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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, Partly because of the skinny shape of my canvas, but also 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

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

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.

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
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

The Red Vineyard is the Only Painting Van Gogh Sold

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.

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. They 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 next 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

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
His art is available to purchase at 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 after painting looking quite different.

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

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 a 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. Unfortunately for this artist, 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.

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
His art is available to purchase at 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.

My swirling clouds in the sky have their own special blueness that illuminates 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. I guess it could be a cosmic event that transcends normal atmospheric activity.

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?

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

A dark, starless night embraces the frail mountain village.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.