Sunday, July 01, 2018

13 things that photographers can learn from famous Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty. (From Wikipedia)

I first read about Vincent Van Gogh sometime in 1976 in the book “The Gospel According to Peanuts” written by Robert Short. Through the footnotes, I became interested in Vincent’s letters to his brother Theo. Later, in 1978 or 1979, while I was an English major in Philippine Christian University, I spent my afternoons reading Van Gogh’s biography.

American singer-songwriter Don Maclean immortalized Vincent van Gogh in his 1971 hit song “Vincent” also known as “Starry, Starry Night” (see the videos above and below).

“3 Tips for Creating Outstanding Portraits, Inspired by the work of Dutch Artist Van Gogh” (Digital Photography School; by Oded Wagenstein)

Tip 1: Use Light as a Tool for Telling Stories in Your Portraits

Tip 2: Harnessing the Power of Complementary Colors

Tip 3: The Power of the “Off Camera” Gaze

“10 Things Van Gogh Can Teach Us About Photography” (PetaPixel; by Anthony Epes )

1. Kill self-doubt with action

2. The night is rich with photographic possibility

3. The strange magic of creation

4. Achievement of any kind is just a lot of small tasks

5. Paying attention to your subject changes what it is

6. We all need to be courageous

7. Taking photos is the most important thing I can do

8. It doesn’t matter what is on the outside, we are all deeply creative on the inside

9. Photography and my family are all I need

10. When we are seeking to do what we love, life is complete