Thursday, July 30, 2020

Meet Me in Auvers Sur Oise: Cimetière d'Auvers-sur-Oise


I knew that this page would be a challenge for me. I didn't expect an eight day challenge (though watching hours of panels virtually at San Diego Comic Con took a big chunk of my time last weekend.)
 A sunflower outside of the Tourism Office.
Using pencil to draw the sunflower. I painted and layered the petals until finally I decided to see what happened if I just painted over my pencil lines. I liked the texture and the colors a lot.
I used a painting knife and tube acrylics (heavy body) for the flower. I didn't know what to expect but I kept playing with the layers and rotating the page with each application. At one point, I thought of painting the background over the yellow to form the petals but decided against it. I do like that idea, though, for future work.
One of my biggest challenges was trying to figure out how to paint the ivy bed over the brothers' graves. One day, it popped into my head: layers of different greens applied with a painting knife. The idea of the ivy bed...
The "ivy"
This has so many layers of different greens scraped and dragged with a painting knife.

Before David and I arrived in Auvers sur Oise, I knew that I wanted to start with the cemetery. We had an early start and after getting a map (at the Tourism Office), breakfast (farmer's market and the local bakery) and a yellow flower for each brother (farmer's market), we headed off to the cemetery. I had it in my head that I wanted to start at, "the end."
We trekked through the streets following the map. As we got closer, bicyclists began to whizz by. They were so close and so fast, that it was like something out of a cartoon.
We were walking where he walked.
We were standing where he painted.
The fields surrounded us.
There was so much to absorb.
A Van Gogh inspired vase... drawn with a water soluble pencil and then later on, painted over (as you'll see below.)

The fields.
The vase didn't work nor did the ivy. It was too much like Vincent, not enough me. It had to go.
I like the texture you can see through the darker greens painted on top here. I scratched into the paint using different painting tools. I later added marks with paint markers.
Using washi tape to try to keep the text straight. I didn't love my printing so I later added the cursive on top.
Using a Stabilo pencil in brown to outline the center bits. Smooshed with my finger.
It's getting there...
Adding my own writing always pushes it again in a different direction.
My photos from the cemetery.
The ivy is from Doctor Gachet's garden.
Theo originally was not buried with Vincent. Jo eventually had him moved so that the brothers could be together.
My finished page.

I've been wanting to work BIG for awhile now. Yet, after three pages of struggling, I just had a light bulb moment. While I've been itching to work big, for this project, it's just too big. I want this project to be more intimate. So, I may step back from this size and rework these pages again in a smaller format. I LOVE working 23 x 35 (I'd go bigger if I had space!) but not for this project that I've been wanting to do since June of last year. I want something I can carry around and with this, it's not possible.


Supplies used:

100 lb Accent Opaque size 23 x 35" opened (this is a journal I made that I'm working in)

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht and Golden

Water based paint markers: Holbein (acrylic inks), Sharpie, Molotow, Posca

Stabilo All in One water soluble pencils in black, brown and yellow

.35 Rapidosketch pen with black India ink

Palette knife 

Brushes

Read various editions of the letters of Vincent Van Gogh 



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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Sunflowers by Egon Schiele


I'm working in my Auvers sur Oise book. I was looking up Van Gogh sunflowers (which I know Vincent painted in Arles) and this came up by Egon Schiele. I had to share... beautiful sunflowers by Egon Schiele. 

Hoping you are staying well.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Meet me in Auvers sur Oise: Vincent's Room




"6 Euros, please. If you hurry, the film is just starting!" The woman at the booth inside the Ravoux Inn told me. I didn't know what to expect but I wanted to see where Vincent had lived (it is also where he died. It is the only surviving dwelling to be preserved in its original state.) I followed her instructions to go up the stairs and into the gift shop.

Once inside the gift shop, I waited for two women to check out before approaching the clerk. A few minutes passed before she could help me. She looked at her watch. "It's already begun. Go ahead up." She opened the door. I stepped inside.
 
I was alone.

I walked up the stairs. Music was playing. A lone chair sat in the room. Holes in the wall. Paint scratches. Old nails. Creaky floor boards. I stood in the door frame and stared.

Vincent's room.

The room was tiny and dark. There was one lone window, a small skylight above. The room was empty except for one chair (they talk about why on the website.)

I wondered where everyone was... I walked into the next room. It was set up as a room of that time period may have looked but it was brighter. The windows were bigger. The room was much brighter. Music played from the room next door. "They're watching the film." I realized (I had forgotten all about it.)

I decided to take the time and stand in the door frame of Vincent's room. I think I stood there for at least ten, maybe fifteen minutes before I remembered that my husband was waiting for me sitting on a bench by the town hall.

I took one last look around the room and ran my hands along the railing as I walked down the stairs. The same stairs I had come up.

I walked into the gift shop. "YOU DIDN'T WATCH THE FILM?!" The woman was incredulous and shocked to see me. Upstairs, a door opened and a crowd of people (where had they all come from? How did they fit?) flooded the gift shop.

I asked about seeing the restaurant downstairs.

"Impossible." (This was a word I heard several times this trip and it made me shake my head almost every time.) She then told me it was full and I would be unable to even peek inside. (Later on, after it had closed, David and I went back and peeked in the windows.)

I left the Inn as we had more to see.

I would find out later that the Inn hadn't left me... at least, my short experience there.
A quick sketch with a pencil.
Drawing with the water soluble Stabilo All pencil. Smooshing with finger.
Adding the acrylics to the chair.
Trying to get used to working this large (I like it. It doesn't mean that it doesn't present a new challenge!)

The blue was an accident. I'm happy that I decided to use it around the page since I had so much of it.
Poppies with acrylics, water soluble pencil, water based paint markers, a palette knife and my finger
Looking at it on the easel.


Above are some of my reference photos. I put those pieces together to create this page.

When I began this page, I knew that I wanted to create an homage to his room, a room where he lived, thought and dreamt of his paintings, where Vincent sat with his brother, Theo, and where Vincent eventually died.

The room. That little dark room stayed with me. I didn't want it to be as dark and dreary as they represent it. He didn't just die in that room, he LIVED in it!

I decided to combine the chair with one of my favorite paintings. The photos above represent that journey.

Supplies used:

100 lb Accent Opaque size 23 x 35" opened (this is the journal I made that I'm working in)

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht and Golden

Water based paint markers: Holbein (acrylic inks), Sharpie, Molotow, Posca

Stabilo All in One water soluble pencils in black, blue and brown

.35 Rapidosketch pen with black India ink

Palette knife 

Brushes

Read various editions of the letters of Vincent Van Gogh