Art Date with Van Gogh

Have you ever read something about an artist & thought, “Yes!  Me, too!!”?  That’s how I felt when I read the following quote at the Van Gogh: Up Close exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art last Saturday.  “For Van Gogh, the blade of grass became a metaphor for living simply & observing the surrounding world with thoughtful attention, a practice that grounded his personal & professional life.”  That quote deeply resonated with me because I, too, am trying to stay grounded by connecting more intimately with nature.

Several Japanese prints similar to those Van Gogh collected & used as sources of inspiration were also on display.   The prints were absolutely beautiful!  In the museum gift shop, I purchased 2 books on them & have spent the last few days studying the work of Hokusai specifically.  Take a look at Van Gogh’s inspiration & see how he interpreted similar subject matter.

Hokusai's Iris

Van Gogh's Iris

Hokusai's Bullfinch with Dropping Cherry

Van Gogh's Almond Blossom

Artists get inspiration from nature & one another.  Van Gogh & Hokusai make the surrounding landscape fall away, gently forcing the viewer to focus on the subject.  They capture a moment, a mood.  Each work is a visual haiku.

At times, my inner critic tells me that my work is too simplistic but then I remind myself, ‘That’s the point.”  One blossom.  One bird.  One pine cone.  Oneness.