Illuminating

“I just want to give him a hug, “the young woman expressed to her companion, while gazing at Van Gogh’s” Starry Night over the Rhone at Arles.” at the AGO.

 “A life of utter anguish. It’s all so very sad. ” she said.

“She is focused on life outside the art, not the life within it,” I thought, as I pondered the same painting.

I saw a life connected to something powerfully great. Bold brushstrokes shimmering unburdened with motion and love. It’s a painting filled with remarkable hope. Resilience, framed not in denial of shadows, but focused on light.

The early landscape impressionists were brilliant at grasping and reflecting humanity’s deep connection to nature. The work of Harris, Thomson, Monet, Carr, eliminates noise and tunes into nature spirit that beckons and unites us all.

They painted during times of illness and grief. Monet painted the famous Water-lily series during a ravaging war. He remained driven to capture fleeting moments of light in his garden, amid, volunteering to help injured soldiers down the road. A man in his 80’s with failing eyesight and a war literally on his doorstep? Who are those ‘fleeting moments in light’ intended for I wonder?

Monet “speculated his paintings might calm strained nerves and offer “an Asylum of peaceful meditation.” (Ross King: Mad Enchantment)

That’s what masterful art does, it illuminates what can be for the viewer. It beckons one to stand at the open door of your own story. To wander boldly in, stay true to your path, celebrate life’s vibrant colour, weather storms and climb mountains. To be brave, seek and share the light.

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Van Gogh, unaccepted by his peers was ridiculed by art critics. He sold only one painting in his lifetime. Talk about anguish, and yet, his resilience in art, with intent of purpose, shines over a century later.

“Theo I am so happy with my paintbox”.

In 1888, ( the year Starry Night over the Rhone at Arles was painted) Van Gogh wrote a personal letter in which he described “a great starlit vault of heaven…one can only call God.”

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love. ”– Claude Monet

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It’s the time of year I tally inventory and see what needs attention. It’s a flurry of activity!  Paintings are lovingly lined up waiting to begin their journey with you. :0)

Most new work are painted entirely with sponges, seen below.

Posted Above: Tundra Valley, Moonlight and Island are all  14×18 oil on canvas

Studio showing sizes & new work ( new small paintings on table at back)

Below: both 8×10 oil on canvas – yet to be titled.

Email to purchase or for details. dawn@dawnbanning.com