I feel there is nothing more artistic than to love people. - Vincent Van Gogh
The artist Vincent van Gogh was born on the 20th of March, 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands.
Vincent had several jobs before he decided to become a full-time artist. He worked as a teacher and minister. He also worked in a bookstore and an art gallery. It wasn't until Vincent was 27 that he made the leap to full-time artist.
Vincent moved to Paris in 1886 at a time when a style of painting called impressionism was becoming popular. Vincent made the move because his brother Theo, who he was very close to, encouraged him.
Many famous painters lived in Paris at this time including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro.
In 1888, Vincent moved to Arles, in the south of France. He was very inspired by the bright colours and sunshine in Arles.
Vincent painted hundreds of paintings during this period of his life, and really developed his distinct style - rough brush strikes of oil paint that made the paintings feel alive.
Unfortunately, Vincent's mental health suffered during this period of his life. He became so obsessed with painting that he would forget to eat and look after himself properly.
After an argument with his friend and fellow artist, Paul Gaugin, Vincent cut off part of his own ear. The people of Arles signed a petition stating that Vincent was dangerous and he went to spend time in a mental healthy hospital.
Unfortunately, Vincent remained very depressed until he died in 1890.
Although Vincent didn't gain fame during his lifetime, today he is considered one of the most influential artists of his time.
During his life, Vincent completed over 2,100 pieces of art, including oil paintings, watercolours, sketches, and drawings!
Van Gogh's paintings are worth millions of dollars today. His painting, Portrait of Dr Gachet (1890) sold for US$82.5 million in 1990!
We are huge fans of Vincent's famous artwork, The Starry Night (1889). We love his distinctive brushstrokes in the artwork and have a really fun project for you to create a similar piece of art using wool to create the same effect of those distinctive brushstrokes!
Make your own Starry Night Artwork
You will need:
1 x A5 black card
a collection of wool and ribbons in yellow, orange and a variety of blues
hot glue gun or PVA glue
To begin, arrange the yellow pompoms on your piece of black card. Glue them down.
Now it's time to get really creative. Cut your wool to various lengths - some longer and some shorter, and start layering them around your piece of card, gluing them down as you go. We used the yellow and orange around the pompoms first, and then started with the various blue
Continue adding wool until you have covered the entire card.
TIP: begin with some longer lengths of wool and create some large swirl shapes to get you started. This will help give you a definite direction to follow.