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 


Read various editions of the letters of Vincent Van Gogh 

Explore more here:


Nicole H. said...

Absolutely gorgeous spread. Cool to see your process. I miss you!! ):

Pam from Mpls said...

I just love this post Kelly. Really engrossed in your process and your thoughts to get there. Thanks so much. Just lovely!

Kelly Kilmer said...

Thank you, Pam. I appreciate it!!!

Awww,Nicole, I miss you and my SD peeps so much. So much. :(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finally talking about >"Meet Me in Auvers Sur Oise: Cimetiere d'Auvers-sur-Oise" <Loved it!