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Celebrating Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh. It certainly has become one of the most famous names in the art world. Sadly, he did not know fame in his lifetime. He also only sold one painting. With as well known and beloved as many of his paintings are today, his style was not well received while he was alive.

But, regardless of what others thought of his artwork, Van Gogh continued to push through and paint. And, boy did he paint! He only started painting at age 27, but during 10 years he created 900 paintings and many more sketches and drawings - approximately 2,100 artworks in total. WOW! It has been said that he often spent money on paints instead of food to persue his passion. What amazing dedication.

Sadly, Vincent van Gogh suffered from many mental health issues. And, though he checked himself into hospitals and reached out for help, too little was known then on how to treat many of these problems. Even proper diagnosis at the time was not what it is not. Van Gogh took his own life and died on July 29, 1890.

Van Gogh's artworks have been a favorite of mine since I was first introduced to them as a young child. I find his paintings inspiring. The colors are so bright and the textures of the layers of paint that he applied give his paintings depth and movement, something that I hadn't seen from other paintings before that. Though his style for many of my favorite paintings was not a realistic one, it seemed as though the colors, textures, movements pulled me into the scene. I felt as though I was there, too. And the variety of subjects is amazing too - from landscapes to portraits to self-portraits to still-life. He painted a lot an captured the feel of the moment so beautifully with his post-Impressionistic style.

For me, there are too many paintings of his to choose a favorite. But a few do stick out in my mind when I think of van Gogh and his artwork. I love his Iris paintings - they remind me of my mom, she had them growing every year outside of our house. I love "Starry Night" - I have many a merch with that scene on it. I love his self-portraits and how different and unique he can make the same face look each time. I also love his Sunflower still-life paintings...simply because I love sunflowers.

I thought it would be fun way to celebrate Vincent's birthday this week (March 30, 1853) to take 2 of my favorite van Gogh pieces and do a little bit of a mash-up with them. I combined "Starry Night" with some Sunflowers and gave it a shot. I have to say, I do like the way it turned out overall. I like the way the yellow and blues play off of each other. And while my sunflowers are not nearly as textured as Mr. Vincent van Gogh would have created, I think the well blended petals again the textured sky may actually create some interest in the piece.

For this acrylic painting, I used:

- a 12x16" stretched canvas

- a palette

- water

- water cup

- paintbrushes (#0 round, #2 flat brush, #4 flat brush)

- paper towels

- acrylic paints

- titanium white

- lemon yellow

- medium yellow

- yellow oxide

- Indian yellow

- ultramarine blue

- cobalt blue

- light blue (you can mix phthalo blue & titanium white to create this color, too)

- Prussian blue

- raw sienna

- burnt sienna

- raw umber

- burnt umber

...and I think that's it. Oh, and check out the video below, too, if you need some more inspiration. :)

Which van Gogh painting is your favorite? I hope you try recreating one of his pieces or create something in his unique style to celebrate Mr. Vincent van Gogh's birthday. I would LOVE to see your creations when you are finished, too! You can share it in the comments here. You can share it on social media and put the #dontforgettheart for me so I can see it. If you are on our Facebook Group you can share it there & help inspire others with your amazing artwork. If there is anything I can do to help you with your creative piece or creative journey, please feel free to let me know. I would love to assist you where I can. As always, I hope you have fun crating a beautiful artwork and some wonderful memories for yourself or your kiddos! Get messy, have fun...and happy arting, everyone!

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