Thursday, August 6, 2015

Vincent van Gogh Giveaway!

I recently found this wonderful graphic novel all about Vincent van Gogh and his years spent in Arles. It was created by a Dutch artist/author named Barbara Stok, and her simple and brilliant visuals are a joy to read. Here she talks about her inspiration:

"I chose the last couple of years of his life, the period he lived in the south of France, because it’s an extremely interesting time. There was a lot going on: he made his most beautiful paintings, he dreamed about setting up an artists’ house, there was the tragic incident with his ear and, finally, he went to a mental institution. He had hopes and dreams and big disappointments, but in the end he found resignation and consolation in his work and in nature."

 So now I want to share— literally!
Welcome to latest Positive Space Giveaway! Woo hoo!

To enter: please become a member/follower of my blog if you haven't already, and then leave a comment below with a favorite van Gogh anecdote. Maybe it's the first time you viewed one of his paintings, your favorite or most successful art lesson. Perhaps you dressed as him for Halloween one year? Hmmmmmm? Too bad you can't see the candles on my, err, I mean his hat. One winner will be chosen from the comments, so make sure you leave a way for me to contact you within your comment!

The giveaway is open to residents of the 50 United States (and DC), ends on August 15th, and will ship within one week. Read it yourself, share with a friend, and depending on what age range you teach, share it with your students. I would suggest high school only. Caution: nudity, some naughty language, and the ear is dealt with—enough said.

Good luck my art teacher friends, and hope your first days of school run smoothly! And well wishes to all of my online family!


Mary said...

Thanks for offering this great giveaway! I love the movement in Van Gogh's paintings. One of my favorite art lessons I've done used his Wheatfields with Cypresses as our inspiration. Rather than brushes, my students tried to capture that swirly movement using cotton balls and cotton swabs. Details were added using oil pastels.
Thanks again for the opportunity!

Ted Mallory said...

I love the 1950's movie 'Lust for Life' where Kirk Douglas plays Vincent and Anthony Quinn plays Gauguin! Everyone knows Vincent "cut off his ear," some speculate as to how much of it, and precisely how & why- suicide attempt, shaving accident, seizure, who knows. But one of my favorite anecdotes (more like legends or lore) is that he supposedly mailed it to his old girlfriend, Christine! Gruesome, but dramatic.

On a lighter, yet more serious note, I've always appreciated and perhaps sympathized about how after being "rejected" by the Dutch Reformed Church, perhaps for being too Christ-like (or so the film makes it seem) VanGogh seemed to explore Taoism or Buddhism. I see this in his painting of a door-less back of a church, his self portrait as a Japanese monk, and the apparent yin-yang symbol that appears in his windy swirl on "Starry Night."

Katelyn Smith said...

I'm a doctor who addict, and the episode "Vincent and The Doctor" killed me! It really portrays the sorrow he felt in his life and how genuinely misunderstood he was.
I also have a studio art professor that loooooves Van Gogh and loves to read his letters. Once, when covering Van Gogh for a Fine Art Survey course, he showed a photo of Vincent and his brother Theo's headstones side by side...and had tears well in his eyes when talking about Van Gogh and his brother!!

Thanks for offering such a cool giveaway!
My email is

Brandy Noody said...

The first time I saw, "Starry Night" in person, it moved me to tears! There is so much color in the painting that gets lost in the reproductions.

Erin Goodman said...

I dressed as Vincent for Halloween at school two years ago. My kids loved it and I also entered and won a local contest at Goodwill for buying all of my costume pieces there. I can't figure out how to share my photos!

Renee Collins said...

Katelyn, I've seen that Dr. Who episode as well--LOVED IT! And Erin, I saw your pic on Facebook, fantastic! Keep 'em coming everyone. These stories are great!

saundra george said...

Great post, check out Touch Van Gogh, a free IPad app from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Christopher Ward said...

He has always been one of my fav's, like the other billions of people. I even named my turtle after him. Hampton Van Mouse Da'gogh.

Pat said...

Here's my Vincent moment:
I was in NYC, six months before 9/11. It was the NAEA Convention and I was so excited to be there. I was with one of my closest art teacher friends and we were doing the museums as fast as we could and still attend the convention. We walked into the MOMA, I walked around a corner, and there was The Starry Night! I burst into tears and was so overcome with so many feelings. Mostly, that Vincent didn't live long enough to know how much he profoundly touched the world with his art. I would be happy to receive such a generous gift. Thank you😎

Laura said...

Growing up, I think we studied Van Gogh every year in Art class. I tend to be a person who steers away from the norm when teaching in my art room. I appreciate Van Gogh, but had my "ah-ha" moment when I saw a Van Gogh exhibit at Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was amazed by the texture of the actually paintings, the colors and the perspective. This is nothing like you could ever see in a print of the real paintings. I leaned in so close to see the brush strokes I almost was yelled out. It took all a lot of restraint to not reach out and run my fingers across the paintings. One more example of "How can you teach about art if you don't see the art?" :)