Another look at Van Gogh's Starry Night.
Figure 1 STARRY NIGHT Vincent Van Gogh
ONE WOMAN'S VIEW
The artist learns to see not only with his eyes; but with his heart, mind, hands, his entire being. Many feel that they cannot see as the artist sees. This, however, can be quickly learned by putting some very simple principles to work.
Our personality and experience largely determines how we see. Environment, background and prejudices also play a major role. For example, a carpenter walks into a room, there, he observes structure, cabinets chair rails, paneling, and etc. A seamstress will note the window coverings, wall hangings, pillows she is highly sensitive to everything that relates to her craft. Artists will see the paintings, sculptures, graphic designs, and ceramics with their dominating and subtle blending of colors. Thus, the eye sees the room in its whole each time depending whether it is trained or untrained in by a specific discipline. That said, the artist must train the eye by training the whole mind.
The mind remains expansive. It does not need the complete history of things to see. It may not have heard of Van Gogh or his life’s struggles. The artist's eye, however, can appreciate Van Gogh’s work and legacy by concentrating on the lines and masterful use of colors. His expressionist presentation are embraced and valued by the most inexperienced eye.
Look! Van Gogh’s STARRY NIGHT pleases us with its bold lines; but not conventional (every object has its own distinct outline). The colorist blues and swirling forms not only represent the sky; they represent the atmosphere that surrounds and holds us in a permanent awe. We are literally caught in Van Gogh’s night, his Starry Night. We see the stars and we think: “luminaries” in the reds and orange. This is the first time we can actually reach out and touch them. They are right there, at our fingertips. So, we stretch our hands out and our minds feel and catch the prize. The mellow white background is intermingled with blue and yellow creating the very air that we need to breathe because we have now entered that night. The cypress tree in the foreground with its thick and wavy lines reaches into the heavens and carries us to its peak. We can thank Van Gogh for putting it there. The rolling hills in certlizu (dark blue) merge with into lesser blues and are eternally blazoned with green fields. The houses are lit with beckoning lamps calling attention to living and loving peoples. Do you live there? Come, you are welcomed to stay!
We have entered Starry Night and we will always return. We have climbed to the top of a cypress tree and reached the sky. We know how to hold hot-red stars in our hands. We have seen and felt the atmosphere and know that Van Gogh will sustain our hunger in his Starry Night. In the houses, we have played games, shared intense conversations; cooked wonderful food; and held a baby’s hand. It welcomes us, we who stood alone outside so long; observing people coming from the church. We are now a part of Home in this unbegotten moment of Starry Night.
Starry Night has taken us on an adventure that we could not have experienced if we had not trained our eyes to see. The artist learns to see and acquires the ability to enhance the world because he is compelled to make it a better place. He is moved forward to paint a picture or carve a stone. He might even work with sand or some other exotic material creating wonderful and amazing things for us to see.
What will you do? Will you fill your niche by making a superb meal or painting a word picture that will strike a cord in the hearts of many? In an any case, will you offer excellence? If so, you can say: “I can see because I have seen by diligence and excellence. Resolved: I will see because it is divinely approved for me to do so.”