Loving Vincent.

The Van Gogh sockyarn came, handdyed by Wolop:

And today I went to the exhibition that accompanies the movie Loving Vincent. In the exhibition the original paintings that were used in the movie can be seen.

It was a wonderful experience, seeing in paint how the contemporary artists communicated with the original artist, Van Gogh, about and through style, colours and composition.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

My handmade dress was appropriately coloured:
UntitledUntitled

Lovely thick layers where used. The 3D of the paintings is a thing in Van Gogh’s art. Happy to see it in the movie-paintings too:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van GoghLoving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I particularly liked this next modern painting, because of the colours:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

The big planes of yellow and blue (choosing thàt particular yellow against thàt particular blue), the vertical greenblueish stroke at her upperlip, the horizontal colours on the right side (purple, yellow, greens).

This next one I liked very much too, again because of the chosen colours. Thàt red with thàt green. Also the slight pink/rose in the left side of her dress, echoing with the red of the carpet on the right. A red carpet that has dashes of green in it:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I also love the composition. This one is about colour blocks.

At the end they showed the new works next to the original works that inspired them:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The original on the right is far less about the composition and more about the character of the dress and the person(ality) of the woman. Seen next to each other the 21st century art is a nice piece of art. The 19th century piece however is magnificent art, in my opinion.

The yellow on the wall is less contrary (and therefor less at ease) to the colours of the dress. The carpet seems more brown, this is not red agains green talking, this is warm against cool but in such slight handed ways.

And who cares about the composition of horizontals and verticals? Is that our De Stijl architectural experiences that are all grained into us? Van Gogh knew the inspirations for it as he had studied Japanese prints. He knew about orthogonality. Yet he never chose to make it a thing in his paintings.

In this painting we have to talk about her silhouet, against that of the piano, in that negative space between its side and her front. The paino with it’s broken top line. And that whimsical chair leg. Outrageous.

I ended up spending a long time at the wall with the new works next to their inspirations. It’s where my opinion grew strong: Van Gogh is much about free hand while the movie is not.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I think the modern artists got hindered -or rather I suppose it was a conscious decision- by their skill in proportions of the human figure. Van Gogh abandoned those, and in the process ended up saying specific things about the individual he was painting.
The modern artists painted real people but they are interchangable for other, real people.

For example, I know at least 3 actors who can play the man on the left:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
The modern artists painted real people and real boats. There’s a real brown boat on the foreground of the left painting. In the right one there’s something brown that interacts with the water… it may carry a person but it also may dissolve in the movements of the river. Enter at own risk.

What do you think: on the left perhaps someone who is too habitually skilled in perspective?
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
While on the right someone trying to convey something in dabs of colour? Using strong lines to talk about masses and texture (an interesting choice because usually texture is shown with small scale things like shading, grading, stippling).

Look at the roof in the bottom paintings, Van Gogh’s roof looks heavy and wet. The repair man will need to mold it, like clay, it seems. Put against that ridiculous light coloured sky above it! Things are happening in that sky, I wouldn’t be surprised it some birds have just tumbled out of sight.
The modern painted roof is made of reet. Sunkissed reet. If the wind is strong ome reet plumes may fly away today. Luckily the sky does not suggest wind.

Aye! Lots of opinions of me, indeed. But I am so strongly interested in colour interactions and how artists use them that this is what bubbles up in me. As a viewer of paintings these topics start a conversation in my head whenever I spend time with a piece of art.

So let me say here that my opinions are not criticism. They are things I want to talk about with the makers of the movie and the paintings, because they got to talk to Van Gogh, trough intense study of his work.

They had a marvelous time. Look how this beard is all blue! Not a speck of white, not even in the eyes:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh

I do have some criticism but I doubt it’s interesting to read. For example,I’d probably should see the film to be more friendly about the next pairing:
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
As shown here Van Gogh talks about the sky and the fields and the movements. The film still does not, it talks about the man in the cart, even more so if he gets smaller and smaller and rides to the horizon. I would have put it in reverse: start with the clouds and the fields, end up with the man (but not as big as this).
Perhaps they did in the film.

As I have not seen the movie I luckily did not see any of these paintings move. That is a whole new kettle of fish to discuss. Van Gogh very much tried to talk about movement in a non-moving medium.

If you are going to make a movie, how to decide how the stills will move?Why make people move naturally when he didn’t paint them naturally? But an unnatural movement would probably make the viewing of the movie difficult for the public. We are used to natural movement.

What sky movement would Van Gogh want to show? What raven’s wing clap? Not the ones of natural raven, right?
A very interesting question.

The differences between Van Gogh and Loving Vincent irk me. Yet I could not have stand a clear copy of the originals works either. The makers of the movie got to insert their own opinion, vision, signature into the movie and that’s a good thing.
Loving Vincent tentoonstelling exhibition Noord Brabants Museum Van Gogh
I would have done it differently. Every artist would probably have. I’d have LOVED to dive into these works for so long and take them as a departure to tell the passionate story of the movie, using the medium of oil paintings. A very nice project and a very nice exhibition.

 

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Accio Potter Soccus!

My Ravenclaw sock is my travel WIP. It’s selfstriping yarn with a mini for heel, toe and cuff. All handdyed and skeined into a ball that changes colour with each direction by Wolop.

That ball is fun to knit with!

I want to utilize as much of the striping yarn as possible. So for my second sock I’ve done a provisional cast on and when the foot is finished I’ll go back and knit as high a leg as possible. Half a leg, because I want to use the rest of the yarn on the first sock.

I really like it, being in Potter-world again. I always reread a book or watch one of the films around this time. This year I also read a curious fan-dom fiction about a Harry Potter who grew up in the Muggle world as the son of smart parents. He’s very smart himself, very rational too. To the point where I’m convinced he’s a sociopath, or at least his writer is.

It’ a great read but to enjoy it you’d probably have to be a Ravenclaw or Slytherin yourself. There’s a lot of thinking and scheming going on, not much loyalty and friendship.

Anyway. Pottersocks! They’re fun to knit!

Now see here what Wolop announced:

The Wolop Harry Potter Sock Club!

She’s starting a sock yarn club in 2018 with a Harry Potter colour way every month! 120 gram! Plus goodies! For 25 euros!

Mannnnnn……

This is the announcement for the January installment:

Owl post. The first installment is called Owl Post!

One skein of 100 grams plus a mini of 20 grams (that’s a big mini!). And goodies. If you want to participate, email Wolop at info@wolop.nl

Unghhhh, this one is hard to resist. But resist I must! Because there’s a second monthly yarn club she’s going to be running and I have already put my name down for: The Wolop Artist Fingering Yarn Club!

Again 120 gram of specifically dyed yarn! Plus goodies! For 25 euros including domestic shipping! Inspired by one specific artist! If you need to know more you can email to info@wolop.nl

The January artist is:

I love Van Gogh.
He’s all about the colours. And the expression of feelings.

Which Hogwarts House would have suited him?

…. I’m thinking …
Hufflepuf.

Because although he was ambitious, courageous and thought a lot about the true nature of things, his main trait is the connection he felt for the people he painted which were also the people in his life. The love radiates from the canvas. The pain too, like when he paints the hard working farmers.

Loyalty to human kind as a whole is very palpable in the works. It must have lived in the man too.

 art The Dark Starry Knight by James Hance

Bookpresentation and lecture “Eco-Dyes” by Anja Schrik

Viltworkshop Odijk has an amazing studio:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprintinglezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

The demonstration was awe-inspiring. 14 colours out of the same dye pot. Here are two dyepots, one from yellow flowers and one from cochinille. That’s 28 colours all together:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

Another example, using dye from only one onion skins dye pot:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

There were about 30 visitors, all women, and all “wool women”. Everyone was wearing something art-full and no one was keeping in her stomach, pretending to be prettier, and being miserable for it. They all had a technical keenness.

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

14 plants made into 14 plant dyes:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

These dyes where then used to dye these tops:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

Invitations for playing with stamps and tie-dying and eco printing:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

Latvian easter egg dye technique. These were so vibrant in colour! The photos do not do it justice:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

Another technique is hammering the dye straight into the cloth:

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting

The lecture was amazing! It addressed the history of dyes, from cavemen rubbing red earth on there faces right up to the synthetic dyes of the last century. In between there was given much importance to the wearing of colour, singling out monarchs, Roman emperors and church officials as the only ones allowed to wear red and purples. Setting up guilds and keeping the recipes very secret. But only after dyers were snubbed for centuries because they stank up the place, with their buckets of fermented urine. And you couldn’t trust them anyway, with their magical powers to change the appearance of something. And their chemical knowledge… Shapeshifting stinking magicians, the lot of them!

 Tyrian, royal, purple. $4.000 per gram 5 years ago. 11.000 snails needed per gram. 1700BC-1100AD

This mistrust and the fact that dyers weren’t literate caused their dye recipes to be lost over the centuries many times. Egyptian times, Roman times, pre-ME times, Aztec knowledge, Mayan knowledge, ME-times, Neanderthalers, Peruvian recipes, Afghan recipes. All lost.

They also got researched and reinvented many times and it is something that modern dyers still do, in my opinion.

Nowadays we use bright and light fast colour in our cloths and surroundings as common as if it was sliced bread. But, much like sliced bread, the common and widespread use of it is fairly recent. Before that we had to “make do” with the traditional skills. (which I love).

And painters! We are so spoiled these days. Up until about a century ago every painter made her own paint. All through the renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age contracts were signed at the commission how much of the expensive Lapis Lazuli a painter was to use.

Those paints have faded… Only the most expensive ingredients may have survived. All tapestries and cloths and paintings have changed colour or have faded.

There was dramatic red in the sky of Turner’s painting when he made it. But he used fast fading reds and now we’re left with golden magnificence of a very different flavour. Artist’ prerogative? The link goes to an interesting article by 

Van Gogh used fading colours too. His irises were very purple when made. And his bedroom didn’t have these tasteful docile light blue walls:

They were purple! And the floorboards were maroon. Put that against the green strokes between the boards and your 19th century eyes would start to water:

Van Gogh was way more colour mad than we give him credit for today. A whole new world of Vincent’s colours is there to explore 😀

He lived in the time when for every colour a synthetic variety was searched. Between 1850 and 1925 the race was on, dear Watson. It was a chemical race. Practically all the large chemical concerns we know today started out in those times as small producers of one or two synthetic dyes.

 Today’s AkzoNobel paint testing site in Sassenheim, NL

Anyway. I imagine that through every century the farmer-women have happily indulged into colouring their wools and their eggs with the plants gathered around their stead. Playing with what are called the “little colours” because they may fade fast you can have coloured garments every day, as long as you’re willing to overdye once a year.

I did got to knit a little during the lecture, feeling every stitch blindly because my eyes were focused on the projection screen for Anja Schrik’s very interesting lecture. She will repeat this lecture in Haarlem, at Meervilt, on the 29th of October and the 1st of December. There are also workshops and all the dye stuffs from the book are for sale.

I haven’t even shown you the actual book. I’m very happy with it. For me it is very complete and clear now that I have seen the demonstration and the examples from the book. The lecture was extra information.

With the book I feel confident to start dyeing. As soon as next weekend as the indigo plants at the cabin are about to wither now that the frost is coming. Indigo is a whole different class from the plant dyes and the pigment dyes! I feel confident to address is. That’s really saying something about both the book and Anja Schrik as an instructor.

 

The book Eco-verf by Anja Schrik I compare to Eco Colour by India Flint, which is also on my shelf. Flint gives a lot of atmospheric inspiration, Schrik has more recipes and hands on. Having never done a workshop in this material I’ve always found Flint’s book intimidating. She is very good at it and I’d never be able to get her results. Schrik’s book Eco-verf is more user friendly, having a whole chapter of step-by-step guides to get easy and reliable results.

But like I said, by meeting the dyer and seeing her do a demonstration and seeing the examples from the book, the information ordered itself in my head in a way that suits me better than when just reading a book or seeing youtubes about it.

lezing Eco-verf en boekpresentatie bij Viltwerkplaats Odijk. Plant Dyes, natural dyes, ecoprinting