons. She tried to be encouraging even though she only had a couple of girlfriends in the neighborhood as friends for the first ten years of my life. But she lost them when we moved to another state and struggled to find new friends for the rest of her life.

Anyway, I don’t remember art being any big interest of mine back then. All I remember is doodling this scene of a happy house the most. I remember gazing out the car window whenever we were driving anywhere and wondering what it was like to live somewhere else. Then whenever I was just thinking in my room or not paying attention in a class at school, this is the scene I would draw.

For this painting I used modeling paste and a palette knife to paint the sun and the house and a little of the clouds. It is a greyish white, so this is what I used to create the thick texture. It can take quite a while to dry, so I waited until the next day to do the rest of the painting. The only other medium I used was my Liquitex Acrylic Inks.

To get the “brick” color of the house, I mixed Naphthol Crimson with Transparent Burnt Sienna. And for the sun and the house’s windows I used Cadmium Yellow Light Hue. I used white for the clouds. Lastly, for the flowers, I used Quinacridone Magenta (which I accidentally knocked over on the table and spilled almost the whole bottle)! But the good thing about these inks is that they go a long way, because they are vibrant in color. So I lost some of it when I had to quickly grab a towel and wipe some up to keep it from spreading. But I sopped up some of it on a sponge and stamped it on a couple of sheets of white tissue paper so it wasn’t all wasted. And the old wooden table is fine! I’ll probably have to buy another bottle soon, though.

So goes the adventures of an artist!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Van Gogh Journal Pages 43 & 44


Hello Friends!

I have been working on these pages for the last couple of days. I love the drawing called “Sorrow” which he drew during “The Hague Period”. He drew this woman in black pencil. The others on the right page are two of his drawings of very sad looking women also.

I copied these drawings a few times and wanted to put layer the woman, Sorrow, into a circle like she is hiding within herself. That was fun to do. Then I did the same layering effect with his other two drawings on the right-hand page.

I also wanted these pages to be in monochrome colors because of the subject matter. I used black and white acrylic inks and combined them to make the gray shades. But what I really loved doing was writing the poem.

Words and phrases were coming to me over the last couple of days until I sat down and wrote this yesterday morning while sitting outside in the beautiful sunshine.

I wrote this from the perspective of how Vincent probably felt during his years of struggling with depression but also from the perspective of how the woman he drew was depicted. I really enjoyed this challenge. It has been awhile since I’ve written anything, so it was fun.

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

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