Happy Canadian Thanksgiving week-end, dear reader!
Today I’d like to touch again on my van Gogh/ Vermeer project if I may.
Lately I’ve been pondering what it is most I admire about both of these artists and how I can incorporate those things that I admire into my own work. Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that I could study these two fellows until I’m blue in the face and still feel like I have miles to go. So, with that in mind I’m going to put it out there that I’ll continue to study these two artists until the end of the year and then it’s time to move onto another project.
So with van Gogh I think I’ve made it quite clear that I love his use of colour. Bright, bold, smack- you- in- the- face kind of colour and that’s what I was hoping to get from studying him. I think I’ve made pretty decent progress in that regard as I know that now when I’m working on a piece I consciously make an effort to put in that little bit more in terms of colour. Playing around with complementaries and values in colour has been fun and using colour to convey the mood of a piece has been an interesting challenge as well.
With Vermeer it wasn’t quite as clear for me what I wanted to gain from studying him. After considering it further it hit me like a milkmaid with a full loaded pitcher of milk: his dramatic use of lighting and his uncluttered compositions.
Some folks like the ornate, overdone, visually jumbled compositions like those that can be found with many of the Renaissance artists. Gilded this and sumptuous that and for some of them just throw in a frolicking, androgynous lute- playing minstrel for good measure.
I’ve always loved compositions that are captivating in their simplicity (by the way, another Dutch artist that did this that I also drooled over was Carel Fabritius). Give me a few subjects, no more than I can count on one hand, and some fantastic lighting and I’m hooked. Vermeer did this time and time again and while some of his works are busy in terms of composition there’s still something about even those works that keeps me hooked.
I suspect that because I’ve started with Vermeer later in the game that it’ll still take some time for me to really figure out ways to incorporate what I admire about his work into my own work. I’ve also just started doing my own still life references and, um... yeah. It needs some work.
With that out of my system I wish all the other Canucks reading a very happy Thanksgiving full of turkey, stuffing, pie and good times. Until next week (and after the tryptophan wears off) keep on art-ing!