Saturday, August 28, 2010

van gogh! van gogh!

Yesterday when I picked Miss B up from school she couldn't wait to tell me all about "the most beautiful painting she had ever seen."  She was talking about Vincent Van Gogh's Stary Night which had been the cornerstone of  her art class that day.  Miss B was so excited and inspired by this painting that she decided that we would recreate it when we got home.

So we came home and did a little research.  Here are a few quick facts we learned about the artist:
  • Vincent’s earliest career aspiration was to be a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church like his father.
  • Van Gogh was close friends with Paul Gauguin, another famous artist, and was heavily influenced by his work as well as the work of Pissaro and Manet, two of his other contemporaries.
  • Van Gogh suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy along with bipolar disorder, hypergraphia--the compulsive need to write (he wrote over 800 letters in his lifetime)--plus a few toxic poisonings...
  • Van Gogh created his most famous work The Starry Night while staying in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France.
  • Vincent van Gogh did not cut off his ear. He only cut off a small portion of his ear lobe.
  • In a short period of ten years Van Gogh made approximately 900 paintings, and he only sold one during his lifetime, which only became famous after his death at the age of 37.

Earlier in the car, B asked why anyone would want to cut off their ear.  Not sure how to answer, I just said that maybe he went a little crazy?... (clearly I have no children of my own)
She sat in the backseat pondering my response and finally answered back with, "Well, sugar can make you act crazy sometimes, you know," in a wise and almost cautionary tone...

As we painted quietly together, B stopped to study the original and then asked in all seriousness, "Do you think the people in those houses are enjoying a nice roast beef dinner with their whole family?"

"Yes, Rosie, I think they are, " I replied in as serious a tone as I could manage.

I know that wherever he is, Mr. Van Gogh was smiling down on little Miss B in that moment. 

And in the words of the little artist...Pa-Zahm!  We were finally finished!

I think I'm babysitting an art prodigy this weekend.

Ki and B


  1. That's so cute! I hope you guys are having fun in ALB!

  2. I think that the art prodigy and her babysitter are equally AMAZING and FABULOUS and FASCINATING! be sure to catch the Dr. Who episode about Vincent Van Gogh. I promise it will move you.