Vincent Van Gogh was born on March 30th, 1853 in Holland, and died in France in 1890. Van Gogh was one of the most tragic 🎨 artists who had ever lived. He was not very happy as evident by his never smiling self-portraits since nothing ever seemed to go right for him.
While reading Van Gogh, Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists book (buy here), we learned that unlike most artists, Van Gogh did not decide to become an artist until he was grown up. He tried a lot of other things first, such as working as an art-dealer, selling paintings, working as a teacher, and in a bookstore. He even tried to find happiness in being a preacher, like his father, but nothing seemed to make him happy. Then one day, he decided to be 🎨 an artist!
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers. 1888. Oil on canvas.
Van Gogh usually applied his paint on very thick. Sometimes, he painted so fast, that he did not even mix his colors, and used paint right out of the tube. In fact, Van Gogh was using so much paint that he was constantly running out of it. There were periods in his life when he would stop buying food in order to buy more paint. As a result, his nutrition was very poor, he was hungry most of the time, and thus he was not very healthy. However, through his innovative style, Van Gogh was able to convey through his paintings feelings – impressions – becoming one of the most popular Post- Impressionist painters!
Just a few months ago (at 38 months), Adrian had to recruit Julia's help putting together this "Vase with Twelve Sunflowers" puzzle (buy here). The box says 3+ however, pieces are very similar looking, making it visually challenging to figure out where the pieces fit. Now, at 41 months, Adrian was able to complete this puzzle in eight minutes.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/210827175 This puzzle is the appropriate level of difficulty for Adrian: not too easy offering just enough challenge and not too hard to cause frustration. The painting featured on this puzzle is Sunflowers - one of the four paintings of sunflowers dating from August and September 1888. Van Gogh intended to decorate the artist Paul Gauguin's room with these paintings in the so-called Yellow House that he rented in Arles in the South of France, where he and Gauguin worked together between October and December 1888. Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in August 1888,
"I am hard at it, painting with the enthusiasm of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse, which won't surprise you when you know that what I'm at is the painting of some sunflowers. If I carry out this idea there will be a dozen panels. So the whole thing will be a symphony in blue and yellow. I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so quickly. I am now on the fourth picture of sunflowers. This fourth one is a bunch of 14 flowers … it gives a singular effect."
As a tribute to Van Gogh's Birthday, Adrian made 12 🌻Sunflowers Tissue Paper Recycled Cardboard Roll Paper-Mache Craft (see 📽️ a video of him making it here).
Unfortunately, during his lifetime, Van Gogh received little acknowledgment. Hardly anyone was interested in his work. While he was alive, he sold only a few drawings and maybe one to two of his paintings. People during his time were not used to the bright “moving” lively pictures that Van Gogh painted. Today, however, people have learned to appreciate the beauty of Vincent Van Gogh’s art. Now, his paintings are some of the most popular paintings in the world.
Sadly, Van Gogh suffered from depression most of his life. Sometimes, he was too angry to paint, and sometimes he was too despondent to paint. However, when he felt good, he painted better than ever. Van Gogh made his painting seem alive with colors – so bright and beautiful that you can almost smell the flowers he painted, or feel the bright sun. His brush strokes give everything a feeling of movement: trees, stars, and people seem alive. More than any other artist, Van Gogh’s feelings came out in his paintings, and that is why Vincent Van Gogh is one of the world’s greatest 🎨 artists!
Happy Birthday, Vincent Van Gough!
p.s. Van Gogh Dover postcards (buy here) are a great addition to the Van Gogh study. I had cut them out and laminated for durability.
For more about Van Gogh, read here a post "Vincent van Gogh – Introducing the World's Greatest Artists series."