The rapid evolution of a style characterized by canvases filled with swirling, bright colors depicting people and nature is the essence of Vincent Van Gogh's extremely prolific works. Van Gogh's art can be interpreted and observed in many different ways, yet with each new observation, a different view of an old painting is created, and it becomes a source of inspiration for other painters. For this observation project, I have chosen "Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers," by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), a famous painting which has impressed and inspired me to try to paint it as well.
Still Life: Vase with fourteen Sunflowers, was created in Arles, France during the month of August 1889, and the painting itself can be found at the National Gallery in London, England, or online at I selected Still Life: Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers because this artwork is one of my favorite pieces of Van Gogh's works. I am fond of Van Gogh's Sunflowers because of the bright sunny yellows, rich gold tones, and warm earthy browns, which Van Gogh used to create this wonderful monochromatic masterpiece. I was particularly drawn to the way Van Gogh created depth and reality with nothing more than a few oil colors in earthy tones and a two dimensional canvas. The sunflowers are represented realistically with great use of positive and negative space, which makes any person who looks at this painting feel as if he or she is looking at an actual vase full of sunflowers bathe in early morning light. .
In all of his paintings, Van Gogh used many techniques, but in Sunflowers, he used his brush as an extension of his feelings and became one with the canvas. With his usual directness and unbalanced lines, Van Gogh sought out the varied textures and tones of the petals disks, leaves, and stems against a common luminous background. By using these techniques Van Gogh is creating an arrangement which is free, balanced, and generous in substance, as well as exhibiting the full characteristics and qualities of the giant flowers as if they were real and not on canvas.