Tag Archives: artists

Artful Soul 2 | Saucy sunflowers, bright golden faces laughing, bound for Monet fame. | HartHaiku.com

Artful Soul 2 | Monet

Monet v.s. Van Gogh. Is it a competition? Paul Gauguin, one of their (also later famous) artist peers thought so. The quote below is from The Met Museum website:

In November 1888, Van Gogh wrote: “Gauguin was telling me the other day – that he’d seen a painting by Claude Monet of sunflowers in a large Japanese vase, very fine. But – he likes mine better. I’m not of that opinion.” Critics had earlier praised the “brio and daring” of Monet’s technique when he showed this still life, depicting sunflowers that grew along the pathway to his garden at Vétheuil, at the 1882 Impressionist exhibition. 

Monet’s is softly idyllic and otherworldly, Van Gogh’s harder edged, quirky and less “refined prettiness”. See my Van Gogh post from several days ago. For me there is no competition. I find them both beautiful and interesting, for different reasons.

And these two sunflower paintings perfectly illustrate that there are many ways of looking at the same thing. One is no more “good” or “bad” than the other, which is duality thinking and narrow, part of the problem in our world right now. They both demonstrate creativity. In fact, both artists were attempting to break out of the mold of what was “acceptable” in the world of art in their time.

And any renaissance requires taking a wider view, thinking outside of the box, breaking the rules.

There are several definitions of renaissance. In fact, Monet and Van Gogh did not paint during the Renaissance art period, with a capital “R”. I am talking about the general definition: A revival of or renewed interest in something. ORIGIN from French renaissance, from re- back, again + naissance birth(from Latin nascentia, from nasci be born).

We have become lazy thinkers. Our world badly needs a renaissance in creative and critical thinking, a broader perspective, a fresh way of looking at things. And we need it now.

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Claude Monet, “Bouquet of Sunflowers”, 1881

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ARtful Soul 1 | Burnished swirls of gold, proud ochre orbs, draped in grace. Vincent, we're smitten. | HartHaiku.com

Artful Soul 1 | Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh. Millions of art lovers worldwide revere his name and works. His “Sunflowers” particularly are beloved beyond his wildest dreams.

I love sunflowers – they have long been a favorite flower – so Van Gogh feels like a kindred spirit. He painted 12 sunflower works in all, between 1887 and 1889. In my career as an artist, I have also painted them numerous times.

Vincent created some of the paintings specially for a visit of (the also later famous) Paul Gauguin to his home. Apparently, he proclaimed to his brother Theo that sunflowers would become his artistic signature. Little did he know how true that would be! More here: 10 Facts that You Don’t Know About “Sunflowers”.

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A Vincent Van Gogh quote:

“What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

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Artists | Artists keep us sane, bestowing grace and beauty upon a mad world. | HartHaiku.com

Artists | Your soul food

In this modern technological world, some might say that art is pretty useless. After all [they might ask], in a society that prays to the almighty dollar, what true value does it really have?

My reply to them is, “Plenty”. Why did the fire that destroyed part of Notre Dame trigger an outpouring of worldwide sorrow? It was not just about religion or sacredness. Artists and their work touch our souls, in ways that many may not readily see or accept. They raise our lives up above the mundane.

Art speaks to our souls

Some artists paint simple pretty pictures; others create at the level of grand vision and spectacular works of art that the whole world embraces. And, is one any more important than the other? If the little painting rendered by a child touches your heart, it is magnificent in its way as any famous masterpiece that may do the same.

Artists and art are about heart and soul. So I would argue, in this modern but ofttimes cold technological world, we need them now more than ever.

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