Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Lust for Life, Vincent Van Gogh

The other night my boys and I watched the film a "Lust for Life", Irving Stone, Kirk Douglas / Anthony Quinn flick from the late 50's I believe. I have a copy on video and every now and again have the desire to watch it.
I was really surprised on the impact it had on my 2 youngest boys, both of whom are very much into the arts.
If you haven't seen it, it is worth a rental. It is all about the trials and life of Vincent Van Gogh.
I have a few art books on Van Gogh as well a book or two on the letters he wrote to his brother Theo. Really quite a deep guy and somewhat twisted, but very passionate to say the least.
After watching the movie both of my boys began taping 4 separate sheets together to make a larger piece of paper to work on, noticing how large many of Van Gogh's paintings were. More than that they both tried to emulate his way of seeing the world, swirling strokes, strong bold color, and stylized interpretations. Very interesting and I very much enjoyed their response to the movie and Van Gogh.
I always find myself very moved by my piers, be it Ray Roberts and his wife Peggy Kroll at Laguna, or the stylized feel of an Eric Bowman painting in Easton, or of course you must throw in the dead guys like Edgar Payne. Bryan Mark Taylor and I were able to check out a show of his work in Pasadena on the way down to Laguna Beach recently.
I felt very much like my boys - the desire to go big, broad bold strokes, wonderful color harmonies, bare canvas showing through everywhere, impeccable designs, absolutely wonderful and very inspirational to say the least. Even ran into Jeremy Lipking and Glenn Dean there as well as a few others taking in the show.
I often wonder what effect if any I will have on my boys when I ramble on incessantly about this painter or that one, showing them book after book, painting after painting, always encouraging them to stop and look and take it all in one day at a time.
I guess time will tell.


David Westerfield said...

Ken, I've had the same thoughts with my kids. My son had always said while growing up that he would be an artist too. Now that he's searching for a college, it sounds like it will be architecture.
I got the Edgar Payne show book and love it. Making me want to paint larger too.

David Westerfield said...

PS — glad you are blogging again.

Eric Bowman said...

When I was a little kid my dad painted as a hobby on weekends in our garage...I still remember the smell of oil and turpentine. I imagine your kids (like my own daughter) will have a multitude of special "art memories" of their dads when we're gone some day. Who better but an artist to introduce their children to the wonders of nature and all her big, bold color? No matter the vocation your children may choose, they didn't miss the beauty the artist sees...It's all good, Ken

Anonymous said...

So glad that you are writing again, I truly love your blog entries. We've never seen that movie, but I've added it to the list! What great work by your kids already! I think you have already had a HUGE influence on your kids. They will remember these times when they are old (like us, ha). I remember all the different things my dad did. I loved his paintings, but never saw him paint... Photography, I do remember and that mesmerized me... The impact that you have already had on your kids will stick with them... Happy Thanksgiving Ken!