The Season of Van Gogh

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 4.42.47 PM

 

It is literally the season of Van Gogh.

Louis Vuitton  released an art range of leather goods in collaboration with artist, Jeff Koons, to celebrate humanity through the works of Da Vinci, Rubens, Degas and Van Gogh.  In Melbourne, the Van Gogh and the Seasons  exhibition is still buzzing as part of the NGV Winter Masterpieces collection. The artwork “Wheat Field with Cypresses” is featured in both Louis Vuitton and in this exhibition. It’s also one of my favorite  works by Van Gogh so I stared at it for as long as I could before the crowds got in the way to get a photo of the painting.

 

Photo-21-5-17,-3-02-17-pm

I went to this exhibition twice, both on a Sunday afternoon just past lunchtime. The first time was during the first weekend of the exhibition aaaand that was a bad idea because it was too packed! I went again a couple of weeks later to which I kept telling myself “it wouldn’t be packed, it wouldn’t be packed”.

I was wrong.

Photo-21-5-17,-2-06-24-pm

However, this crowd was a lot less than the first one.  Bear in mind that you might have to queue up twice if you happen to visit anytime soon – one for purchasing tickets and the other to get into the exhibition. I waited about half an hour to get in only because I pre-purchased my tickets.

Don’t scroll further if you don’t want exhibition spoilers.
Photo-21-5-17,-2-51-47-pm
Photo-21-5-17,-3-16-30-pm Photo-21-5-17,-3-25-42-pm
Photo-21-5-17,-3-35-07-pm Photo-21-5-17,-3-51-11-pm

You can tell from the very beginning Van Gogh was always inspired by looking at other artists’ artworks, which is also often the case for me. The Seasons exhibition starts off with a room full of prints he kept all his life as his go-to “bible” for inspiration. His  biggest collection were Japanese prints dating back to the Edo period.

The only way to get to know Van Gogh is by reading his letters that were exchanged with his best friend and brother, Theo. Having prior knowledge of  Van Gogh’s backstory was helpful and when seeing his works you begin to make connections to his life as told in his letters.

A massive introvert, mentally unstable individual living a dramatic life (much of it is due to his non existent interpersonal skills), I still think Van Gogh is a great guy even if he still was around today.

Tools of Trade

Photo-24-4-17,-4-52-55-pm

I’ve accumulated a fair bit of artist tools over the years and most of it was from the pocket money I got during my early years of doing commissioned artworks. With all my savings from these commissions, I’d tend to buy more and more coloring pencils or copic markers. Prior to commission work, I had a crazy awesome support system where I scored some of these materials through sponsorships, birthday gifts and even donations from High School (I love you all!). Every artist loves to keep a collection of their tools of trade and as you can see, I bought a chest of 2 drawers to keep my equipment in optimal condition. Everything in this drawer I’ve used before and there are ones I just keep coming back to over and over again for my works. Here they are:

 

1. 0.5mm Pentel Mechanical Pencil

My absolute go-to pencil for everything. I use 2B lead that my friend Carolyn gave me back in year 11. I requested her to bring back an unlimited supply of this lead from Vietnam…they truly go in sync with the Pentel. It has gold sides and its packaging is in blue, red, green and yellow colors (seen on the bottom left corner of the photo).

 

2. Copic Markers

I started off with 8 Copics in my collection and these were donated from my awesome high school teachers. I fell in love with them when we did fashion drawings conducted by Whitehouse Fashion Institute. I actually never liked using markers before that, but until they introduced bleed paper to us and the concept of layering, I knew I would go back to them for future works. Until now, these copics still haven’t ran out.

 

3. Prismacolor pencils

I bought these prismacolors to draw Lima Shio. It was the first time I have ever used the Prismacolor brand after shifting from Derwent and Faber Castell pencils. I find these softer than Faber Castells, and has stronger pigmentation than any other pencils I’ve used.

 

4. Uniball fineliner pens

It’s one of those things that were on the high school stationary list and mom just happened to put and order through for them. The best thing about these is that they don’t bleed or go through the paper.

 

5. 15cm Smiggle ruler

The first and last Smiggle purchase ever made, it still stays loyal to me.

David Hockney at the NGV

Photo-13-3-17,-3-49-19-pm

My year 12 photography teacher always used to tell me how much she loved David Hockney’s work. She made us study his work which then became the focal point for one of our major projects that year. Our project was to create a photomontage of a scene captured from a moment in time.

Photo-14-3-17,-12-24-47-am

An example of a photomontage is the one behind my friend and I. Made up of multiple canvases, they are painted individually to create one entire seamless scene. When I was doing my photomontage I was annoyed with how misaligned my photos were but then I later appreciated the imperfections of it. At close range it looked so messy but from afar the image is so distinct and the individual  pieces seemed so harmonious (I made a collage of the Sydney Harbor when I was away in Sydney during the assignment).

This was pretty much a Hockney moment for me. Throughout his prolific career as a stage designer, photographer and painter, he’s managed to explore new art techniques, even iPhone and iPad drawings which were displayed in the exhibition.

Photo-13-3-17,-3-18-57-pmPhoto-13-3-17,-3-25-38-pm
Photo-13-3-17,-3-46-10-pm Photo-13-3-17,-3-46-41-pm

It was the last day of the David Hockney exhibition and that happened to be on a public holiday. We strolled down to the Moomba festival across the road and then made our last stop at Ichi Ichi Ku  restaurant for dinner. Worth a try if you’re in South Yarra – I approve the black on black gyozas. Photo-13-3-17,-4-50-14-pm Photo-13-3-17,-6-43-49-pm Photo-14-3-17,-12-24-46-am

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I live and breathe all things art, design, culture and fashion. You'll find me documenting my life in the creative field, endless travels with friends and family and a bit of food.

More about Mon