What We Can All Learn From Vincent Van Gogh

In my classes, I like to introduce students to some of the masters of art from throughout the past and present. Not only do I think this can be a great tool for learning techniques and opening up their imaginations, it’s also, most importantly, a fun exercise that lets us look and think about some really interesting and exciting paintings.

Earlier this year we took a look at one of the most famous artists of all time: Vincent Van Gogh. So I thought I’d take this space to talk a little bit more about what made his work so special, and what students can take away from studying him.

With Van Gogh, there’s no better place to start than with his two most iconic paintings: Sunflowers and Starry Night – neither of which needs much in the way of introduction!

But, even if we’re all very familiar with the images, I’m sure most of us have never really taken the time to stop and think about the emotions behind them. Evoking sensations and feeling was key to Van Gogh’s work, as one of the originators of the expressionist movement, and understanding how paintings can move us is a great starting point in getting students to think about how they can express themselves through art.

Van Gogh is also a great artist to study because of his unique, and idiosyncratic style, which is entirely self taught, Van Gogh’s paintings are composed of individual and clearly defined brushstrokes. I think the beauty of art is finding your own method of expressing yourself; there’s no one correct way of doing things, and that can be seen in even the most renowned of artists.

But perhaps the most important takeaway from Van Gogh’s style is that anyone can do it. Often adults and children alike feel as if they can’t do art, when some of the greatest artists of the past, like Van Gogh, were self taught. He started out with a passion for art and a desire to create and I think that’s something we should all make sure not to lose sight of.

If you’re interested in signing up for one of my classes, I recommend following me on Facebook. These classes often fill up quickly, so the sooner you know what’s happening, and the sooner you can book your spot, the better. Lots of great art to look forward to this year!

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