05 February, 2007

Van Gogh Sketches

All drawings, Vincent van Gogh.

Building in Eindhoven (The “Weigh House”), Neunen, Feb., 1885

Snowy Yard, The Hague, Mar., 1883

Garden in the Snow, Neunen, Feb., 1885

Oxcart in the Snow, Neunen, Aug., 1884

Old Man Drinking Coffee, The Hague, Nov., 1882

Five Men and a Child in the Snow, The Hague, March, 1883

Edge of a Wood, Etten, July, 1881

Dance Hall, Neunen, Dec 1888

I've decided to begin my van Gogh project participation by studying some of his sketches. I post a few of my favorites here.
I chose these for the good figure works, and some for the addition of Conte, or colored chalks, and others for the representation of snow. I'll be doing a few snow scenes as well. I tried to stay with graphite or charcoal works, here. One of them may be reed pen, but my sources don't say.
Before I could commit myself to this van Gogh inspired project, I had to clean up my old studio space , which is in the house. It had been half way moved out to my new 12' x 60' studio, which is a surplused house trailer. It is halfway remodeled, and sans electricity.
So, now that I am re-established in my old studio space, I am ready to go with the new works. I will begin with drawing, as it was the foundation of Vincent's work. He almost always worked from life, rather than memory or reproductions. He did do a little of the latter, especially to copy his own studies, or the etchings of other artists that he admired. He was much influenced by Jean-Francois Millet (French, 1814-1875) and Harmenszoon van Rijn Rembrandt (Dutch, 1606 - 1669), who were both good draftsmen.
I seldom work from life nowadays, although I have done much of it in the past. My Colorist American Landscapes are studio works, from the imagination or removed memory. I noticed that for many of the others in this project, the van Gogh study will be a move away from realism. For, me, it will be a move toward realism.
So, I will be drawing from life, as van Gogh did. He not only didn't have the CRT or Photoshop, he really didn't even have the photograph. Photography was new in his day; it represented a challenge to the ageless pursuit of fine art, and what is more I understand that he disliked the evil photo. I share that opinion.
Anyway, I think that it will be hard for one to gain his perspective without going outside, or at least setting up a still life. I will finish the project with painting, however.
Then, also to get close to the keener's (*) motifs, I want to choose the same subjects. Sunflowers, check. Wheat fields, got 'em.. Orchards, check. Marine climate, check. Maritime subjects, check. Sunlight, check-er-rooni. Self for portraits, check.
Wish me luck!

Here are some links that I don't think I saw on blogs of other artists doing this VG project:

Unabridged Letters by or to Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh at Etten. Interesting and broad based web site.

(*) "Keener" is defined in urban slang as a nerd or eager-beaver. But, I am using it in it's old school definition of one who is keen-edged, knowledgeable; also the Irish give the keener tragic substance.


jafabrit said...

His sketches are wonderful. I really like the trees. Your post is inspiring me to do a study of trees in my backyard in my sketchbook.

Casey Klahn said...

There you go. It is exactly the same for me.
Luckily, I am not a stranger to the vine charcoal. it's the best tool, I think, for these snowy days.
Now, if only the fog and the rain will stay away...

Robyn Sinclair said...

You are off to a great start, Casey - but I realise Van Gogh has been a long-term passion for you. Thank you for posting 'Building in Eindhoven', I've been trying to find something like that to draw on for my first VG inspired sketch.
Glad you a back, cosy in your studio.

Making A Mark said...

Gosh Casey - you're off to a great start! Thanks for the extra links and I shall be watching with interest as your conversation and work progresses

When do you catch the train to Provence?

Casey Klahn said...

VG won't go there. Bad blood.
Yes, the letters one is I think the best link if one wants to search his opinion on whatever. Perhaps drawing? They have a site search engine that is very nifty.
Still struggling with what my painting will be.

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