Monday, November 23, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Art Show

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
~ Vincent Van Gogh

I like many of the paintings by famous Dutch post-Impressionist artist, Vincent Van Gogh. So when Hubby and I learned a Van Gogh Museum Edition Tour was coming to a city near us, we made definite plans to take it in. After all, Van Gogh is one of the world's most celebrated artists, with such famous works as Vase with Sunflowers, The Starry Night and Irises, St. Remy to his credit. Who knows when we'd get to visit the whole collection at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

So off we went one afternoon not that long ago. We arrived at the entrance where the friendly fellow at the desk engaged in a little light conversation as we inquired after tickets. He looked up at us and said to Rick, "I see you brought your daughter with you." We all chuckled, and he proceeded to ask how I got to be out of school since it was the middle of the afternoon. A little more repartee as we finally got our tickets and the info that a little tour and lecture would be happening in about an hour from then. He suggested we could do a quick tour on our own, go have tea, and then return in time for the tour/lecture as our tickets were good for the whole day. So that's what we did.

Feeling refreshed from a nice cup of tea, we arrived back at the entry of the art show, the same fellow was there. I assumed after such a cheery conversation of not that long ago, he'd certainly remember us and so we wondered if we needed to show him our tickets again. He shuffles and puts his head down, say he's not so good with faces, but he does remember my jacket ... I was wearing a lovely teal blue-green leather jacket which he said really caught his eye as he loved the colour.

Ha ... as we went inside I wasn't sure if I should be offended or not. After all that and now he says doesn't really remember faces but he remembers my jacket. Were we a teeny bit disappointed? Of course we were. I guess I was hoping I was bit more memorable than my jacket.

Yet what could we do but laugh? And I still chuckle as I think of it now. In spite of that little turn out, we enjoyed the tour very much.

Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds

Although it's a lesser known painting, I must admit one of my favourites by this artist is the one above: Wheatfield Under Thunderclouds. I love all that blue splashed across the canvas as I truly love big open landscapes where skies are filled with light and dark as storm clouds gather -- must be the prairie girl in me, I guess.

Did you know that Van Gogh began painting in his mid-twenties, and in a single decade produced more than 2,100 artworks? That makes my head spin, and I feel a moment of lament that some people are so very focused and able to accomplish so much in so little time, yet I am not one of them.

Of course, Mr. Van Gogh did say once, "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." He had admitted himself into an asylum at some point and he dealt with dark times in his life. Apparently the verdict is still out on whether or not he actually committed suicide.  So maybe I don't want to be quite that focused.

Almond Blossom

Another painting I love is Almond Blossom. One often sees this wonderful piece reproduced on mugs, calendars, journals, and even t-shirts. I love these colours and the joyful feeling this piece gives. I also love the journal with this painting on the covers. What fun to write in. Some people have also created fabric using this pattern and so I was well pleased to find a pretty cotton t-shirt in a ShopBBC catalog.

And, so that's what happened on the way to the art show and while we were at the art show. A lovely afternoon enjoying the beauty and creativity of one special man. By the way, I read a book with some of his published letters and it was a fascinating read. I loved the peek inside this man, whose life and art has touched many ... I'm grateful for what he shared with the world in his short life.

Wishing you all a beautiful rest of the day,

Linking up with Judith on Mosaic Monday


  1. If you are going to have a job that depends on making people relax and enjoy the art gallery you should have a good memory or at least pretend.

  2. Nice to see a couple of your favourite Van Gogh's Brenda, I'm not familiar with many of his works but like the Almond Blossom.
    Strange thing to have happen at the entrance to the museum tour, perhaps some people really cannot remember faces?

  3. Having a father with dementia, the comments of this man sound similar to conversations with my dad. Who knows, maybe he is suffering from early memory loss and is hanging on best he can. I just couldn't criticize anyone these days because you never know their whole story. I'm glad he made you laugh at the start of your tour ;) I would love to see an exhibit of Van Gogh. Maybe it will come to Toronto at some point (I hope it hasn't already been and I missed it!). Enjoy your week Brenda, and thank you for sharing these beautiful paintings.

  4. What a marvelous tour! I love the exchange with the docent! Honestly, the fact he remembered your jacket is pretty awesome! He did look at you! LOL

    I saw Van Gogh's "Iris" at the Getty last New Year's Eve. I was moved to tears... the sole white iris amongst all the lavender... wow....

    Recently, there was an article about how the fact he saw "swirls" which show up in his paintings were the result of a unique vision issue. Who knew?? While I am not a Dr. Who fan (I know, go figure), I so enjoyed the episode where the Doctor ended up with Vincent as he was painting "Sunflowers." You might enjoy it, too!

    Have a terrific week! <3 M

  5. Glad you were able to view the beautiful exhibit. The Almond Blossom is also one of my favourites!

  6. Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite painter. And, there's a bit of family legend that says he's a relative. So we laughingly refer to him as "Uncle Vince." I remember the first time I stood in front of one of his original paintings, in the Musée d'Orsay, in Paris. The colors are so vibrant and the brushstrokes so decisive - it took my breath away. How fortunate to see this exhibition - I wonder if it will come here some day. I recently read a novel about his last weeks of life in Auvers sur Oise, written from the point of view of the daughter of his physician (who seemed to be a charlatan). His letters, of which I`ve read a few, would be fascinating. A great post, Brenda.

  7. Wow! How blessed you were to see this exhibit! How long did you spend once inside? (I smiled while reading your little personal experience....)

  8. Oh Brenda, So enjoyed this. From the memorable beginning, to all the fascinating facts you shared on Van Gogh . His paintings are incredible. The book sounds interesting as well. Have a wonderful day!

  9. Dear Brenda what a privilege to see this great artist' s work in person. Such talent continues to inspire others yet today. Ad for the jacket it must have certainly been memorable. Glad you were able to laugh it off! Hugs

  10. How fortunate you were to be able to see this display of Van Gogh's art!

  11. Oh how lucky to be able to see this!! I suppose you shouldn't be too disappointed that he didn't remember you. It's tough to compete with that kind of art work.

  12. Disappointing to say the least! I think most of us like to think we are memorable, but in the end, most people don't pay that much attention. At least your beautiful jacket was admired. The art is gorgeous and so much fun to see it all. I can see why you have your favorites. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  13. What a privilege to see that art exhibit! An experience to treasure. Have a wonderful weekend.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo