Monthly Archives: February 2016

Van Gogh’s Bedrooms

VanGoghBedroom
The Art Institute representation of Bedroom in Arles

Vincent Van Gogh only inhabited this earth for 37 years, and in that time, he lived in 37 different places. That could be why,  when he got to Arles and finally signed a lease on a little house of his own, the theme of home emerged so gloriously in his work. Of course, he had represented places where he’d lived before then. But after arranging his house in Arles, he painted his bedroom not once, but three different times. You may think you’ve seen his famous bedroom painting if you’ve been to Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Another person might claim he saw it in the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, while a third would insist she’s seen it at the Art Institute of Chicago.

They would all be right. However, right now all three versions are being exhibited—side by side—at the Art Institute through May 10, 2016. This is the first time all three have been exhibited together in North America. This show has been ten years in the making

Van Gogh tried many lines of work, only realizing he was an artist the last 10 years of his life. In that 10 year span, he painted 900 canvases.

There’s so much to love about this exhibit. Many pieces by Van Gogh, Milliet, and others put the piece in context. There’s a re-creation of his bedroom that you can walk up to, though not into.

NightCafe
The Night Café by Vincent Van Gogh

The biggest surprise for me was in the last room, just before you get to the gift shop. Plan to spend a little time in the Night Café, which is set up to suggest a café in Arles where Van Gogh sometimes hung out. It doesn’t function at all like an actual café, but it does play a wonderful video loop which shows the many, many ways Van Gogh was celebrated in other media, especially film, television, by other artists, and in comics. And yes, the Doctor Who episode (the one that always makes me weep like a tiny little girl) was represented.

 

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Readings for Black History Month…and after

 

I’ve read a few things that remind me that we Americans are not done, that there’s plenty of work needed to make our country live up to its stated ideals.

Internet articles:

Books:

 

I still want/need to read the following books:

 

Yes, I know there are more books I could (and should) read, and if you have something in particular to recommend, please share it in the comments.

I also know that reading alone won’t get me/us there. That requires action. But reading can enlighten us, inspire us, and set us on the path.

 

Another Stinking Badge

They made a new badge on 750words.com and I’ve earned it!

At some point in the last couple of months, the lovely and talented Kellianne (or maybe her lovely and talented spouse, Buster) introduced a new badge for those who have written 1 million words. They call it the mega flock. I’m not sure when I received it; I just noticed it the other day.

Previous readers of this blog may remember that I threw a party to celebrate my millionth (verifiable) written word way back in August of 2014, but 750 Words didn’t have the badge then.

1M_Words_Badge
Here’s what it looks like

I love stinking badges and other silly ways to gamify any improvement in my work habits. Thanks again, Kellianne and Buster, for keeping me on task.

For those of you who don’t know what 750words.com is, or what it purports to do, I talk about it here.

You can find the 750 Words site here.