Tuesday, November 24, 2009
My Introduction to Van Gogh - "Cafe Terrace"
The idea of painting a Van Gogh came from my girlfriend Jackie who now lives in Texas. Back in 2002, I asked her for a painting suggestion and she simply said, "paint a Van Gogh." I got a book on Van Gogh and picked this very colorful night scene. The thought was that if it came out half way decent, I was going to give it to her. Somehow, after it was completed, I found it hard to part with. I never told her which Van Gogh I picked to paint, so I painted another Van Gogh for her. She loved her painting and it was framed and displayed in her home in New York and later, traveled to Texas with her. I get to keep this one. : )
Lessons Learned and Hindsight - At the time I painted my version of Cafe Terrace, I did not know much about Van Gogh's troubled life nor how much I would learn to love his work. My sense is that in 1888 when he painted this, he must have had an optimistic period to paint with those wonderful bright colors. I read that he was enthused by the idea of night painting. It must had been a crisp clear evening to be able to see all those stars! Just like the town's folks, you can't help but get drawn into the painting toward the open cafe for a drink and conversation.