Greg Cartmell

Van Gogh Was Insane, But An Amazing Artist

There are lots of artists out there who for one reason or another are afraid to make mention of other artists. They don’t praise others work and some even refuse to collect artwork created by other artists. From an individual and artist perspective, I’m not that guy. In fact, I praise other artists all day long because quite frankly, some are fantastic! I’m a huge fan of the Van Gogh and would love to own one of his pieces. Given that I respect, admire, and collect many different artists work, I’m starting to showcase some artists on my blog. One of the first that I’d like to cover is none other than the infamous Van Gogh!

Credit: Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh: Insanity and Artwork

Have you ever wondered about the insanity of an artist? Van Gogh was one of the most tragic artist who ever lived. Nothing ever seemed to go right for him. If you have lived as long as I have, there are times when you have felt just like Van Gogh. I can certainly relate to him.

He led a confused life as art critics and art historians have taught us…minus a piece of his ear.

He painted from his heartbreaks, family struggles, broken friendships, sorrows, sadness, frustrations, and mental illness even influenced his paintings and I pray somewhere along the way he had a little glimpse of happiness in his life. His sunflowers paintings always bring me happiness. The “Sunflower” paintings are bright, beautiful and loaded with thick paint. They are so alive and bursting with color, which is absolutely how I love to paint.

I was fortunate to see an amazing exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia that certainly inspired me as an artist. Van Gogh to Mondrian featured a grouping of 12 major Van Gogh paintings and 10 drawings from the Kröller-Müller collection. Getting to see actual Van Gogh paintings was an amazing treat and remains a constant inspiration. It was spine-tingling to see how thick he put his paint on, the way he used his brush and the punchy bright colors.

Copyright: Van Gogh

As every accomplished artist, I continually study the old masters. I always say, “ Everyone gets their ideas from someone else in the past to inspire them. Then, the individual spins out a new creative idea from what they have learned from other master painters.”

And of course, just like Van Gogh, my past journeys in life, my failures and my successes all become part of my paintings. Failure is part of the creative process that Van Gogh dealt with but he never stopped painting no matter what cards he was dealt. He painted in all states of sickness, insanity, and drama.

I, like Van Gogh, paint from my heart. My heart has to be involved in every painting to create a painting that I love, a painting I can live with and a painting that the art world, including my collectors, can be drawn to see and feel the heartfelt inspiration in every brush stroke and impasto technique.

Van Gogh was one of the artists who mastered the “impasto” technique which is evident in his “Sunflower” paintings and the famous painting “Starry Night”. I get my inspiration from Van Gogh’s technique of layering thick paint straight from the tube, which I use in my landscapes, portraits, abstracts, and nudes. I am influenced by his use of bright colors and brilliant brushstrokes that create a beautiful sense of movement.

Also, Van Gogh used life models to paint portraits. He made his portraits feel alive. I really enjoy painting portraits using live models as well. As a painter, I can capture the special, unique features of the model’s clothing, facial expressions, the tones of the face, texture, and color of the hair, exact eye color and their personality. Those special details then exude from the canvas. Capturing these specific details draws the viewer into the painting. Van Gogh carefully selected a special background to enhance each portrait. When I paint a portrait, I select a background that compliments the model I am painting.

No matter what inspires you as an artist: insanity, happiness, depression, happiness or an unknown force. I sure hope you include art in your life. As an art collector or an inspiring artists it is a healing, healthy way to bring joy to your life.

As for me, I can not go a day without art.

However sane or insane you might feel, in my opinion, all you’ve got to do is:

Buy original art, collect art, be creative and paint on…