Making Art From the Ordinary

by Brad Isaac on February 26, 2006


Every sunday, my daughter and I are the first people awake in the house. This morning, I was feeling a bit grumpy due to being out late with friends watching the Mosley-Vargas boxing fight. Anyway, my daughter had done some drawings of some objects around the house. TVs, DVD player and a Unicorn movie on TV. She’s 5 years old so the drawings reflected her age level.    

She had a lot of questions about drawing, so an idea came to me.  I mentioned that if she wanted to, we could look at some of the art books we had sitting on the table in our living room. She thought that would be fun, so I immediately pulled out my favorite..Van Gogh in Saint Remy and Auvers.

As we flipped through the pages, we were immediately transported through time and space to the farmlands of France where farmers tended their wheat fields, doctors worked with their patients and ordinary people looked through windows or groomed in mirrors.   

It occurred to me how something as simple as browsing a book of art could transform my attitude the way it did. Van Gogh’s technique is considered ‘sloppy’ to some but I see it as dramatic. The scenery he chose would be boring and every day life to the average person.

But thinking about how the artist did not have access to the beautiful people of his time, he didn’t live in a 20,000 sq. Foot mansion where he could paint the carefully manicured grounds. No, he made the ordinary extraordinary. And here I was, over 100 years later, sitting with my daughter, emotionally changed because of it. 

Technorati Tags: art, Van Gogh, attitude

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