Posts Tagged ‘vincent van gogh’

Lets take a look at some painters of SHOES…..

I enjoy looking at objects that humans have in common over the centuries. Items such as shoes, combs, rings and jewelry, coffee cups all interest me a great deal. It intrigues me to see the changes in technology and human desires on the change of these products over the years.

If you love shoes, the first artist to talk about would be Wayne Thiebaud. I have written about the artist’s wonderful paintings of food such as cakes and donuts, but he also has made some wonderful art concerning shoes. This piece is titled Shoe Row.  Thiebaud is still alive today and was a leader in the Pop Art movement.


Below is a great color version of his artwork.


Another artist working with shoes, in this case ballet shoes, is Deborah Bays. Bays works frequently in pastels and oils working mainly with the still life. She even sells her prep drawings and sketches of ballet shoes alongside her original art. From a collector standpoint its fun to see the process of an idea from a sketch to a finished painting.  An example of Deborah Bays artwork is below. She achieves great depth in her paintings of shoes by placing them at great angles to lead the viewer into a painting. Similar to the way an artist might place a long stemmed flower on a table to give the art dimensionality.


Here is a wonderful drawing made by the artist and our suject du jour!


A link to the website of Deborah Bays:

And of course we cannot forget my favorite artist of all time Andy Warhol. The master business artist made his way to the top by taking the ordinary and making it come to life on paper. Simple items from a cigarette package or soup can or shoe were made in exquisite works of art. Warhol made many works using shoes as the subject including heels, boots, and flats. Below is a clip from the Museum of Modern Art located in Nice, France that has a  serigraph by Warhol that was embellished with diamond dust. What a great sense of design by  the master!

Here is a gallery showing the many varieties of shoes painted by Andy.

When it comes to painting the footwear of cowboys and the western life no one is more skilled than Nelson Boren. The artist paints his shoes with the people wearing them. The viewer is left to imagine what the rest of the person looks like and if there are a pair of shoes what the situation might be. Boren enjoys working in watercolors. Below is a wonderful example of his artwork.


A link to Nelson Boren’s website:


My favorite work of art I have seen personally within the past month were wonderful paintings with shoes as the subject by Van Gogh. The pieces are part of the exhibit at the Denver Art Museum until January 2013. I highly recommend visiting the show and you can see how great Van Gogh was with color. In one still life we see a grouping of brightly lit oranges on a table that appear ready to burst with color! Below is an example of  Van Gogh’s work with shoes.



Its true, I saved my favorite shoe artist for last! He comes from Holland and his name is Diederick Kraaijeveld. He works with one of the things I love BASKETBALL. He also doesn’t use any paint.  He uses found wood for his art and the wood is already colored so he sees no reason to change it.  Under his artistic medium it lists colour salvaged wood!  How unique! Below an example of the Kraaijeveld style.


A link to the artist’s website:

In this clip we visit the artist’s studio warehouse. Its great to see all the different shapes and colours he has found over the years. As he says in the beginning of the clip, he makes nice things out of what people throw away!


I hope this post got you to think about the many types of shoes warn by people throughout the world. Not only in modern times, but over the thousands of years. From a simple sandle to a Jimmy Choo they are fantastic subjects for their designs and color!


Second part of Vincent Van Gogh….

Here is a clip from a show given at the Philadelphia Musuem of Art featuring the artist earlier this year. The show was titled “Van Gogh up close.”

A great clip showing the Van Gogh Musuem in Amsterdam. Its awesome I can say, having visited it two times!

The Van Gogh Musuem is currently held at the Hermitage Amsterdam whilst the Van Gogh building is being refurbished.


I have been scouring the internet trying to find out what all will be included in this exhibition in Denver. We get to learn of the process of how Van Gogh arrived where he did. On the verge of super success, perhaps the most well known artist in the world, who only a few paintings during his lifetime. Many ebay artists have sold at least two paintings in their life.

Another interesting treat that the Denver exhibit will feature some of his early drawings. He was inspired to draw from a book on the subject written by Charles Barque. Van Gogh was said to have copied each plate at least one time, and the book had 197 plates. He made copies of the nudes at least three times each. Only two of these works are known to exist as the artist’s mother put them into the trash!

Another interesting aspect is how the artist came to use and experiment with color. Van Gogh used yarn to imitate what he wished his canvases to look like. It was cheap and it allowed him to keep his colors seperate, just as in his paintings.

We also learn that many nudes done in a class with a Henri de Toulouse-Letrec were done from the  backside because this area was reserved for the weaker students in the class! Its great to see that Vincent continued with his love and passion for art despite the many times he failed.

After his art dealer career was finished he tried to become a pastor. After three months of training he failed at this as well. He tried to live as a missionary, but wasn’t very clean and often slept in living quarters that church higher ups looked at with disdain, such as sleeping on a bed of straw. Van Gogh thought he should live like those he preached about.

After his faith mission had been curtailed he finally turned to art and devoted himself fully. Van Gogh moved to Brussels, Belgium to study at their Royal Academy.

Later he moved to the Hague and fell in love with a prostitute. He had an uncle that was an art dealer that commissioned him to do some drawings of the city.

Van Gogh moved to Neunen where he fell in love with a neighbor’s daughter. The marriage was thought to be a bad idea by both sets of parents. His fiancee tried to kill herself, but he was able to save her. His father passed away in 1885 and it devastated him.

The Paris art world was interested in Van Gogh at this time, but it would be a few years before he would move to France. He painted the Potato Eaters with his somber and earthy toned palette. He lived poorly in Antwerp. He spent money Theo sent for food and rent on art supplies and had a steady diet of tobacco, coffee, and a little bread. He then moved to Paris and continued to study the Japanese prints and incorporate them into his works.  We don’t have many letters of Vincent to Theo during this time as they lived together. It put quite a bad strain on the relationship.

The artist then moved to Arles, in the south of France. He was in poor health from too much smoking as well as drinking to much absynthe. His friend Paul Gaugin was going to visit him in Arles, and Van Gogh thought he might start an art colony. During this time Van Gogh cut off his ear and offered it to a prostitute. Gaugin fled and opted not to see Vincent anymore.

He committed himself in 1889 to a mental asylum. It was less than twenty miles from Arles and the artist made studies of the gardens.

1890 he moved to be closer to Doctor Gouchet, the famed portrait was made by the artist here that sold for more than 80 million dollars.

Although no gun was ever found, it is taken to be fact that Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. No one knows exactly where he shot himself, but he staggered to a neighbors house and left to drink and smoke, even Theo was at his side. Vincent Van Gogh died 29 hours after shooting himself.

I find Vincent to be one of the most fascinating artists of all time. I won’t go to the show opening week, but look forward to seeing the show on weekday so that I can spend hours just looking at a few paintings thinking to myself the paint is still probably wet…..

A short clip from a documentary done by A and E television.

Hats off to Vincent Van Gogh!



Artist of the moment….Vincent Van Gogh…..Part 1

First off, the great news is that this exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh opens in a few days!   I haven’t been so excited to see an exhibit here since Frederic Remington’s Colors of Night was in Denver a few years back. The show is called Becoming Van Gogh and runs from October 21, 2012 until January 20, 2013. Here is a link to the museums preview of the show:

Vincent Van Gogh was born in 1853. As a child and young adult he was often drawing. His father was a  minister in the Dutch Reform Church. He grew up attending catholic school and was taught with other siblings by a governess.  In retrospect, Van Gogh said his own childhood was dull and gloomy. Whilst growing up the artist thought about becoming a minister like his father.

As a young man the artist was employed by art dealers. He was able to travel to the large and en vogue cities of the day such as the Hague, London, Paris, and London. He lived in the Hague, Netherlands in 1869 and was transfered to London, England in 1873. His brother Theo’s wife noted that it was this year that Van Gogh was his happiest in life. He was successful in his work, earning at the age of twenty more income than his father.

In a pattern that was to repeat itself many times in his life, he told his landlord’s daughter  he was madly in love with her. She rejected him. He would be mentally unfit and awkward for a long while after the rejection took place. In the end he was moved from London to Paris, France. At this location Van Gogh didn’t like the fact art was treated as another commodity and made no attempt to hide it from customers. The art dealer job that he so enjoyed, was not working out for his employers at all and Van Gogh was fired  from his job as art dealer in 1876.

It was not until the artist was in his thirties that he started to paint. His palette consisted of somber and earthy tones, the exact opposite for what he became famous for. His spectacular brush work and bold use of color was developed after spending time in south of France, in cities like Arles.

To get further insight into the mind of Van Gogh, we are lucky to have several hundred of the  letters that the brothers exchanged with each other from the years of 1872 until 1890. More than 600 are known from Vincent writing to Theo. More than 40 are known to be from Theo writing to Vincent.

A short clip showing some art work of Vincents.

This is  going to be another long post like Georgia Okeefe and Ansel Adams so I have decided to break it down into two parts!

Imagine and Create!