Goya and Van Gogh

Two famous painters from history – Francisco Goya and Vincent van Gogh – were born on this day, 275 years and 168 years ago respectively. I do not have anything very insightful to say, I just scanned through each of their works again this evening, and pulled several ‘comparable’ pieces (only in rough terms of color and subject matter) to put on display here.

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First we’ll start with self portraits, hard at their work. (These remind me of one of my favorite paintings)

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Churches with blue skies.

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Women in blue.

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And finally, secluded gathers behind tall trees.

It’s quite beautiful to see how unique these two worlds are. And, despite how different the subject and scene of each painting is, how clearly every work fits in to the over arching world of the painter.

Both Goya and Van Gogh really found their thing. I wonder, when I’m old and gray and looking back at my life’s work, what my thing will be.

Here’s a bonus video about a piece of Goya’s work by one of my favorite YouTube channels.

Sharing Paint

I was toddling around the living room tonight, having closed my laptop for the sake of my eyes not melting out of their sockets, when I heard a cheer from the open window. My street is full of bars and restaurants, and as spring has started to emerge, the weekends have gotten louder and louder. I glanced out of the window and caught a glimpse of a TV on in an upper room across the street, and what looked like a basketball playing. I wonder if the Bucks are playing right now… I flipped on the television, and found myself dropped into the middle of a 90s crime drama. I started changing the channels, looking for tall dudes in green, when I landed instead on an old grainy image of a man painting against a black backdrop.

Of course, I know Bob Ross. But I realized in that moment that I’d never actually sat and watched Bob Ross paint before. I’d seen images and short clips forever, but I’d never sat with him. So, having very little inclination to do anything else, I leaned back and watched. And listened.

And felt that this was exactly what he was meant to do. He seems to really love painting – and to love to share painting. And if he doesn’t, what does it matter? It made me want to paint. And certainly it made countless others want to paint as well.

The artwork of Jason Polan

Today, this blog post from Austin Kleon introduced me to a charming new artist – Jason Polan.

Jason died on January 27, 2020.

I’d like to continue learning more about Jason, “one of the quirkiest and most prolific denizens of the New York art scene.” But from the little I know about him now, it seems like Jason is someone I’d like to be like. Ambitious, hard working, consistent.

On multiple occasions, Jason sketches every piece of artwork in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

In this video, Jason said “I think there’s a quality in quantity.” I agree with him whole-heartedly.

After reading and watching a little bit about Jason, and seeing his artwork, I was inspired to go back to a past project of mine, a comic strip called Stephanie and Carl. I drew Stephanie and Carl today for the first time in many months, and hope to keep drawing them.