Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Van Gogh: At Work

Last week, I took a second trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.  I visited last winter when his paintings were being exhibited in a different building.  The new Van Gogh Museum just opened at the beginning of May.  The title of the new exhibit: Van Gogh: At Work.


The exhibit attempts to give a comprehensive view of Van Gogh's development through different styles.  A lot of space is devoted to his education.  This collection of drawings and paintings are incredibly interesting.  You can see examples of sketches, color experiments, different brush strokes, and varying angles of the same subjects.


Take these two self portraits: same subject completely different style.

In music we attempt to do the same thing when we study.  We isolate different technics or licks and we practice them in different ways.  However, our study is mostly refinement based.  The huge difference, Van Gogh actively thought about what he wanted and had to drastically change his craft in order to achieve his goals.

Think about what you play and why you play it.  Decide on meaning and let that effect style.  Once you can hear exactly what you want, then the craft will be clean and meaningful.