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Friday, March 25, 2016

Inspired by a Thrift Store Find

'Cherry Tree After Van Gogh'         8x10       pastel
"I'm up to my ears in work, for the trees are in blossom" Van Gogh
Inspiration and painting ideas come to me in some unusual ways. Yesterday I made a stop at one of my favorite thrift stores on my way home from errands. I took a quick glance through the books as I always do and was excited to find a book on Van Gogh's flowers. I was tempted to put it back. I have so many books on Van Gogh and I was pretty sure I had one on his flowers......but maybe not this same book. So I quickly leafed through the pages. One particular painting stopped me in my tracks.

It was Van Gogh's 'Pink Peach Trees'. I didn't remember ever having seen it before but it called to mind the wonderful colors of our Georgia Spring. In fact I immediately thought of my front yard and my cherry trees that are in full bloom.

My thrift store find

I was inspired! The book went into my cart and I rushed home to so I could paint. I decided that I would be guided by Van Gogh's peach tree and use his same palette of colors. I chose some pastels that were close to the colors I saw in Van Gogh's painting.

choosing a palette inspired by Van Gogh

I dove into the painting and just let go. I let myself glance at the painting in the book form time to time but mostly I just responded and let my own cherry tree emerge. I had so much fun that I repeated the tree two more times. It was such a fun experience....acting on unexpected inspiration!

"At the moment I am absorbed in the blooming fruit trees, pink peach trees,yellow-white pear trees. My brush stroke has no system at all"  Vincent Van Gogh


Sue Marrazzo said...

I own this book...It is a Fave! Thanks for sharing your inspired work!

robertsloan2art said...

This is so awesome! Inspiration comes knocking and you were ready to grab it! Cool book. We have Bradford Pears blooming here in Arkansas and also Arkansas Redbuds that are hugely pink and solid with flowers, as heavy as the crepe myrtles I remembered from New Orleans.

Spring is really here too, the big gnarly oaks have tiny screaming yellow-green leaf buds emerging, like green-yellow flames scattered on their branches or a light green haze from a distance. The one across the street would be crazy to paint because they're spotty, like stars in the sky, not massed enough to be patches of neon yellow-green. It's absolutely lovely, but how would you paint something like that in pastels and make it work in a landscape? The branches are all still clearly visible like a bare tree. Bet you've got one like that out where you live, so that's my challenge for the master! Flowering trees could set it off too, not saying stop with the cherries! Even if it's just coming up behind the cherry tree, please show me how that's done.

Karen said...

Yes! That would be a challenge! I'll be on the hunt for one now !