Friday, November 13, 2015

Magical Arts Friday - The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, My dad and inspiration

Today I want to talk about Vincent Van Gogh's amazing painting:  The Starry Night.  It was my father's favorite painting and as the anniversary of his death is tomorrow, I have been thinking of him a lot.

I never even knew he loved this painting until I was an adult.  I was surprised, because I always just thought of nature pictures in association with him. It was a whimsical side of my dad and his imagination I didn't know about.  I bought him his own print and a book of Van Gogh's work.

I have to admit, I liked Van Gogh but was never really drawn towards his work until that point.  I wanted to see what my dad saw.  Of course, you can never do that.  Art is a personal experience.  The more I looked, I saw the colors and the swirls and saw why people are drawn into this painting.  There is so much to see in the quiet of the night sky.

I have always been fascinated by Van Gogh himself - not just because of the ear thing - because he was a tormented man trying to express himself in a way that went against artistic traditions of the time.  Considered mad and his art ridiculed, it is terrible to think of how hard it was for him.  I think it was his story that made me see how much Art can be a calling.

Of course, his life has inspired other art as well -- the brilliant film with Kirk Douglas - Lust for Life .  Which of course, also inspired a great soundtrack by Iggy Pop - Lust For Life Soundtrack.  Anthony Quinn won an Oscar for his performance as Paul Gauguin.                                             
Another thing that I really was fascinated by was the book Dear Theo by Irving Stone.  

Which brings me back to The Starry Night.  The painting itself inspired an episode of Doctor Who - Vincent and The Doctor.  Who would have thought?  Vincent plays a pivotal role as he is influenced by a mysterious creature that leads him to paint a version of starry night with
 a Tardis in it. 
 But wait - The Tardis is exploding?

BTW - I have that poster.

So now it has inspired an episode of a widely popular tv show?

If you look on the internet there are tons of images where people have run with their own inspiration from that.  Doctor Who Starry Night/Tardis images. On an on it goes.

My personal favorite was the:
So art inspires more art as well as people like my Dad.  My own Starry Night item is his mousepad which I use every day at work - a constant reminder of Dad.

So, the last thing I want to say was that my Dad's light night was in hospice - the had his bed out on a lanai room.  He loved the out-of-doors.  So when he passed, it was under The Starry Night he loved.



  1. A very moving piece. I know tomorrow will be hard and you have honored him in a beautiful way. It's amazing what we learn about our parents. I am especially touched that he passed under a starry night.

  2. Hugs to you my friend. Your father has a wonderful daughter. xo


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