I watched Loving Vincent this afternoon at home. It maybe wasn't the best film pick whilst stuck in isolation! Watching his life crumble and never be recognised for his work is incredibly anticlimactic. Does an artist have to die to be become successful in life? How terribly depressing! But in saying this, I would highly recommend this film for its stunning oil painting animation that was originally realised by Polish painter, Dorota Kobiela. It has such a thought provoking story line and the cinematography really captures that light and colour within his own paintings.
I remember seeing his work for the first time when I was in Paris. It would have been 11 years ago now. It was my first time in Paris and my parents took me there for a week before visiting family in Poland. They wanted me to have the best experience possible. So we visited just about every museum and gallery we could squeeze into 6 days! I resented that experience at the time because my feet were sore from walking on cobbled stones and I was exhausted from jet lag! But now it just feels like the most wonderful gift that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Despite my mellow drama, the feeling of meeting Vincent for the first time overwhelmed me, engulfed me. His painting Church at Auvers in Musee d'Orsay in Paris seemed simplistic but the overtones of emotion, religion, spirituality were complex. There was a moody darkness in this painting with the broody blues but more than anything I just felt a sense of hope. That feeling he gave me was so rich and I knew that I wanted to encompass a similar emotion and connection to symbolism, nature and abstraction in my own practice.
Since, I have sought out to find my own personal narrative. To find my own voice, within a very oversaturated, ever-chaotic world. I think the reason why I particularly fell in love with etching was because it is such an emotive and abrasive technique. When acid burns onto a copper plate, the marks made can never be erased. It is both aggressive and romantic at the same time. The unpredictability of this process has influenced and shaped my thinking because so much of it is out of my control. Maybe that's where Vincent went right - he painted what he knew, the details he saw and what he observed. He was constantly learning and absorbing the natural environment, something that I would like to do more of. Notice the flowers growing next to the footpath, smelling the autumn breeze and living in each moment. After all, you never know where you’ll find inspiration!
Thanks for reading my blog.