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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! 🙂

Van Gogh Journal Pages 41 & 42

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Hello Friends!

I was finally able to get back to working in my Van Gogh Journal yesterday. We were able to get our first Covid vaccinations on Friday, but my arm was sore for a couple of days! We will be getting our second one on the 30th of this month. I hope you are all doing well! We are staying healthy here!

I didn’t have any plans for these pages. I just worked intuitively as I listened to a book on Audible! I am enjoying listening to books now! I get a lot more reading in while I am painting or doing dishes, ha ha!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂 

Van Gogh Journal-Pages 37 & 38

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Hello Friends!

Yesterday, I collaged the next two pages of my Van Gogh journal. I was excited to use a new color of Liquitex Acrylic Ink called Vivid Red Orange. I used it in the background on the first page, and then mixed it with some Cadmium Yellow Light to lighten the color for some of the right page. Then I mixed the yellow with some blue and made the green. I also used the acrylic inks to enhance the copies of Vincent’s art and his self-portrait on the second page. I really enjoyed making the same strokes he did even if mine were much smaller.

And somehow, Vincent picked up a few balloons on the way to the cafe after spending a nice spring day out in the field painting. I think he is looking forward to a good dinner!

Lastly, I included some words: Vision, love, connection, goodness, kindness, acceptance, beauty, and gratitude. These are all things I try to cultivate in life these days since life is short. Other phrases I included are Risk rejection by following your heart, learning about doing your work and explore new worlds.

This was a fun page spread to do yesterday since I haven’t been feeling up to doing any art over the last week or so. My left shoulder has been bothering me, so I haven’t wanted to strain it too much. And it is NOT the one I had fixed in 2019! I just hope I am not going to have to have another shoulder surgery this year, but if I do, it will just have to be done. I have several types of appointments this month, so I will be going to town at least once a week or more. And I have been reading A LOT of books! I have been enjoying finding books from the children’s section of the library lately. I never realized how many great novels have been written for kids since my kids have grown up! So that has been pretty fun!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Vincent van Gogh Journal Pages 35 & 36

 

Hello Friends!

Yesterday I was excited to do these pages, because I just bought a few new colors of Liquitex Acrylic Inks. So in the background I used a very bright Yellow Orange Azo. I also used some on his hat along with some Raw Sienna.

On his face I also used some Raw Sienna and added some Burnt Umber in his beard. For the blues I used Phthalocyanine Blue (Green Shade).

Then I painted my flowers with Quinacridone Magenta and white.

I am looking forward to using these colors even more! And I am really loving acrylic inks!

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 33 & 34

Hello Friends!

I can honestly say I had no plans for these pages, ha ha! So somehow three of Vincent’s self-portraits ended up with peacock feather eye patches! And of course the peacock, parts of her anyway, had to be included.

Then a copy of a badger drawing I did in pencil peeked in to see what kind of craziness was going on! Badgers and peacocks sure are curious!

I loved playing with blues, and greens on the background that I painted with a mixture of red and yellow acrylic inks. I included copies of some of his writing and parts of his paintings. Then I painted on some Phthalocyanine Green (yellow shade) acrylic ink in various places.

These pages were fun. I hope you all are well. I have been feeling a little under the weather, but getting lots of sleep to fight off a slight cold.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 31 & 32

 

Hello Friends!

I started these two pages out by painting them with Golden Titan Buff acrylic paint. Next, I mixed some Golden molding paste with Liquitex pink acrylic paint and stenciled on the swirls. Then I used Golden Green Gold fluid acrylic to stencil on the other design and mixed it with some yellow and painted on the flowers.

Next I mixed some Golden Ultramarine Blue fluid acrylic with a little pink and painted on the rest of the background. I used all the colors to paint over Vincent’s self-portrait and lastly, added a few stickers and smudged in some more blue.

This was a fun one, too, as all of the pages have been. I hope you are all staying well!

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

SUICIDE ANNIVERSARY

Hello Friends,

I don’t normally do this, but today I was reminded that last year on this day, my brother committed suicide.  So I am going to re-post the post I wrote last year for any who may have never seen it.

May is Mental Health Awareness month.  If you are feeling lonely, discouraged, or severely depressed, call someone…please.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, 2017, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th. In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me.”  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until about three years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years. However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days. Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back. However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

SUICIDE: Don’t Make That Choice!

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th.  In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me.”  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until about three years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years. However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days.  Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back.  However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portraits

Hello friends!

I wanted to share with you something that I found on Amazon.com for 94 cents!!!  It is a hard cover book called “Vincent – The Complete Self-Portraits – All of Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portraits, with Excerpts from His Writings” by Bernard Denvir.  It was published in 1994.

vincent-book

The writer points out that Vincent “painted more than forty self-portraits” in a span of only four years “between 1885 and 1889.”  This really amazes me!  That, to me, is a lot of work in the area of portraiture painting.  I have done very few portraits and they have all been done from photos.  Also, I have not attempted a self-portrait…yet.

It is understandable that Vincent did so many self-portraits in such a short span of time.  He was practicing because he expressed to his brother Theo in his letters that he wanted to try and learn how to paint portraits well so he could earn an income.  He didn’t like being financially dependent on his brother Theo, but that is what happened for most of his adult life especially in his last years.  He did his last self-portrait in 1889, then died in 1890.

In my humble opinion I think Vincent van Gogh was much more handsome than he ever painted himself to look.  Perhaps this was because of his mental illness and he painted himself the way he FELT about himself more so than the way he actually SAW his physical self.  I don’t presume to know his thoughts.  However, his letters do indicate that he did focus on his feelings a great deal in regards to his art.  He felt things very deeply and had a sensitivity about him that really came out in the people he sketched as well as all of his other art.

In the book I mentioned there is a painting of Vincent that was done by John Peter Russell in Paris in 1886.  It is a striking portrait of Vincent which I think captures the depths of his soul in his eyes.  Isn’t it beautiful?

vincents-portrait-by-john-peter-russell

I really love this portrait of Vincent.  I love many of his self-portraits as well, but this one I think portrays him in a way that I want to ask him, “what were you thinking about while you were posing?”

I hope you still enjoy these posts about Vincent van Gogh that I make occasionally.  I feel like I can just never learn enough from this deep-thinker about life and art.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

P.S.  I am still painting the Dungeons & Dragons miniatures, and have been getting back to experimenting with Sumi-E painting.  I will show you what I’ve done in upcoming posts!

Vincent’s Thoughts on Colour

Hello friends,

I can’t believe it is February already!  This morning I was doing some more reading in a couple of books I have about Vincent van Gogh.  I found his letter #252 from The Hague, dated Monday, July 31, 1882, to his brother Theo very interesting.  In a great part of it he is relating his findings about color theory!  He enclosed this drawing he did which was called “Pollard Willow” and evidently was done in watercolors.

vincents-pollard-willow

And here are Vincent’s thoughts on color theory!  I hope you enjoy them!

“As regards black in nature, we are of course in complete agreement, as I understand it.  Absolutely black doesn’t in fact occur.  Like white, however, it’s present in almost every colour and forms the endless variety of greys – distinct in tone and strength.  So that in nature one in fact sees nothing but these tones or strength.

The 3 fundamental colours are red, yellow, blue, the 3 composite colours are orange, green, purple.  From these are obtained the endless variations of grey by adding black and some white – red-grey, yellow-grey, blue-grey, green-grey, orange-grey, violet-grey.

It’s impossible to say how many different green-greys there are for example – the variation is infinite.

But the whole chemistry of colours is no more complicated than those simple few fundamentals.  And a good understanding of them is worth more than 70 different shades of paint – given that more than 70 tones and strengths can be made with the 3 primary colours and white and black.  The colourist is he who on seeing a colour in nature is able to analyze coolly and say, for example, that green-grey is yellow with black and almost no blue, etc.  In short, knowing how to make up the greys of nature on the palette.”

“I also have nothing against making watercolours – but they’re founded on drawing first, and then from the drawing springs not only the watercolour but all kinds of other shoots that will develop in due course in me as in anyone else working with love.”

Then referring back to the Pollard Willow drawing above, he says:

“Where the black is darkest in this little sketch is where the greatest strengths are in the watercolour – dark green, brown, and dark grey.”

I thought this was a great reminder that color mixing can be fun!  I enjoy it.  I don’t always consciously think about how what I mix will turn out, but I am forever learning.  Sometimes I get impatient looking through my box of watercolors for the color or shade I want at the moment.  Perhaps it is time to go back to the basics of color mixing and re-learn some things afresh!  Especially mixing for blacks!  I am finding I don’t really care for using blacks straight out of the tube anymore.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

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