This is not the first time I tried to copy van Gogh’s masterpieces using colored-pens. The first time dates back to one year ago, in those summer days during vacation. Mind refreshed by some books, I decided one day to draw the longtime-appreciated The Starry Night.
One can be astounded by the energetic strokes, the vibrant turbulence and the great power of hallucination upon seeing this work, even without knowing what is what. And I started copying without knowing what is what. It was merely an imitation. Precisely measured proportion and sizes, closely observed colors. After a few days, it became even a little tedious as the brightness of colored pens could hardly reach the dark-toned oil paint. It was my true love for this drawing that encouraged me to continue where I left it. After finishing it, I felt I was able to recall every bit of the original.
But not until now do I get a deeper insight into this piece.
This summer vacation when I visit aircraft manufacturing corporations, I have plenty of time to return to my beloved copying. This time, I read as I drew.
Going through van Gogh’s personal experience, I get to know his paintings are not always like what it feels in The Starry Night. Broken dreams, sheer loneliness and total fail in every aspect of life came to him one by one. And his paintings went from fine art for practicing to harmony in motion for expression.
The Starry Night was painted after he went to mental hospital at his own will. Though living a hard life, he constantly discovered new motifs he loved, like later the cypresses. I now know the dark-brown and black flame trying restlessly upward to touch the sky, is actually a cypress or, some cypresses, entangled. The tiny quiet town could not stand against the mighty crazy night sky – the force of nature.
Indeed, copying artwork cuddled in an air-conditioned cozy room, is much too little. With some knowledge of van Gogh’s artistic development, I undertook to draw The Church In Auvers. Again, a picture of night, all the colors toned down. Using my one-year-old colored-pen-skill, I managed to fill the whole A4 paper with colors. Almost everywhere on the church and on the lawn, firstly there places a layer of silver gray, then the main color or color mixture, finally a layer of gray by pencil to further darken it down if necessary.
The ultramarine blue skies spread over, without stormy clouds, without enlarged stars, without ever-shining sun-like moon, only pure tranquil ultramarine blue. And I don’t know why I don’t have to lay the color gray on the sand road, while leave somewhere white and elsewhere sulphurous yellow. Where does the light come from I don’t know. Maybe from where he stood.
Being close to nature as much as possible was his only way of living at this moment between sudden fits. And he said:" To suffer without complaining is the only lesson one should learn in this life."