Friday, June 20, 2008

My Cousin Vinny (actually he's no relation)

Watching a program on tv tonight about Vincent Van Gogh reminded me of a couple things that all of us as creative humans should remember.
One, is to always be open to outside influences and seek to use them in a way that feels right to us. Not to be afraid or leary to try what is new and unfamiliar, for by doing this, we often surprise ourselves with some astounding results.
Van Gogh found, in the colour chrome yellow, the intensity that he needed to represent the brigthness of the sunflowers, to best convey what his eye was seeing. This particular colour had not always been available, and achieving a yellow so intense and bright just wasn't seen in earlier periods of art. This colour seems to give life to many of his paintings. Although many paintings before this famous work were either very dark or done in quite soft pastels pallets there is something quite special about the boldness of his colour choices during this period of his paintings. It was new and done with no apologies, or concern of acceptance.
Also in this same painting Van Gogh paints the background in the same hues as his main subject, going against what would have been expected. In theory, it was thought that the best way to show off the intensity of the yellow flowers would be to have a blue background, which in turn would really make the colours pop.
For Van Gogh to go tone on tone is really quite an unusual choice, but again, it's how 'he' chose to paint it, and for whatever reason, it somehow makes the whole scene in more intriguing. His 'own' choices have resulted in one of the most famous paintings in the world.
So as I watched this show tonight it stood as a good reminder that we should always be open to what the world has to offer us, but to also stand by our conviction that how we see or interpret these influences is what makes us each unique. There shouldn't be a wrong or a right way, just our own way.
We may all look at the same vase of flowers but hopefully we all will view it slightly different. After all, isn't that what makes the world interesting?

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