Friday, April 4, 2014

Colors for Vincent



As with the other residents of this fine old town, I am eagerly awaiting the inauguration of the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles tomorrow. It has been many months in the making with a thorough renovation of a 15th century hôtel particulier just down the street from where I live. Much banging has been accompanied by a fair shake of rat a tat tat. Something tells me Vincent would have approved. 

Certainly he would be delighted that at last his work is being appreciated and shown in a town he loved so dearly (until now there has been only one Van Gogh in all of Provence, in a private collection in Avignon). There is much mystery about his time here and quite a few myths to be pierced as well. But for me, what is certain, is that he took something as intangible to paint as the Mistral winds that blow and caught them by the tail. The light? He coaxed and wheedled until it was eating out of his hand like the swallows that criss-cross overhead. 

We see what we want to see and certainly Vincent stuck to his lonely path until the end. And now we have the remnants of his scattered moments of happiness, his brazen unknown success, to gaze upon and understand what is our Provence.










I'll leave you with some of his colors - albeit modern and worn - found on one walk through the centre historique, not far from his Yellow House. 


Have a lovely weekend and I will report back after the opening in a few days...

43 comments:

  1. Around here we refer to VVG as "uncle Vince," since there's an unconfirmed, but entirely plausible suggestion that we are related to the famous man on his mother's side. The man had a way of seeing and translating that to canvas that I love. I'm glad that Arles is recognizing and paying homage to his talent and creativity.

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    1. I love your story, Lorrie! Wow!
      And I totally agree with you about the translating - especially when you know Arles, well, it really does look like how he painted it...

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  2. What a gorgeous post, Heather. I love your Vincent colors. Wandering around Arles with you and seeing the intense blue sky above and the light bounce off the worn facades gave me a whole new appreciation for what Mr. Van Gogh created. Wish we could have seen the Foundation, too. Yet another reason to come back! Enjoy and can't wait to hear more!

    Happy, happy weekend! XOXO

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    1. I am counting on your returning to Provence, Jeanne...I know you have the bug...

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  3. You've made a beautiful gallery of things that are so close to our noses that we fail to see them. Thank you.

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    1. I know it isn't for everyone, but I like it!

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  4. Oui, et oui encore. I see these patinas in Charente, too. So beautiful, Heather. Thank you.

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  5. I am so excited that the Fondation is opening.. I think we'll be in Arles May 29 & 30 and we hope to go to the museum. Do you think we can buy same day tickets at the museum? I love your close up and very special photos today - lovely patina all around!

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    1. Oh yes, it shouldn't be a problem. It was crowded for the opening but it will calm down. And it is wonderful!!!

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  6. PATINA PATINA PATINA………..LOVE it ALL!
    I did a report on VINCENT many years ago!In grammar school I believe………..perhaps, he is why I adore color so much these days!
    XOXO

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    1. And it suits you perfectly, my dear Contessa. Me? I'll stick to my white, black, camel and...leopard (it's a neutral!). :)

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    2. I do believe our shoes come in a LEOPARD!!!

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  7. Heather you always manage to capture the magic! Love the photos and the tale you told us. I was out at a home yesterday and thought of you when I started taking close up shots of the bricks and stones used to make up both its dimensions and history.

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    1. Really? That makes me so happy to hear Jackie! Appreciating the little things helps me a lot...

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  8. Van Gogh found something in Provence that captured his artistic soul, possessed him with “scattered moments of happiness” as you described. I have seen some of his works here in San Francisco throughout the years.

    In his solitary walk he saw these tamed colors that made some of his earlier and later works?

    The  Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles will be another treasure of Provence.

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    1. It really is, Edgar. And while we often only see "bold" colors when we look at his paintings, all of these demi-teints or half-tones are present too...in the gold of the straw, the olive of the trees...

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  9. What a treasure you will have. I love seeing the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and go there almost every visit to the city. You are blessed to be living in Arles. Beautiful photos of colors and textures. xo Jenny

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    1. Jenny, I have never been to the museum in Amsterdam! We are so lucky that they are loaning us a few masterpieces. It really is phenomenal.

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  10. Beautiful. Every time I see your photos of old facades and structures, I think of our current mindset, which is tear it down, tear it down..because it's not safe...we have very little left to see and touch that is old.

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    1. I can imagine how some of those worries are of a very real concern for your town, safety-wise - all the better reason to appreciate what remains...

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  11. So beautiful. Vincent would be pleased. That every day you get to see what he saw... what a gift. From him to you and to all of us. XXXX

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    1. As you know, so little has changed since his time here...it is incredible, really...

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  12. Hey! How did you get impasto in your photos? Just gorgeous!

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  13. Gorgeous those closeups, like beautifully abstract paintigs!

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    1. Let's just say that I have been..."inspired"...by a big abstract photography project that Remi did...just that I call it patina instead. ;)

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  14. I love van Gogh. His colours are so crazy sometimes but they make perfect sense. Your photos look like paintings.

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    1. They do make perfect sense - especially when you live here! Just like in Malte, the light is so intense it can do strange things...

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  15. Gorgeous. These textures and shapes and couloirs font l'art abstract.

    Fantastic.

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    1. Merci chére D mais comme j'ai avouée à Silke, j'ai volée l'idée de Monsieur Remi...

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  16. Amazing, Heather, what you see and how you get the camera to capture it...absolutely beautiful. Your fan Leslie in Oregon

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    1. Leslie, if you came here you would see that all I do is point and shoot - it is everywhere!

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  17. Absolutely beautiful Heather!
    xxTracy

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    1. Merci, Tracy - now if I could figure out how to put art on the plate like you do...

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  18. I look forward to visiting it in September. I love that you see color and beauty everywhere.

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    1. September is the best month, Sharon - I'll keep saying it! And thank you. As I wrote above, it helps me - call it therapy if you will. :)

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  19. My comments are getting swallowed up, H. Have any come through in your inbox?

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    1. Alas, only this one my dear friend and you are not alone. Something seems to be mis-aligned in the Blogger vs. Other Platforms worlds. I am so sorry. I know it is not the same but if there is ever something important to communicate, you have my email address...
      Wish that I could offer a better, more sure solution...

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  20. oh - aaaaah - oh - this makes me long to be in a time machine and see it with you - how positively exhilarating!

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