Monday, January 9, 2012

Late Day Canal

I have been recycling some older, less successful pastels using a combination of pastel and pastel wash. 8x10 on uart paper.

In the Van Gogh book, I am beyond Arles and Saint-Remy with Vincent now on his way to Auvers. The people in Arles treated Van Gogh miserably, though he didn't help much. I visited Arles in June. The hospital where Van Gogh spent many weeks, some of it strapped to his bed, is now a big gift shop specializing in Van Gogh reproductions.

Van Gogh probably had some kind of epilepsy, though his personality disorder seems to go back to when he was a youngster. His father died thinking his oldest son was not normal. His mother blamed him for his father's death. In the last two years of his life he went into periods of blackness losing his mind. When he would come out of these periods he would paint feverishly. In one stretch in 1889 in Saint-Remy, he averaged a painting every other day for eight months, according to the authors.

This weekend I visited MoMA to see the fantastic De Kooning exhibition, which ended today. I also saw Starry Night by Van Gogh. He thought the painting was a failure.

Early in 1890, an art critic named Aurier created a sensation with an article identifying Van Gogh as a great artist, and Vincent sold his first painting. I am near the end of the book. He has six months to live.

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