Good artists copy. Great artists steal.
attributed to Picasso
My favourite RipOff piece was Vincent van Gogh's "Wheatfields with Cypresses". It was our first foray and a one day event. From that start we realized the challenge we put before ourselves had to expand the time frame into a full week.
From this starting point we would prepare our masterpieces at home for the length of time required before gathering together for the final week in open studio.
My collage was made up entirely from magazine paper. Many hours were spent looking through magazines to find all the colour matches for use in my piece. My method was to cut out pieces of paper in such a way as to duplicate Van Gogh’s brushstrokes. It was by creating my picture in the “van Gogh” style of swirling skies and wind swept trees and fields that sealed my admiration for van Gogh. I always enjoyed his works but now I view his work in a way I feel drawn into his magical landscapes with reverential praise.
van Gogh created this beautiful painting in June of 1889 while a patient in a psychiatric hospital. What would make him take his own life just one month later? I somewhat have the answer as I’ve just finished reading “van Gogh’s Ear, the True Story” by Bernadette Murphy. It is in depth investigation of the events surrounding van Gogh cutting off his ear Dec. 26, 1888 until his death seven months later. It’s a captivating account of a complex, intelligent, sensitive man unable to adjust to life at the end of the 19th century.
I now view van Gogh differently, with more knowledge of his life. I now view him with more respect and sympathy. I like this quote by Vincent. “A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”."