.. d, he was a sensitive and good- hearted individual and sincerely felt that this was his calling in life. He was so absorbed in his own life he did not understand the balance of eating versus not eating, giving his own clothes to people in need, ending up with rags for himself. This behavior began to take a toll on his mental and physical health. It was uncanny that he could function within a normal world during this period, but it also seemed that his main concern was to describe this way of life in letters to Theo (Van Gogh The Letters). His dismal life in Borinage, came close to causing his death, but these letters to Theo seemed to keep him in reality.
The letters Vincent wrote to Theo were an outlet from living in Borinage and eventually gave him strength to overcome his obsession of wanting to live like a martyr. He left the Borinage moved home to his parents home and began to paint. His first attempt at using color was without instruction and based on what he knew from the outside natural environment. As a result, he experimented with primary colors and used more earth tones and black and color mixtures. He became very obsessed with painting and tried to portray his martyr like experiences in the Borinage of Belgium on canvas. Using field workers as models, he created a painting called The Potato Eaters (Van Gogh The Paintings).
The Potato Eaters portrayed the dismal, dark colors of his Borinage experience and conveyed a new result for Vincents color and method in his paintings (Table 1). (Table 1) The Potato Eaters Vincent felt this was the best artwork he had ever created. He was excited and started making plans to move to Paris and become an artist when his father suddenly died. His life was so isolated and unrealistic that his fathers death did not seem to impact him at all. Vincent moved to Paris where he moved in with his brother Theo and looked at color differently than the dark dismal shadows he had seen in Borinage.
Vincent saw color in a new way: the powerful light he had admired in the art of Rembrandt and Tintoretto turned into the delicate tonal gradations that characterize his Parisian landscapes (Torterolo 40). Vincent became interested in the mixture of color in paints and knew he needed instruction, so he enrolled in the famous Parisian studio by Cormon. The action of enrolling in a studio was remarkable for Vincent as he was never comfortable taking instruction of art from anyone. He had grown from a very sweet inquisitive child into a martyr wanting to express his oppressive experiences in art and now wanting to learn and develop a new experience of color and method in his paintings. All in all, this remarkable, positive move to Paris, enrolling in the studio by Cormon, was such an improvement to his lifestyle, that one could actually see it in his choice of color and brushstrokes with which he painted.
From his studio experience, he learned how colors were created on canvas without the natural light of nature and his thick application of paint and color to the canvas was very different from the applications of other artists of that period. His instructor thought this was an odd way of applying paint to canvas and was very harsh and critical of his style and methods. Vincent was more critical of his style than his instructor, and worked harder at perfecting his style and methods. He loved the bright, vibrant colors he produced and continued to paint them in the future. His unique method of painting consisted of his emotions, styles of brush strokes and mixtures of color within his brush strokes.
Author, Robert Wallace, described Vincents method of painting as: It was a method to fuse what he saw, and what he felt, as quickly as possible into statements that were revelations of himself(Wallace 7). This description was an exact overview of his short career as a painter. (Table 2) Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat The painting method that he developed over the short span of his career was short, abrupt, brush strokes leaving thick lines of paint on the surface of the canvas. His work titled Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat revealed the thick lines of paint which were transformed into different shades of color as the brushstroke continued across the canvas (Table 2). Another example of his famous artwork was named Starry Night.
This painting illustrated the different shades of color by the movement and swirling motions of his paintbrush (Table 3). (Table 3) Starry Night Towards the end of his life, Vincents emotions and his declining health, revealed a more dramatic spontaneous brushstroke and color mixture. His unique emotional use of color within his paintings was a variety of primary colors reduced and enhanced in his painting titled Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries de-la-Mer (Table 4). (Table 4) Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries de-la-Mer A wonderful tribute to accompany Vincent van Goghs art was his personal letters he wrote to his brother Theo expressing his inner feelings of the artwork he created. The letters coincide with his art and explained events in his life of how he developed the unique style and color of his paintings (Van Gogh The Letters).
The combination of his art and writings revealed his joy of peaceful walks through nature and then producing vibrant colorful works of art from his visions. Bibliography Works Cited Gardner, Helen, Richard G. Tansey, and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardners Art Through the Ages.
10th Edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace. 1996. Hodge, Nicola, and Libby Anson. The A-Z of Art.
San Diego: Thunder Bay Press. 1996. Sweetman, David. Van Gogh His Life and His Art. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1990.
Thomson, Belinda. Impressionism (art). (31 Oct. 2000). Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia.
2000. Torterolo, Anna. Art Book: Van Gogh. New York: DK Publishing. 1999.
Van Gogh, Vincent. The Letters (31 Oct. 2000). Letter 129 Petit-Wasmes. April 1879.
Letter 403 Nuenen. April 1885. The Paintings (31 Oct. 2000). The Potato Eaters April 1885.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat 1887-1888. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Starry Night June 1889. The Museum of Modern Art. New York. Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries June 1888.Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
David Brooks. 2000. Wallace, Robert. The World of Van Gogh 1853-1890. Chicago: Time-Life Books.
1969. Art Essays.