Jul. 19

 

In the Good Ol’ Summertime

by Lynn Byrne

Beach Can-Can

Beach Can-Can

Kick up your heels this weekend!

Photo from this wonderful score at this year’s  Book Fair in Montauk: 

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Jul. 19

 

ART SCHOOL: From Vincent Van Gogh to Park Hyun-Ok

by Lynn Byrne

Vase with Irises, Vincent van Gogh, oil on canvas, 1890

Vase with Irises, Vincent van Gogh, oil on canvas, 1890

“It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to…. The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.”  -Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh is such a well-known artist that it was a challenge to find 5 things you may not know about him, but I did my level best!

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT VINCENT VAN GOGH:

1. That business about cutting off his ear?  It is a myth. He only cut off a small piece of the earlobe.

2. Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin had great influence on each others work.  For a time they lived together in Arles, France. Van Gogh painted his sunflower paintings for Gauguin.  Gauguin began to use brighter colors and thicker, heavier brush strokes like Van Gogh, after working with him. Van Gogh, in turn, tried Gauguin’s technique of painting from memory,  resulting in paintings that were more decorative and less realistic.

3. Van Gogh was greatly influenced by Japanese  color wood block prints, called ukiyo-e.  He liked the intense colors, bold designs and simple elegant lines.  Samuel Bing stocked many such prints in his gallery in Paris (remember Bing played an important role in  the Art Nouveau period) and Van Gogh visited often because his brother Theo lived next door.  Ultimately Van Gogh collected many wood block prints and copied a few.  His collection can be found in the  Van Gogh  Musuem in Amsterdam.

4. Van Gogh’s broad gestural brush stokes are said to have  influenced  the Abstract Expressionist painters of the 1940′s and 1950′s.

5. Although Van Gogh is widely believed to have committed suicide with a gunshot wound to the chest, no gun was ever found.  He lived for 2 days after the gunshot.  Some have argued that he was accidentally shot by two young boys but most scholars discredit this theory.

 Vincent Van Gogh typically painted from life.  Here are more of his flower still life paintings  showing his intense colors, thick brush strokes and heavy impasto. 

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

It is a brave move to compare an artist’s work to  Vincent Van Gogh  but the  intense coloration and heavy impasto seen  in Park Hyun-Ok flower paintings, in addition to the subject matter,  made the comparison a natural for me.  

Painting by Park Hyun-Ok

Painting by Park Hyun-Ok

Painting by Park Hyun-Ok

Painting by Park Hyun-Ok

“The subject of the painting reflects the mind of the artist. I use nature to express my mind.” -Park Hyun-Ok

Park strives to capture flowers in full bloom and spring at its climax.  She paints her flowers from live flowers in her studio.  Park has said that she wants “to capture the happiness of when flowers are at their best, before they wither.”

Van Gogh expressed a similar sentiment while he was in Arles painting his sunflower series.  In a letter to his brother Theo he said, “I am hard at it, painting with the enthusiasm of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse, which won’t surprise you when you know that what I’m at is the painting of some sunflowers. If I carry out this idea there will be a dozen panels. So the whole thing will be a symphony in blue and yellow. I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so quickly.”

I fell in love with Park’s flower paintings when I saw some of them at this summer’s Art Hamptons.  These canvases, priced at $1000, where snapped up before I got to her booth.  Park  has exhibited at New York’s Affordable Art Fair since 2000.   I hope she is back at that fair so  I get another chance to buy one of her paintings then.  Here are some detail shots of her flower paintings that  I saw at Art Hamptons. You can really see her technique.  It is important to note that I did not enhance the colors on any of these detail shots and all were taken without flash.  The colors are that bold.

Details from paintings by Park Hyun-Ok

Details from paintings by Park Hyun-Ok

Park says, referencing her flower paintings, that she  ”enjoys painting these ones.”   It is easy to see why.

Artist Park Hyun-Ok with her flower paintings at Art Hamptons 2013

Artist Park Hyun-Ok with her flower paintings at Art Hamptons 2013

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"The more you look, the more you know."

“The more you look, the more you know.”

The idea behind my column, Art School, is to give people more confidence when purchasing art.  It’s true that you really can’t go wrong, if you buy what you love.  Still, studying famous artists and works of art from the past does help you recognize emerging talent.  With Art School, I will feature 5 things to know about an artist or work of art in art history and suggest a contemporary artist whose work is complimentary.   – See more here. 

First two paintings by Park Hyun-Ok from her website.  Do visit her website to see  more.  Quotes by her from here. Other photos of her work by me.  Last photo from here.

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