The second day in Amsterdam was probably one of my favourite memories. I visited the Van Gogh Museum. I was with my friend Lauren, and luckily we had the iAmsterdam City card which allowed us free entry to the museum. When it comes to visiting different places, I aim to see as many sites as I can, and when I was planning this holiday I was very much so looking forward to seeing the work of Van Gogh himself, as when you see a painting online it doesn’t have the same affect for me personally, as to what it does in person.
Van Gogh is an artist I’ve been inspired by and studied throughout my art and design journey. In my A-Level year, I had a project based on emotions. It was how colour portrays a particular feeling, mood, and atmosphere, whether it be a painting, screen print, photograph. Colour has a huge impact in the art industry, especially textiles. So this lead me to look at ‘Sunflowers’, an amazing painting with so much meaning by Gogh. When studying this painting it opened my eyes to what Gogh went through and how he tried to overcome mental health issues through his painting of sunflowers, using the colour yellow to portray joy and happiness, something Gogh had always wanted to feel during his time dealing with mental health. Sadly, after ‘Sunflowers’ was painted beautifully, with so much meaning, Gogh had died the following year.
I walked into the museum, and it’s just a fascinating building anyway, which made me in awe. I couldn’t stop looking up and around at the building. Mainly based on glass windows, so much light was shining through into the museum. Going through the journey of Gogh’s work, we saw his diary of unpublished work that was nowhere near finished, just some thoughts and ideas. We also saw his early work of those who were working in fields and also of maids. I was inspired and so happy to see the Dutch painters work, who has been an inspiration to me for so long.
Below, are images of ‘Sunflower’. My favourite painting of all time. After studying and looking into the meaning of this, it has had an impact on me. Although pictures weren’t allowed. I took this one photo, it was hard to get to the front to see it, as there were so many people around it. However, I managed to get a photo at least that will stay with me for a very long time. I remember not wanting to take up space, but gladly standing there just looking at this painting. Making sure I didn’t miss any detail.
The last image was shown in the museum shop, where of course, I bought a sunflower painting magnet and a Van Gogh bag that I can now show off as I’m sadly back In Wales. It was amazing to see the use of textiles, the Sunflower was featured on wallapaper, wall hangings, a bag, scarves as you can see on the mannequin. It was fascinating, I just wanted to buy it all! But sadly that would have been all of my euros gone. I do aim to visit again some time soon, so who knows…
We went into another room of Van Gogh’s work, and it was paintings that had been painted over, as you could spot some various brush strokes that didn’t add up into the final painting. This was definitely so pleasant for me and I also saw other work, such as ‘Almond Blossoms’, another favourite, I also saw a series of his self portraits and ‘Skull of skeleton with burning cigarette’. I was tempted to buy a phone case with this design on it! After seeing all of these amazing paintings, unfortunately I didn’t get to see Starry Night, which is another personal favourite. I love the mark making within this piece and all of the brush strokes, oil on canvas is definitely a great way to see the aggression of brush marks that are built up.
I hope to visit again, as I don’t think that going once is enough. I enjoyed my time seeing Gogh’s work as he is definitely influential, despite his mental illness, he still loved the life he had. To keep his memory alive I hope to do a project based on his techniques and colour schemes.