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Getting Inspired by Van Gogh

I have always been the kind of person that loves assignments. It’s extremely helpful for me to have a starting place for my art. I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve really enjoyed this Van Gogh theme… When feeling a little lost creatively, I find it really helps me to have some sort of assignment. Whether I give it to myself, or someone else assigns it to me, having some sort goal and project help me create consistently. Honestly this is my main motivation for doing these different artist themed months.

I completed four artworks (almost five… my second sunflower painting took an unexpected turn and isi becoming a collage) inspired by these paintings. My favorite one to make was the copy I did of Van Gogh’s self-portrait (something I haven’t done in years). I used markers to try and imitate his mark makings. I found this piece to be very fun! Something about copying an artwork can be very relaxing. I didn’t have to worry about the final outcome. I was able to focus on the action of drawing without worrying about the outcome of the piece. If you’re struggling with your drawing/painting, I highly recommend doing a copy of any artwork you love.

Then I did a portrait based off Van Gogh’s portrait. I call this drawing Self-portrait without a Grey Hat. Self-portraits are one of those things that I’ve done a lot of in the past, but I haven’t done one in a while. I enjoyed playing with different colors than I usually do and having a clear vision for what I wanted the artwork to look like at the end.

I think Sunflowers was my favorite artwork. I really loved the final outcome of this portrait. Mostly what I pulled from Van Gogh’s painting was the colors and the theme. For Van Gogh, sunflowers represented gratitude. This made me think of daughter. I’ve been extra grateful for my kiddos lately. I’m currently working on a companion painting to this one, a portrait of my son (I’ll hopefully finish it within the next week).

Starry Night is probably my favorite Van Gogh painting. I know it’s cliche but I really do love it. The blues, the yellows, the movement. I want to create something inspired by Starry Night using the movement and the palette of this piece as inspiration. Honestly, I’m not one hundred percent happy with this piece. I like it, but I feel like I could improve it. Maybe I’ll do it again? Maybe I’ll keep working on this drawing? We'll see.

Although I originally planned on doing two weeks on Van Gogh, but after starting this project, I decided to complete an entire month studying Van Gogh and his work. Van Gogh is one of those artists I feel like I can always return to, his work and his creative practices are so solid. In a lot of ways, he feels like home. Who do you think I should study next? Let me know in the comments.

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