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Van Gogh Journal – FINISHED!

 

And Close-ups!

Hello Friends!

Well, my Van Gogh Journal project is finished! When I completed it, I played the song “Vincent” by Don McLean and cried a little. Vincent van Gogh was such a beautiful soul. I wrote the most moving part of the song, to me, on the last page. Along with that on the bottom is a copy of a paragraph from one of my books, Van Gogh, by Rene Huyghe, page 91. He is pondering how Vincent may have felt.

“Isn’t it the picture of a completely wasted life? He must have felt it such to go to the end of what was his destiny: that is a total gift of himself, the redemption of his ego, exalted by the total sacrifice of everything which he had a right to expect. Van Gogh will have lived this admirable and perhaps unique passion; he will have greedily educated and developed his ego and will not have gotten anything out of it for himself but disappointment and finally the excruciating feeling of having achieved nothing in his life – a useless life.

But it is because of this that he is so great, because of this that his genius appears to us with the purity of a saint of painting. For, when he assumed his own nothingness, he started becoming for others, for ever increasing multitudes, a warming and illuminating fire. This lost fire, hardly noticeable by a barren smoke, has now changed into a sun, a sun whirling in our eyes and in our hearts and projecting its splendor – splendor made of flame, of love, of life.”

On the other page I included a copy of his paintings called “Portrait of a Young Peasant Girl” and “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” which were from Vincent’s Auvers Period. Then I copied a photo of his drawing called “Corridor of Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy.” I made three sizes of it and glued them together for a 3D effect. Next to it I cut a self-portrait of his in three pieces and glued it in separate pieces to show how broken his spirit must have felt before he died. Then I wrote what I would say to him if I could: The world reaped the beauty you sowed and included his painting of “The Sower” on the next page. 

Lastly, I included some stickers I found that I think are appropriate of wine, bread, and the words “LeCafe” and “Bonjour.” And the very last thing in the bottom right hand corner is a copy of how he signed all of his letters to his beloved brother, Theo. 

Ever yours, 

Vincent.

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 63 & 64

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Hello Friends!

I really enjoyed creating these two pages. I used a new color of acrylic ink, Iridescent Green, for the background of the left page. And I used orange for the background of the other page. Then I used some ephemera and washi tape pieces to accent spots. I cut out the yellow and black pieces from a piece of used palette paper I saved awhile back. I had flicked the yellow and black paints on it awhile when I was working on something else. So I swirled them into circles and made one into a bee! Then I used the others to make flowers on my journal page.

I embellished the pictures of Vincent’s self-portraits and the picture of him sitting with his friend Emile Bernard. Then in the middle of the pages I used matte medium to glue down pieces of orange and brown ribbons. 

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 61 & 62

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Hello Friends!

These two pages were a lot of fun to do. I glued one of Vincent’s self-portraits to the left page along with snippets of his writing and drawings. The colored pieces are from some of my scrap pieces of used palette paper. I added small bits of blue to offset the red in Vincent’s beard. Then I wrote a quote of his which says,

“I prefer to have one hundred francs a month and the freedom to spend it just as I like than to have two hundred francs without this freedom.” 

On the right page is a photo of his sister, Willemina. Vincent frequently used her as a model when he first began drawing portraits. They had a close relationship and wrote each other letters frequently. However, several years after Vincent’s unexpected death, she had a severe mental breakdown and was in an asylum in Holland until she died at the age of 79. I felt sad when I learned this. It seems the Van Gogh family had many mental health issues. But I am still so thankful that Vincent chose to channel his mind into something so positive as his art.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

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

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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 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

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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! 😀

Van Gogh Journal Pages 43 & 44

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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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