Monday, January 17, 2005

Van Gogh in Atlanta

Just returned from a wonderful get-away with my good friends from the Trapdoor Society (aka, the Trash Whore Society when the daughter of one of the members misheard her mother explain who she was spending the weekend with). We congregated in Atlanta because one of us lives there and she told us about an exhibit featuring rarely viewed Van Goghs. Like most art-admirers, Van Gogh is my most favorite painter. He expresses so much emotion through all those swirly lines.

It is remarkable to spend time viewing art and then have the time to really discuss it with friends, to go over all the details and the emotions his work evoked etc. I loved having artists with me to hear them work through how they might try to achieve similar effects.

For me, the viewing of art and sharing it with friends is like church. It's a spiritual high.

I've posted three paintings that we viewed here.

Van Gogh befriended the famille Roulin when he lived in Arles (in the south of France) and liked to paint them. I discovered that there are just scads of paintings of this delightful collection of people. We saw two of them: one of the postman and one of his wife. They follow:

Postman Joseph Roulin

La Berceuse (Augustine Roulin)

Of course, the reproductions here lose most of the vibrancy of the originals. And that's what makes Van Gogh so wonderful in person. The "extruded" paint (my new art vocab word for the week—which means globs of paint that raise off the surface) and the way the light bounces off the ridges makes the art come to life.

My favorite is one I have always loved as a print but just felt bowled over by it when I saw it in person.

Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night

(images taken from the High Museum:

I'll post more about the adventures of 12 women who know each other only through the Internet later when I'm rested and have time.

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