Have you ever obsessed over someone or something in your life, it’s the only thing that kept you going? I have. Not just once, but so many times.
This month’s obsession is Vincent Van Gogh – his life, his art, his struggles, and triumphs. Although he lived from a different time period, so far away from where I am, reading about his life reminded me of my personal struggles. If there was anyone who was most ostracized and misunderstood artist in the world – it’s Van Gogh. And I have had my share of being ostracized and misunderstood – it caused some trauma in me as well but this is something I have been working on.
I have so many struggles when it comes to work and life in general these past months. Reading through Van Gogh’s life story is somehow getting me through them (it’s an ongoing process). For one, I had doubts about continuing this blog site since I have been too busy to write on it and also because it is costing me some money to keep it. With my academic life as a Master’s student in Geology as well as being an all-around homeschooling mom, I have simply so much on my plate right now. The university where I teach has started to impose face-to-face classes which meant me personally going to the institute to conduct laboratory classes also and going through commutes again.
It’s a good thing though that I live a stone throw away from the university. I still remember the days when I used to work so far away – falling in long queues to catch a ride and running after jeepneys, two-hour travel time, and the smoke and dust that I get exposed to. Commuting in the Philippines is the worst experience (and I am telling you this because I’ve commuted in two other countries before). I’m sure plenty of you fellow Filipinos who commute daily would agree.
I digress. The reason I was contemplating about shutting this blog is because it’s quite pricey to keep. I don’t earn from writing homeschooling tips and sharing stuff here. However, I decided to keep it this year at least and see if I can sell my art pieces through this blog in order to fund it. Will update this site once I have photographed all my pieces that are for sale.
Another struggle that is the biggest of all is how to juggle my time. It’s so hard to multitask, I’m sure you mommies out there could totally relate to this. Whether you’re in business, employed, or freelancer, there’s just not going to be enough time for self-care once you’re a mom!
What do I do when things get too overwhelming? I sit down, read books written about Van Gogh, or paint.
His technique for painting, I read, was impasto – which is a thick application of oil paint. I don’t know how to paint in oil yet but I did try to paint impasto style using acrylic, gesso, and modeling paste. Instead of canvas however, I bought wooden earring blanks and used my palette knives to create these drop earrings. If you would like to order them, please feel free to let me know via the comments section. 🙂
To get to know Van Gogh better, I also bought this book, Vincent and Theo The Van Gogh Brother, which I consider myself lucky to score second hand through Facebook Marketplace at only Php 200. This book presents the letters exchanged between the two brothers until their deaths. If you want a glimpse into the thought process of Vincent, his state of mind, his methods prior to painting/sketching, or if you are simply a fan, this would be one book you should read!
Despite help from Theo, Vincent was only able to sell one painting while he was alive. I also read that a few people who bought his paintings burned them after maligning articles about him surfaced after his death. This last part I learned through a YouTube channel so I’m not sure how true this is. Still, what a time for someone like him to live in if it were? I’m sure many people in his time regretted doing that since his paintings are among the most expensive ones in the world today! His struggle to sell his artwork was one of the things that got me thinking. While I initially did not intend to sell my paintings, it does make me happy when someone does buy. After all, art materials are so expensive. It would be nice to afford to buy them and keep painting if this is one activity that keeps me sane, right? The proceeds will also help fund this website!
I bought the book, Fantastic Forgeries Paint Life Van Gogh, without any intention of doing forgery of any artwork done by Van Gogh or anyone for that matter. I do want to explore how he did his paintings. This books discusses techniques that one can use when trying to copy some of this works for education purpose. This book is also the main reason why I decided to explore oil as an art medium this year.
So did my obsession stop there? No. I also bought a Van Gogh art-inspired phone case for my phones. Haha!
Someday I dream of visiting museums where his artworks are on display. 🙂 ❤
Since I got a few queries on how to get the books about Van Gogh and the phone case, here are few affiliate links that will lead you to Amazon store where you can get them. Please do note that by clicking the link below, you will be redirected to the Amazon website and if you buy, I get a little commission. The commission will help me fund this website to keep it up and running.