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"Exploring the Relationship Between Art and Artist: Can a Painting Outshine the Creator?"

Updated: Apr 19

I remember studying about world renown artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock and many others. We were encouraged to understand their painting techniques and create our own version . I honestly never really enjoyed it. I felt like I was just copying another artist's work and was always in a rush to paint in my own way and explore techniques I enjoyed but I realized it was very eye opening to see and understand the art work of famous artists. What really made them famous and how they practiced and practiced to perfect their painting techniques. I found their life stories to be the most interesting.

Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter, generally considered to be the greatest after Rembrandt Van Rijn, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. He sold only one artwork during his life, but in the century after his death he became perhaps the most recognized painter of all time.

Vincent Van Gogh's Self Portrait
Vincent Van Gogh's Self Portrait

In his lifetime, Van Gogh (1853-1890) created about 2100 paintings, most of them in the last 2 years of his life. It is sad to know that he struggled with mental illness and was poor and remained unknown throughout his life. It is truly sad, one might think what his life would be like if he was alive today to taste the fame.

The Starry Night is a very famous painting by Van Gogh. It is said that he created it when he was in an asylum in France to show the view from his bedroom window. This was just 13 months before he passed away. Today, that painting is known by almost every person I meet. People say, I love the Starry Night, it's one of my favorites. The emotions behind this painting must have been deep to be able to touch so many people's hearts centuries down the line. Van Gogh clearly poured out everything he was feeling into that painting.

Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh (1889)
Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

This painting is fascinating. You can feel the texture visually and I almost feel like touching the digital version to feel it. I clearly feel the passion that was in him when he created this painting. The swirls in the sky are really the highlight of the painting. I say this because that's what you notice in the painting first, the sky. Seems like there is movement in there. The bold brush strokes are childlike but yet everything looks quite symmetrical. It looks simple but yet there are so many details in the captivating brush strokes. I think his visual composition is spot on. The placement of the tree on the left side is perfect and fits in just right, I actually think it looks like a flame.

I have actually painted my own versions to teach in my classes. Here are a few images of my versions and versions my students have painted:

I sometimes wonder whether the fame of the painting has outshined the creator. If you ask 10 people randomly who the artist of Starry Night is, will they know the name? Or if you ask someone who is Van Gogh, would most of their answers be the artist who created Starry Night? Just something to think about. It truly is a dreamlike painting and universally appreciated by both old and young generations.

The point of art is to make you feel something. Starry night has done it just right! When you look at the image of the original painting, there is a sense of an illusion and I always notice something new about it each time I look. I can't really put a finger on those bold brush strokes. This painting gives me a sense of nostalgia and makes me feel calmer. I have created a coloring page of Starry Night. You can paint or color it using whatever medium you prefer. I used my son's crayons. If you do end up coloring or painting it, share it with me on @canvasandbrushesllc on Instagram. I would love to show off your wonderful work.

Printing page
Starry Night Coloring Page

Starry Night Coloring sheet
Download PDF • 807KB

Coloring Reference
Coloring Reference

I will be writing about Van Gogh's other paintings in my upcoming blog post. Until then, I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Don't forget to check out the coloring page. I will be hosting a Sip and Paint on May 3rd, check our events for more information. Happy Thursday everyone!

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