Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Starry night

Okay, Ronnie´s got a really cool art teacher who always has great, mind opening projects in her sleeve. And recently, Ronnie came home, telling me about the Van Gogh project they were doing in school. She was thrilled spending long hours flipping through my old artbooks and checking the internet for his biography, and this man does have a biography that´s interesting!!!

So we looked at a lot of pictures. And read about him stumbling through life drunken and depressed and cutting off his ear to hand it to a prostitute as a souvenir, which, in backsight, makes him kind of likable. I can´t say I´ve always had a thing for drunken artists, since I grew up with one, but well, today, in backsight, from afar, that one doesn´t seem so bad, either. Anyways, I could even tell my kids firsthand about how it is to live with someone who feels constantly underapreciated and bossed around by society and it´s evil commercial pressure. Oh, the good old times... sorry. I´m rambling.

So... we decided to pick one, and copy it. Ronja had gotten this awesome box with canvases and high quality art supplies for Christmas from her grandma, and she was so kind to share. We got started:
Eva checked the internet for a high res pic of Starry night, because we liked that one the most. Despite all the dark colors, it seemed to us like the most joyful one of his paintings, at least a lot more joyful than the sad looking sunflowers.And I know the cypresses in the front represent death. But, I like to believe, a happy one.
 Ronnie took acrylic paint, and a relatively wild approach, which included not so much copying - or taking a closer look at the man´s artwork - but more a lot of wild swishing and mixing. And in fact, she´s still working on her painting, even now, a week after.

Eva and I took some kind of super cool water-mixable chalk, and though we skipped dinner, we managed to finish our paintings that day:
That´s Eva´s finished painting.

And that´s mine.

And, okay, that´s the original:
(source: VanGoghGallery.com)
To round it all up, we even watched the Doctor Who episode "Vincent and the Doctor" -  maybe not the most accurate source of information, but certainly very entertaining:

If you don´t know it, go, check it out. If there is one episode of Dr. Who worth wathing, it´s this one. 
And, believe it or not, since we couldn´t find a german dubbed one, I translated the whole thing. 40 minutes. I had quite a sore throat after that, but my kids liked it.

Still feel like Starry Night?

I absolutely love love love how it found it´s way into all the popular media. Like... the Starry Night Lego mosaic? Totally awesome.
Or all the Starry night cakes you can find with one click on pinterest, like this baby:
There are even Starry Night Pants available.

And though I´m not sure this is exactly what Van Gogh himself might have wanted (who knows what he wanted, anyway? Not him, either, i suppose...), I quite like the idea of having a painting that strongly deals with the topic of death (because the stars are supposed to represent the afterlife), and that was made by a maniac outsider pop up in a society that shies away from death like ours. I think it´s beautifully poetic, and we couldn´t have chosen a better pic to cover.

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