Seascape After Vincent van Gogh – Danger and Adventure

Seascape is a painting about danger and adventure. Nobody wants to be in danger at sea, but if you want adventure it may require something that puts you in harms way.

The Navy hymn is from a poem written in 1860 by William Whiting based on Psalm 107:23. Here is the first stanza . . .

Eternal Father, strong to save,Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!

You get that out-to-sea feeling in the movie, “The Perfect Storm” with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Most of us, thankfully, have never been so far out in gigantic waves, but life often makes us feel that way. I can remember days in my life when I felt lost at sea. Those experiences are in the past, and I’m glad for that. I hope anyone who looks at this painting can see the storm as something they got through, not something they are facing in front of them.

My Seascape painting came out darker and scarier that Vincent’s. It seems almost as if a great white shark is about to surge from the background!

18″ by 24″ acrylic w/ blades
oakwood in a natural Cedar frame
#18-008
On display at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

$1,500 

Vincent seemed to be facing storms most of his life. He was never appreciated by his peers. Local townspeople scorned him. Young people taunted him. He only sold one painting while still alive (Red Vineyard). He was rejected and denied love.

But he had his brother Theo who stood with him to the end. He provided supplies and income for Vincent and was always there for him. Because of Theo, Vincent was able to totally devote his life to art. Vincent died at the age of 37, Theo at 33.

seascape

Seascape at Saintes-Maries by Vincent van Gogh

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

sower

Sower With Sunset – We Reap What We Sow – After VvG

Sowing is what we all do for all of our life… then we reap what we sowed. It seems to me this Van Gogh masterpiece of the Sower speaks through the centuries. We all agree that our selfishness can lead to loneliness, our greed can lead to gluttony, and our cowardice can lead to shame. But we also know our kindness can lead to friendship, our generosity can give others hope, and our courage can make a difference. A great man once wrote,

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone. Galatians 6

The painting of the Sower (Van Gogh’s title is “Sower With Setting Sun“), addresses a much wider theme than the obvious agricultural one. The student studies hard to get good grades and to prepare for a future career. The athlete works out so he can win. The actress practices so she can dazzle audiences. The musician spends tireless hours to be the best. Whatever we do, we reap what we sow.

I can apply this idea ad nauseam, but it is one of the truest things in life. There are exceptions, you know like, “Bad things can happen to good people,” and visa-versa. But it holds up most of the time. Actually, a sad example of that is Vincent van Gogh. It seems to me he got a bum rap in life. Some of it he may have brought on himself, and some historians think he suffered from mental illness, but it has always bothered me that he didn’t benefit in his short life from his great paintings. However, many of his family did.

18″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
oakwood in a natural Cedar frame
#18-007

$1,500

A smaller version original . . .

8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas paper
in wood frame with matte & glass
#18-006

$550

Here is my inspiration for these two paintings . . .

Van Gogh’s original painting is 25″ x 32″

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

Landscape With Snow, After Vincent van Gogh

Like many people in Central Florida, I migrated from the north, northern Illinois to be exact. I was born in Aurora, and lived a good chunk of my life in Chicago. So I LOVE snow. When we would get blizzards coming off the great plains and swirling over Lake Michigan and hitting us again with lake effect, it was awesome. However, sad for me, most schools stayed open unless it was a Mass Extinction Event. Landscape With Snow takes me back.

But I have fond memories of walking to school through deep snow. We would build snow forts and have snowball fights. My teacher, Sister Mary Thaddeus, would join us. She threw a nasty snowball!

16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
in a natural Cedar frame
#18-005

$1,200

Van Gogh achieved a special atmosphere in this great painting. So much so that it was requested to be displayed at the White House. Sadly, all that came back was an insult. Art ought to be above politics, and thousands of DC visitors would have enjoyed it.

In Donald Trump’s role as President of the United States, he and First Lady Melania Trump asked the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to let them borrow Landscape with Snow to decorate the White House’s Executive Residence. The Guggenheim’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator, Nancy Spector, declined, offering America, an 18K gold toilet, by contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan instead.  – Wikipedia

Landscape With Snow / Van Gogh 1888

The original was oil on a 15″ x 18″ canvas, so mine is slightly larger. I’ve never felt confident painting snow. It’s tricky and hard to paint. But it seems using blades instead of brushes worked this time. Pure luck! If ANY President or First Lady requests it, I will donate my version. For now, it is on display in the entryway of KellGrace Salon.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

Chicago Rain, A Young Man Faces Down The City

In Chicago Rain, I’m looking back at the years of my youth and strength. I grew up in Aurora, but spent two decades in the urban bliss of the Windy City. I married there, and all three of my children were born at the Swedish Covenant Hospital on the Northwest side.

10″ x 12″ acrylic with blades
on a solid wooden block
#17-019

$450

Actually, Aurora is considered a part of “Chicagoland,” as it is only forty miles west. A city itself, but small compared to Chicago with about 100,000 population, hardly a village. We actually had a twenty-story skyscraper in town. But the allurement of the big city is magical. Let me tell you about my first trip to the big city, many years before Chicago Rain. I was in 8th grade and along with two of my pals, decided to skip school and go to Chicago. None of us were old enough to drive, but Aurora has a commuter train that goes straight into Union Station. Back then the tickets were probably less than ten bucks, so we saved up for our big hooky day trip!

Chicago Rain

I thought I was street wise, but it turned out I was not. At 14, the world belonged to me; Chicago was just the first stop. We got off the train in Union Station and somehow got out on the streets through the throngs of humanity. No problem, easy peasy. I was tough, Chicago streets did NOT scare me. (They should have.) We roamed around aimlessly acting as if 100-story skyscrapers were normal things, but our necks were bent a lot that day.

Then we ventured into the subway system. We acted cool, yet had no idea how to read the complicated maps on the station walls and in the trains. While transferring from the NW routes to the Southside routes, I got separated from my friends. They were ahead about twenty or thirty bodies in the sardine can of the subway car. When they got off, I had to rush to an exit or be forever on my own.

Running as fast as I could, I spotted them ahead going up a huge escalator. Some pals they were – they didn’t even notice I WAS MISSING! I jumped on the escalator and found myself squished in the midst of a large group of teenage boys. (Hmm, I thought, why weren’t they in school?) Must be trouble-makers for sure. Or wait, worse . . . gang members? Yikes, they didn’t smile at me, but glared.

That’s the last thing I remembered until my friends were splashing water in my face to wake me up on the floor at the top of the escalator. And for some reason all of my pockets were empty. Too bad those punks couldn’t find a rich kid to rob. All they got from me was a couple of bucks and my comb (don’t need one of those anymore.) Then the swelling in my face and head started. They sucker-punched me!

Chicago Rain is a painting about years later when I moved to the city. I was much more cautious and wise, and instead of a gang, I found the love of my life (click on the about link below to see her).

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

Lake Eola

Eerie Lake Eola Haunts Orlando Skyline

Eerie Lake Eola is a creation of contrasting feelings based on a real lake in Orlando, Florida. It is a city of lakes, but right in the middle is a small one called Lake Eola. It’s a place of dreams come true. Not far from Disney World, Universal, Sea World, and a plethora of entertainment venues, Lake Eola is renowned as an urban focal point. Many great events are held there to the delight of the locals and vacationers alike. It’s a very special place, especially since it is in the middle of a major city.

Where is Eerie Lake Eola?

One visitor wrote,

Lake Eola Park is an oasis located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. Amazing variety of birds, great place to dog and people watch. Restaurants and bars located within view of the Park. Great place to hang out.

Lake Eola

16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
on panel board in a black wooden frame
#16-003

$1,250   $950

Why is Lake Eola My Subject?

But in my conception the lake is viewed at night, and from a darker  insight. It may come from my first visit to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. As a ten-year old kid I was excited to go on a big trip to a lake, but my fun was ruined because I was abandoned in a boat for hours. It wasn’t a traumatic experience, however, it was a disappointment. I even had a fishing pole, although fishing by oneself is lonely.

That may have altered my idea of lakes, but there are also the skyscrapers. In my painting these structures emote an urban lostness and sense of despair. The huge darkened monoliths with illuminated windows convey humanity in the background. A lake is a place of life, yet here it is bordered by a sort of life that offers no hope. Eerie. The scene conveys a gray and clouded sky joined with streaks above and below resulting in a strange mood. Humanity may not be lively in this picture, but there is life.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

Vincent's Old Tower

Vincent’s Old Tower is After Van Gogh’s Old Tower at Nuenen

I zoomed in and took only a portion of this scene because I was eyeing the tower. I wanted to make it about the tower. Sorry, I left the ploughman out. I’m sure he won’t mind since he has been gone for over 100 years. 🙂 I named it “Vincent’s Old Tower,” to honor him, and it seemed to fit. The reddish tints in the background sky add mood.

18″ x 11″ acrylic on canvas
on a sturdy MightyWood Stretcher
#17-028

$1150   $900

Towering above the pastoral countryside,
the ancient structure sees all
and can be seen by all.

Vincent’s Old Tower

Vincent van Gogh loved to paint everything around him. He did, “The Old Tower at Nuenen with a Ploughman” in 1884 . . .

Vincent's Old Tower
Vincent’s Old Tower

I find Van Gogh’s textures and treatment of everyday scenes the most inspirational. He could really capture life as it is. Viewing his art makes you feel like you want to be there, living in that moment. More than anything, I want to strive to do that. Vincent’s Old Tower reminds me of my childhood when I was exploring. I would wander everywhere to see what I could and to discover things. It got me in trouble sometimes, but I don’t think I could’ve done otherwise.

My Own Vincent’s Old Tower

It was not a pleasant thing to have the Aurora police call me down from the top of a water tower on top of a factory building. But, man was it cool. First, I had to squeeze through the fence around the factory. Eazy-Peezy. Then I had to find the fire escape ladders on the five story building and get up to the first rung. No prob. After climbing to the top of the flat roof, I found the location of the water tower. Oh man, they had a fence around it way up on the roof. Why would they do that? Who would get that far anyhow?

Oh yeah, I did. But scaling a six-foot wire fence was also Eazy-Peezy. From there it was a relaxing climb up about a hundred steps on a steel ladder. Once on top it was a little tricky keeping balance, but hey – you wanna live forever? But I will admit when I crested the tippy-top of the bubble I was feeling woozy… especially when I saw the flashing cop lights down below. How did they know I was up there?

But wow, I could see the whole town. It was exhilarating. When I got down, my chauffeurs were patiently waiting to escort me home in style. Mom was pissed though.

I just know if I lived in 1888 in Nuenen, Netherlands, I would have visited Vincent’s Old Tower.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

The Red Vineyard is the Only Painting Van Gogh Sold

Why Did I Paint The Red Vineyard?

The Red Vineyard was a fun project. When I do an “after” piece using a master’s inspiration, I never consider copying the work. But usually I utilize the basic layout and make changes to make it mine, usually drastic alterations. In this case I got flipped around by starting with the big beautiful orb of the sun. I like the way mine turned out, then I realized it was on the wrong side! OOPS. Then it increased the challenge as I had to mentally flip everything else. Oh well, I’ve always been a sort of backwards guy anyhow. Also I made the colors different and the people smaller.

Understanding The Red Vineyard

The allurement of hard work is a mystery. There are some people who avoid it at all costs, especially physical work like the fields. Van Gogh is known for his feature paintings of peasants around a table having a meal. They are the potato eaters and they are content, and probably didn’t realize how poor they were. They had food, work to do every day, and each other. After a hard day in the fields, they would gather together for food and relaxation. The aches and pains of the day would wear off and they would sleep well.

The Appeal

On the next day they were ready to get back in the fields. The Red Vineyard was calling to them; it’s harvest time! They loved the earthy smells in the morning, the dew on the plants, and the crisp and cool beginning of another productive day. Nobody told them they were poor.

36″ x 48″ acrylic on canvas
on a MightyWood stretcher
# 17-039

$2,400   $2,400
On display at KellGrace Salon

The workers in the field must hurry before the sun sets.

According to some accounts, this was the only painting Vincent van Gogh ever sold. Van Gogh did the original in 1888. It is on display at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

Red Vineyard

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

Starry Cypresses Team Up From Van Gogh Inspiration

While meditating on nature and Van Gogh’s propensity to portray it, I thought his solitary Cypress tree in “Starry Night” needed a companion. The result was “Starry Cypresses,” and the after painting looks quite different.

36″ x 45″ acrylic on canvas
on a MightyWood stretcher
# 17-005

$2,800   $2,200

A Companion is Added, and I Call it Starry Cypresses

This is obviously an “after” painting. I love doing Van Gogh pieces. The swirling sky alone makes it an adventure to paint. Mountains and hills are my life-long passion; I will always tend to create them. With Starry Cypresses, I took the liberty to add sweeping mountain slopes, an extra cypress, and more intense swirls in the sky. And instead of a night scene, I changed it to more of a dusk or dawn scene. In my mind the sun has just set behind the mountains and the villagers are settling in for the night. Dusk is a precious time; it is the last chance of a given day to go out and embrace the beauty of nature just before the darkness swallows it up.

The feel and depth generated gives the painting an interesting feel. Standing in front of it draws you in and places you in one of the humble cottages nestled in the hills. This is unfortunate for me, because I live in a flat terrain. There are forests with pine and oak, and there are swamps, but in my area there are no hills.

Van Gogh’s Original is a Great Masterpiece

Here is the original by Vincent van Gogh called  “Starry Night.” It is one of his most famous paintings from 1889. The view of the scene has been identified as being from his bedroom window, looking east.

Through the iron-barred window,” he wrote to his brother, Theo, around 23 May 1889, “I can see an enclosed square of wheat . . . above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory.

So I did it again, Van Gogh was facing east, my painting faces west.

Starry Cypresses is based on Starry Night

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

starless cypresses

Starless Cypresses Where Darkness Reigns Supreme

I’m not sure if this one is “after” Van Gogh or not. There certainly is inspiration in the sky, but I went a different direction with Starless Cypresses . . . no stars . . . many cypresses . . . and a village swallowed by an eerie mountain slope. Darkness tends to highlight the natural environment in a special way. Of course, I don’t mean total darkness because then nothing would be highlighted. But even on a moonless cloudy night there is minor light from stars or bouncing off the cloud cover, especially if civilization is nearby.

Vincent’s Original Sketch
Starless Cypresses – A Cosmic Disturbance

My swirling clouds in the sky have their own special blueness, therefore illuminating the scene. It’s alien, mystical, and ethereal, but I don’t think it can be called unnatural because nature has a great number of weird effects. Maybe the clouds came through fronting a storm, or perhaps they are the storm, or even a tornado. It could be a cosmic event because it transcends normal atmospheric activity.

Dark, Starless Cypresses Embrace the Frail Mountain Village

So let’s consider those poor souls in the tiny cottages clustered together in the mountain valley. Why would people live there, it doesn’t seem safe. They could live in a town or city. Are those safe? Where is the greatest threat? Is it nature, or is it humans?

A Wall

The starless cypresses form a wall of security and safety for the people. They stand tall in the dark mountains as if to defy them. They are unaffected by the harsh conditions, they are not afraid of heights, and the darkness only makes them bolder. Peering through their windows, the people see sentinels and guardians. They sleep peacefully.

34″ x 42″ acrylic on canvas
mounted in a frame with a white mat,
no glass, the texture is exposed
# 17-011

$1250   $950

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789

Lonely Tree

The Lonely Tree Awaits Fellowship in the Mountains

The Lonely Tree is A Noble Subject

Surviving the harshest elements on earth, the mountains stand firm, because the lonely tree stands with them. Mountains are one of the most magnificent parts of creation, hence, they were made to be painted. As far back as my memory goes, I’ve loved drawing and painting them, and I think I can paint the Lonely Tree with my eyes closed. Getting the shape of the hills right has almost become a muscle-memory reflex for me. The same for shading and texturing the individual slopes.

Mountains and hills are often harsh natural environments, while cities and towns are controlled. There is hard rock, steep slopes, and above all, snow in these scenes.  The snow, of course, conjures coldness, whereas the tree signifies life and strength. Similarly, this contrast infuses the painting with inspiration.

16″ x 20″ acrylic & gesso on canvas
on a MightyWood Stretcher
# 16-038
On display at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789

$600   $500 

My companions are of stone and not wood, yet they are my friends

Also, the scene conveys a sense of fellowship or companionship while the solitary tree awaits others. It’s possible, and likely in nature, that seeds have fallen nearby that hence will yield more trees. But who can say the tree doesn’t find companionship and fellowship with the hills? I’d like to think they do, and my painting shows it!

However, solitude is a relative condition. Those who isolate themselves from only those of identical attributes will inevitably be alone. And if there was a way for them to be with only clones of themselves – they would be at war forever!

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe . . .
Email: ed@edplanet.com
Text: 407.267.6977
KellGrace Salon / 110 S. Park Ave / Winter Park, FL 32789