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Van Gogh Journal – Pages 29 & 30

Hello Friends!

Yesterday, I decided to create these pages with a Japanese theme. I thought about what I wanted to do on these pages for days.

I have always loved Vincent’s painting called “Japonaiserie – The Tree (After Hiroshighe).” I made a copy of it to use the Japanese lettering on the left page.

Then I also used the Japanese people in the background of his painting called “Le Pere Tanguy.” I really love that he put them in his background to look like paintings hanging on the wall behind where his friend sat.

I used teal acrylic paint for the background and some muted turquoise acrylic ink for the darker blue. Then I drew and painted the Lotus flower and leaves with acrylic inks also. The rest is washi tape in a couple of patterns and the little black bird is cut from a piece of washi tape.

I had a ton of fun creating these pages! I am working on a couple of other things at the moment, too. I hope you are all having a great week!

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

 

Van Gogh Journal So Far…

Hello Friends!

Here is a video of my journal so far!

And here are my latest two pages…

I copied photos of several of Vincent’s paintings that he did during “The Hague Period.”

For the background I painted the pages with Liquitex Raw Sienna acrylic ink. I love how bright it is! Then I picked these pictures and after arranging them, glued them down with Liquitex Matte Medium.

Next I accented some highlights in the photos with the Raw Sienna acrylic ink. Lastly, I used Liquitex Muted Green acrylic ink to emphasize Vincent’s eyes in his self-portrait and add the words and accents around the pictures.

I enjoy the process of looking through all of the books I have about Vincent van Gogh to get ideas for how I want to create my journal pages. Especially since I always approach each page spread intuitively. Working spontaneously feeds my inspiration.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 27 & 28

 

Hello Friends!

Yesterday, I decided to do two more pages in my Van Gogh journal. I made the portrait of Vincent into him looking like a priest. Why? He grew up in the Protestant Dutch Reformed Church in Groot-Zundert, in the North Brabant region of the Netherlands where his father was a pastor. He went to the University of Amsterdam to study theology and planned on becoming a priest. He studied hard but failed his seminary entrance exam. This was hard for him, because he wanted to help people. He loved God, and he loved people. He believed God had called him to be a pastor like his father. But thank God it didn’t work out; otherwise we wouldn’t have his incredible work today!

He did love people, though. When he went out to draw and paint, he often drew laborers, field workers, weavers, and many other people. He cared deeply about how they struggled to make a living especially after he decided to pursue art for his own life’s work. He knew he couldn’t buy art supplies without the financial support of his brother, Theo. This was difficult for him, but he and Theo loved each other very much. Vincent appreciated everything his big brother did for him. I think this is why he tried so hard to become a success and hoped to sell his work.

Obviously, I have depicted him as a Catholic priest, but that was because I just watched a movie called “Puzzle” the other night. The woman in the story is a struggling Catholic and is shown with ashes on her forehead for Ash Wednesday in a scene. That’s where that idea came from. The black and white photo in the corner is of a painting Vincent painted of his father.

And the girl on the left-hand page is a copy of a girl I drew in charcoal on cardboard last year. The quote below her says:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, is the greatest accomplishment.”   –Ralph Waldo Emerson–

Some of the other random pieces of collage are from copies of some of Vincent’s art as well as my own. I prepared the pages with some black and white gessos and also put some gold and green acrylic inks in places. The “spiral” in the middle is from a copy of some of my art with the sketchbook wire. I liked adding that in! This was fun as usual.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

Vincent Van Gogh Journal Pages 21 & 22

 

CLOSE-UPS

 

 

 

Hello Friends!

I created these pages last night and thought about what I wanted to write on them this morning. So when I posted these on instagram, this is the message I shared:

These pages are dedicated to Vincent and all of us who have been called “crazy” or have been looked down on because we are “different.” Personally, I am not in the very large group of people who are LGBTQ, but I have relatives and friends who are. I love them for being courageous enough to be who they were born to be in spite of narrow-minded people who abuse and even shun them. Yet I am different in other ways and was made to feel “crazy” most of my life. But CREATIVE and ARTISTIC PEOPLE are not “crazy” or so “different” that those who think of themselves as “normal” should shun us for who we are and what we believe. I think everyone just desires to be loved and accepted for who we are. Love one another. 😀❤

Many think that Vincent van Gogh may have been bipolar. This is a possibility, but we will never know for sure. So why guess? I think he was born with an amazing creative mind and developed a very compassionate heart throughout his life. But so much of society and the more “elite” artists of his day shunned him and didn’t want his art to be shown alongside theirs in galleries, that he was left feeling isolated, depressed, and in despair. How differently his life may have turned out if he had been and felt accepted by those who knew him and saw him sketching and painting every day. But at least he had the support of his brother, Theo.

And how different our world would be if humankind could just accept and love one another for who we are meant to be. So my encouragement to you today is: You don’t have to change your personal beliefs. But be open-minded to those who live and believe differently than you do. Help make our world a better and safer place for us all. Thanks for reading.

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Van Gogh Journal Collaged Pages

Hello Friends!

I really enjoyed playing with colors and design on these two pages! First, I glued a tiny sheet of music down. Then I painted over that page and around his portrait on the right with some lemon yellow acrylic mixed with matte medium to make it transparent.

I had copied a couple of his paintings out of another book I have. Then I tore off pieces that I wanted to use. I also copied a photo of his pen and ink drawing called Weaver at the Loom. I used pieces of a copy of his painting Cafe Terrace at Night, some of the cobblestone walkway and the people at the tables, too.

In some places I pasted a few small pieces of my own scrap palette paper with dried acrylic paints on it.

Then on the right page I glued down a portion of a letter he wrote to Theo letting him know what supplies he needed. I tore some orange and blue pieces of tissue paper to glue down. And I painted over his portrait making his eyes look more intense!

Next I found my word “connection” for this year which happened to be printed on a blue card from a poetry magazine. After I tore it out and glued it, I wrote three synonyms: unite, relation and join.

Lastly, I finished with the very tips of a brush making whispy marks around the page and painting a few lavender lilies.

Have a wonderful day! 😀

Van Gogh Journal Abstract

 

Hello Friends!

I started working on this spread a couple of days ago. I will probably add some more to it at some point.

I painted the left page with shades of orange and yellow. Then I painted all of the blue squiggles around Vincent’s portrait. I also added some light blue highlights to his hat, coat and tie. Then I streaked some red into his beard and moustache and painted in redish-orange eyebrows. Lastly, I added some dark blue and white highlights to his eyes.

Then yesterday I used a small sponge to add some yellowish-green and black splotches to the left page. Lastly, I used a fan brush to make the feathery marks with black paint.

You know, when I am doing these art journal pages, I put music on and just let my mind wander. It’s so relaxing!

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

Van Gogh Journal – My 4 Words

 

Hello Friends!

Here are two more pages in my homemade van Gogh journal. I put a black background behind it merely for a better photo.

I have a couple of patterns of washi tape that have patterns from some of Vincent’s paintings. I love the color of the blue in them.

First I painted the pages in acrylic reds and oranges.Then I put the blue washi tapes on the left page and added the stars and circles. Next I added the birds and other washi tape patterns on the right page. I also painted over the print of Vincent’s self-portrait. That was fun! I love his self-portraits!

Lastly, I added four words which are going to be my words for this year. I don’t normally do that sort of thing, but I wanted to focus on more positive things. So my four words are: Lessons, Love, Gratitude and Connection. I love them!

Have a wonderful day! 😀

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages – My Poem & Drawing

 

CLOSE-UPS

 

Hello Friends!

Over this past weekend I wrote this poem as I was thinking about all of the people I know who identify as LBGTQ, or Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Queer. I have talked to several people in the last few years who have had or still have valid fears about coming out to their friends and family. Many go through dark periods of depression, identity crisis, and rejection from loved ones. And I just find this sad.

I have always felt sad for people that the so-called “normal” society sees as “different.” I grew up in Georgia in the 1960’s, and although I was born in 1960, I saw enough racism in those few years to leave the impression on me of how wrong it is to judge a person just because of the color of their skin!

But throughout my life I have seen too many other injustices. I could go on and on and this post could turn into a book! My mom always taught me that people with different beliefs, physical or mental struggles, or different lifestyles is THEIR business, not mine. They are the way they are whether or not by choice. However, in spite of this, I chose to go through many years of my life picking and choosing who to accept or “shun.” I admit this to my shame!

This is just not right. And I don’t hate people who may disagree with me. But I do hate the way some choose to treat others simply because they see others as “abnormal” or not living up to THEIR standards! For me, this is simply unacceptable. In the past, I was one of those who didn’t listen to others who live and believe differently than I do. I acted like I “tolerated” them when what I really did was avoid getting to know them! I don’t believe this is right!

Lately, I have been desiring to use my art to speak out to these issues, but I haven’t come up with how I want to do it yet. In the meantime, I am still working on this journal, and still stand in admiration for the person that Vincent van Gogh was. He loved people. He drew and painted those in his society whom others looked down on or ignored. He was treated like an outcast himself because of his mental struggles. He was ridiculed and rejected. Artists who were selling their work made him feel like his paintings weren’t good enough to sell. And although his brother, Theo, helped him as much as he could, even he couldn’t convince art curators to accept Vincent’s work. And yet, now each piece is WORTH millions! What has changed? Nothing, really. Yet, back then no one could see that Vincent’s work was brilliant and lovely, and that IT WAS HE WHO WAS INVALUABLE! 

I don’t need others to agree with my thoughts about any of this! I just want to say that have decided that I am not going to be the type of artist who only creates what society says is ACCEPTABLE or HAS TO SELL TO BE WORTH SOMETHING. I am worthy! I love and accept myself. I give what is inside of me freely, because that is what I have always desired to do. Would I love to make money from my art? Sure! But if I don’t, I am okay with that, because…I love what I do. And if I love what I do, that is all that matters. And I appreciate others who love what I do. That is a bonus!

If you are a creative person in any way, I hope that you see your own value and how you can enrich others with your creativity and how you can help others see their own value.

Have a wonderful day! :-)

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 3 & 4

 

Hello Friends!

Here is another journal page spread. I wanted to have them be a contrast of monochrome and color. The photo of Vincent on the left-hand page is said to have been taken of him when he was between 16 and 20 years old. And even then his eyes look intense to me. The surrounding pieces of text are from various places in his letters. I have a book of many of his letters to Theo. Last year when I was working on another project, I copied some, and “aged” them by painting tea over them and letting them dry. They wrinkled some, but not all of them look as aged as I would have liked. I need to do some more at some point.

On the right-hand page I painted the page with acrylics first, then glued one of his self-portraits and some random ephemera on there along with a another photo of Vincent when he was about seven years old that was in the book. And again, he looks so intense! Perhaps he didn’t want his picture taken that day! Ha ha!

I will have more journal pages to come for some time since there are many pages left. So I will share the journey here. I already have the next page planned which is something I wrote and drew. Stay tuned and stay safe and well!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

 

Van Gogh Journal Pages 1 & 2

 

Hello Friends!

In my last post I showed a video of an art journal I began making from a book I have of Vincent van Gogh’s portraits. I had read it many times and thought it would be a great book to make into an art journal!

So the other day I began by gluing this colorful tissue paper over the copyright page. I like the way the print shows through a little bit. Then I used white Liquitex Gesso to cover some writing under the page with his first name. I decided I wanted to paint a quote of his underneath it which says:

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘He feels deeply and tenderly.'”

I love his words. Vincent was such a beautiful soul. He may have had what doctors now call bipolar disorder. He certainly went through long deep depressions and was hospitalized a few times. But he did not cut off his whole ear like some still think; he only cut off the tip! I think that story has been embellished ever since it happened.

I love reading his letters to his brother Theo, too. I feel sad, though, that although Theo supported him financially, he was never able to sell any of Vincent’s art. It seems like the art curators at the time just didn’t take Vincent seriously, and judged him for the state of his mental health. So he was just one of those brilliant souls who didn’t “fit in.”

Lately, I have been thinking that I really want to get back to creating what I feel is in my soul, not just doing the assignments in my art classes. Although, I am grateful for them, and have learned a great deal, I just don’t feel like I have to do every single assignment in both of my classes this year! So I have decided to pick and choose and to do what inspires me.

I am here to also encourage and inspire others to follow your heart and create what YOU love!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

 

Kim G. Strande

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