Monday, April 05, 2010

Van Gogh

I could take or leave the work by Van Gogh. Although I have the books and seen the films, I could never really place him in my top ten of artists. But, last Saturday I went to the Royal Academy exhibition called, "The Real Van Gogh. The Artist and His Letters", and I was completely blown away. It's not until you actually see his work in person that you can appreciate how good he was. I was most impressed with his letter writing to his brother Theo and his tiny pen and ink drawings. These are absolutely sublime and instantly had an impact on me. I must do more drawing. If you get the chance to go and see the exhibition, I can recommend it.

Once again, I haven't been painting as much as usual. I have been keeping the artistic side of my brain busy though. I've been hand coding and designing some websites in XHTML. It's strange, although I love simple traditional things like watercolour painting using the traditional techniques and playing the harmonica in the traditional style, I also love cutting edge technology. It pays better than painting but I enjoy being able to switch between the two.


  1. Idea; code a watercolour iPhone app!

    I've read all of van Gogh's letters. I'd like to see that exhibition but it's too far away. One future day I'll visit his museum.

  2. Good idea Mark but all my kit is PC based. I'd need to bite the apple to do that.

  3. Damn. Van Gogh never wrote to me. Not even a post card. I feel left out. However, I still think his drawings are amazing. Not one for colour or canvas, I much prefer his drawing to his painting; in fact I think his drawings are some of the best things ever though I've not seen one in the flesh that I can recall. But I did just see Leonardo what's his name's anatomy drawings on loan from what's her name, the figure-head of state, to the Vancouver Art Gallery and they were quite a treat. It's nice to have a chance to see real drawings on paper; what a treat it would be to see Van Growths. Good luck with the xhtml whatever it is. I must need the special decoder ring to know what you're talking about!

  4. Hi Clive, yes seeing them in person was a real treat. The smaller ones were particularly enchanting. Only 2 x 3 inches with very fine pen work with lots of contrast, on thin tissue thickness paper. He sent these to Theo to show what he was doing.

    XHTML=(Extensible HyperText Markup language)

    It's the computer language used to write the code for web pages that can be viewed on the new web enabled devices such as smart phones and Blackberries etc. It just ensures that any webpage can be viewed without the page breaking up or displaying poorly.

    I like it. I know, I'm sad.

  5. Leonardo's drawings were quite tiny on the small page too. Since I have only seen reproductions, I had no idea some of VG's drawings were so small; makes sense though, being in letters. Notice so many bloggers sketches are in moleskines (not moleskins) and I'm getting enchanted at the idea of working small so as to be able to work anywhere and not be encumbered.

    XHTML. Right! My 'word verification' is 'twitiod', which is appropriate for me. Probably nice for you to do something apparently quite different from painting; complimentary or supplementary...have fun with it.


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