Category Archives: Art Obsessions

A Rather Inspiring Thing

OK, while I have been in the kitchen a lot this past week/weekend, my laziness has caught up with me. I totally have things to post on, yes things as in plural, but procrastination is an awful beast and I am not prepared to show you pretty, delicious foods…yet. Until such a time  as a new post occurs (hopefully before Saturday, depending on the whole photo-lighting situation), watch and enjoy this most spectacular and inspiring speech given at the Commencement of the University of Arts by none other than the great writer Neil Gaiman.

Also, just to be safe, disclaimer that I do not own the video and am not affiliated in any way with anything about said video, except that I too hope to Make Good Art.

Amazing Art Update

Just wanted to post this article from the New York Times Arts section as a follow up to the earlier Art Obsession on Edvard Munch

Munch’s The Scream. 1893

“The Scream” Sells at Sotheby’s for $120 Million, a Record


A version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” one of the most recognizable images in art history, sold at Sotheby’s on Wednesday night for just under $120 million, the most ever paid for a painting at auction. Five bidders competed for the work, which sold to a telephone bidder.

Munch made four versions of “The Scream,” three of which are now in Norwegian museums; the one that sold on Wednesday, a pastel on board from 1895, was the only one still in private hands. It was sold by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman and shipping heir whose father was a friend, neighbor and patron of the artist.

“The Scream” has been reproduced endlessly in popular culture in recent decades, making it nearly as famous as the Mona Lisa.

Art Obsession 3

Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. 1889

Today’s Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

(March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)

Van Gogh is generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, though he had little success during his lifetime. Van Gogh produced all of his work (some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings) during a period of only 10 years before he succumbed to mental illness (possibly bipolar disorder) and committed suicide.

At age 16 Vincent started to work for the art dealer Goupil & Co. in The Hague. His four years younger brother Theo, with whom Vincent cherished a lifelong friendship, would join the company later.

In 1880, Vincent van Gogh followed the suggestion of his brother Theo and took up painting in earnest. For a brief period Vincent took painting lessons from Anton Mauve at The Hague. Although Vincent and Anton soon split over divergence of artistic views, influences of the Hague School of painting would remain in Vincent’s work, notably in the way he played with light and in the looseness of his brush strokes. However his usage of colors, favoring dark tones, set him apart from his teacher.

La chambre de Van Gogh à Arles (Van Gogh's Room at Arles). 1889

In spring 1886 Vincent van Gogh went to Paris, where he moved in with his brother Theo; they shared a house on Montmartre. Here he met the painters met Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Bernard, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin. He discovered impressionism and liked its use of light and color, more than its lack of social engagement (as he saw it). It should be noted that Van Gogh is regarded as a post-impressionist, rather than an impressionist.

In 1888, when city life and living with his brothers proved too much, Van Gogh left Paris and went to Arles, Bouches-du-Rh, France. He was impressed with the local landscape and hoped to found an art colony. Only Paul Gauguin, whose simplified color schemes and forms (known as synthetism) attracted van Gogh, followed his invitation. However their encounter ended in a quarrel. Van Gogh suffered a mental breakdown and cut off part of his left ear, which he gave to a startled prostitute friend. Gauguin left in December 1888.

Van Gogh's Vase with 12 Sunflowers. 1889

He suffered from depression, and in 1889 on his own request Van Gogh was admitted to the psychiatric center at Monastery Saint-Paul de Mausole in Saint Remy de Provence, Bouches-du-Rh, France.
In May 1890 Vincent van Gogh left the clinic and went to the physician Paul Gachet, in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, where he was closer to his brother Theo, who had recently married.

On July 27 of the same year, at the age of 37, after a fit of painting activity, van Gogh shot himself in the chest. He died two days later, with Theo at his side, who reported his last words as “La tristesse durera toujours” (French: “The sadness will last forever”).

Biography via:

Here is arguably Van Gogh’s most famous work, Starry Night:

Van Gogh's Starry Night. 1889

This work has inspired many different works and products with the famous image and Van Gogh style, including:


Art Obsession 2

Munch's Self Portrait with Burning Cigarette. 1895

Today’s Artist: Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch was an expressionist painter from Loton, Norway born on December 12, 1863 to Christian and Laura Munch. He was the second of five children and when he was still young the family moved to Oslo, where he began his artistic studies and training.

Munch's The Sick Child. 1907

Sadly for Munch, his life seemed to have been filled with the passing of those close to him, including his mother and sister both of tuberculosis within ten years of each other. This, along with his living in the cold, northern part of Europe, caused his works to become very dark and continued the phenomenon that gets associated with Northern Artists: dark and depressing works because of the dark and cold climate in which they live and work. Oh, and in case it isn’t clear, Dark.

Munch's The Scream. 1893

Among the most well known of the Northern Expressionist works is Munch’s famous painting “The Scream” done in 1893. This work, similar to Mondrian’s and all other works to be explored through Art Obsessions, has been of great influence to the rest of the world as it is constantly re-created through different means, mediums, and moods.

Sadly, on January 23, 1944, a little more than a month after his eightieth birthday, he died peacefully at Ekely. He bequeathed all of his work to the city of Oslo. He had 1,008 paintings, 15,391 prints, 4,443 drawings and watercolors, and six sculptures. Here are just a few of the re-creations of his masterpiece “The Scream”: