I can´t say that painting is a topic that I´ve always been interested in, or that I´ve dedicated much time to it during my life, but it is true that there are certain works of art that I find especially beautiful (or interesting), and that I´m really fond of.
Among them, there are several pieces by Vincent Van Gogh.
I think this is mainly thanks to a coffee shop that existed years ago in Madrid´s city centre, Van Gogh Café, which my family and I used to visit very frequently, given its lovely atmosphere,, the superb food they offered and the fact that it was located just next to my parents´ apartment. I have very good memories of going to Van Gogh´s when the girls were still little, especially with my parents at lunchtime, and sometimes with the additional company of some of my siblings, siblings in law or nephews and nieces, whoever happened to be in Madrid on those dates. And on a couple of occasions, we also had big celebrations, with the whole family gathered together 🙂
The café was of course decorated with all things Van Gogh, with copies of his best known paintings scattered all over the walls, paper placemats printed with a collection of his many self portraits, and even a reconstruction of one of his scenes, with a real table and two chairs placed next to a big front window. Unfortunately, that venue closed down a few years ago, but the simple style and the vibrant colours of Van Gogh´s paintings stayed in my memory since then.
That´s why I was so happy when I recently got to see some of his paintings at the National Gallery, in London, including the one with the sunflowers (or to be precise, one of them, as he painted several canvases with the sunflowers theme), the chair you can see above, and this landscape with clouds that I didn´t remember seeing before, and that I also found quite cool:
But the clear winner in my opinion is the starry night, a painting that even Lego has paid homage to, and that´s also one of the pieces most highlighted in the interactive exhibition (or as it´s officially called, "the immersive experience") that we visited in Dublin this weekend:
I loved learning a bit more about the life and works of this great painter, who was gifted with very deep sensitivity and an extraordinary talent, both of which sadly came together with a great deal of suffering, as it often happens in the world or artists.
There were several of his quotes that I found really inspiring, like for example:
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
“The heart of man is very much the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.”
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”
And I also remembered that years ago, somebody composed a beautiful song about him, "Vincent", here it is with lyrics in English and Spanish: