Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faux Gogh style for Silent Auction

This chair (#3) was painted for a silent auction that my son's university choir was hosting. And again, I chose a Vincent Van Gogh motif.

The first panel was another Starry Night.
On the cushion, I painted "Three Sunflowers in a Vase" (1888).
On the flip side of the cushion, I painted it simply green which makes it
appear like a continuation of the Starry Night panel.

At the very front of the chair, I paid tribute to
Van Gogh's "Wheatfield under Clouded Sky" (1890)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vincent Van Gogh meets a Painted Purse

First I added a little gesso ...

Then I painted the front: Starry Night-ish...

And the back: Quote from Starry Starry Night ...

And gave it as a birthday gift ...
to a dear friend who happens to love Van Gogh!

Chair 2: Irises panel

This is my favourite panel on this chair.

It's spectacular.

It's bright.

It often goes unnoticed simply, just because it's on the back panel of the chair. But what a pleasant surprise it is to the viewer, when they discover these irises.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chair 2: Rest from Work panel

Some may have a problem with the fact that I often paint from Van Gogh's paintings. Obviously, I am not trying to do exact replicas of his work, but rather, from using his paintings as inspiration, I glean a lot through reflecting upon his techniques. Oh, and I'm not the only one copying from other artists.

Vincent also did it. For example, his painting Noon: Rest from Work was after Jean-Fran├žois Millet. Millet's painting was entitled Noonday Rest. Compare Millet and Van Gogh's work below. There both beautiful in their own way. Van Gogh completely copied while retaining his style.

Many of our favourite Van Gogh paintings were studies of Millet's work. Some of the paintings included First Steps, Evening: The Watch, The Sower, and Peasant Woman Binding Sheaves.

As long as there is nothing new under the sun, artists will continue to glean from other artists' work. As long as they give credit where credit is due, it's all good.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chair 2: 3 Poplars panel

As I've mentioned before, painting chairs constantly presents me with "shape challenges". How do I configure the side panel paintings' compositions when I am not working with the typically shaped canvas. In other words, they are just odd shapes.

Because I was painting this chair as a Faux Gogh, I had to scrounge the pages of my trusty reference book, Van Gogh: The Complete Paintings. There I found Two Poplars on a Road through the Hills (1889) which became the inspiration for my 3 Poplars panel.

Truthfully, I must admit that I don't feel that I ever completed this panel. I could go back and add more layers. Maybe I will someday; or not. But since is the chair that I've kept for myself, I have the luxury of leaving it as is, or working on it again ... someday.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chair 2: Dawn panel

The second chair I painted, I painted for our home. I thought it appropriate that I do a tribute to Van Gogh's paining, Enclosed Field with Rising Sun, 1889.

I call it Wheatfield's Dawn.

Bright, sunshine-y colours are used on this panel ~ one simply cannot sit in this chair and feel sad.

It's always fun to watch a person who hasn't seen this chair before. They always pause and then ask: "Can I sit in this chair?" When they find out they can, it always brings a big smile to their faces. I like that moment.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chair 1: The Vincent Panel

I love this panel and enjoy calling this portrait of Vincent, a "happier, better looking version" of a Van Gogh portrait. This panel was so much fun to create.
I always like to do a little something special on the back panel of a chair ~ mostly because people often don't walk around to the back of the chair to see the back.
Maybe they think the back panel is left unpainted.
It's my little happy surprise for the viewer.

Oh! and if you look closely,
you'll even see my initials painted into the background swirls!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chair 1: Sunflower panel

Not everything turns out perfect, does it?
I admit the sunflower panel on chair number one is not a fave of mine.

I don't have much else to add to that. Guess when one creates art, it's okay not to love EVERYthing. You just have to keep plugging, and hope you will make more things you like than things that you do not.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chair 1: Cafe panel ~ shape challenges

Chair 1 was to be a Faux Gogh ~ a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh with my interpretation of several of Vincent's paintings.
My son commented once, that my painted chairs are paintings, but they're also sculptures because the viewer of the work has to move around the chair to see the entire piece of art.

And painting Chair 1 presented me with my first taste of the shape challenge aspect of painting a chair when I got around to painting the side panels. I had to find paintings that I could adapt to the odd sized "canvases" which I needed to paint. And then I needed to skew them accordingly. I admit, I was surprisingly pleased with the final result. Sometimes it is difficult to paint into the little nooks and crannies, but for me the challenges these works bring me are half the fun. If you ever witness me painting, you'll likely hear me whine and complain about the shape and how much easier it would be just to paint a simple oblong canvas.

But really, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chair 1: The Vincent panel

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) is a constant inspiration to me.

That is why I made the unusual choice to paint Vincent's portrait on the back of the first chair I painted.

I like to think that this portrait is a "happier, better looking Vincent" than the ones he usually painted.

Can you find my initials in the swirls of the background?

Chair 1 is in a Private Collection

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let me tell you how all this began ...

A few years back, a friend of mine phoned me up with an idea. She had an old chair that she had purchased at a local second hand shop (for $14.99) that was truly loved by her cat.

Flipping through a magazine one day, she spotted a photo of an arm chair with an ever-so-lovely vivid sunflower with a glorious red background. Although the magazine chair was upholstered with that pattern, she had another idea.

"We should paint my chair", she exclaimed. Of course we meant me. I was up to her challenge. So, without thinking about it, I agreed to go to her house and give this painting idea a whirl.

Honestly, it had been years since I had painted. My mother kept telling me that I should take up painting again. She insisted that I was really good at it. Of course my mom would say that ~ she was my mom and was obligated to say such things, so I resisted. But now, I thought I'd give this challenge a whirl. I packed my paints and my smock in my car and drove the half hour trip to my friend's house.

We discussed subject matter for the chair, and we decided that I should attempt to do a Faux Gogh. A painted chair in honour of my favourite artist of all time, Vincent Van Gogh.

To make a long story short, the chair turned out beautifully, and the idea of reclaiming old chairs was serendipitously planted in my mind.
And the rest, they say is history.