Thursday, October 11, 2012

Art Class

Christie Miga was an instructor at an art school for kids over the summer. I visited the class to show the kids some sketchbooks and hopefully get them fired up about sketching. At their young age, they are all uninhibited and creative work horses. The lean in and sketch with absolute conviction since no one has curbed their enthusiasm. One of the instructors sat in a chair and modeled for the room of artists. I liked how one little girl flexed her flip flops as she drew. Children’s drawings are often bold with bright colors. There is plenty I learned from them.

Right now I’m in the South of France where Vincent Van Gogh did his vibrant inspired paintings. Some buildings have a reproduction of one of Vincent’s paintings as a claim to fame. One such place in Arles was the Van Gogh Cafe. It looks just like a painting Vincent did of a cafĂ© at night. The outer walls of the cafe were painted a bright yellow. I think in Vincent’s day those walls were a boring cream or stone color. He painted the bright yellow to contrast against the Ultramarine night sky. Today people try to copy from his fevered imagination. He didn’t paint only the colors he saw; he used colors to convey feelings, emotions and warmth. He always hoped people would sit in a comfortable chair and warm themselves besides the warmth of his hearth. As the sun set over the southern landscape, the warm light made it seem like every tree was on fire, reaching towards the crystal blue sky. The landscape flew by at 70 kilometers per hour. The engines roared as people raced each other to their destinations. But now was he time to slow down and look.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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