Friday, October 19, 2012

Van Gogh and Yarn

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Denver Art Museum to consult with them on a project for the Becoming Van Gogh Exhibit that opens there tomorrow.  It seems that the brilliant painter and colorist used balls of yarn in his color studies.  Who knew?

 A  red lacquer tea caddy containing small amounts of yarns wound together with what is a recognizably Van Gogh sense of color and balance was found among his belongings in his studio.  The original box is in the collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.  Above is the replica  my husband and I created in our studio.

This was truly a labor of love.  After meeting with the DAM committee and having the opportunity to  analyze photos of the box and it's contents, I spent some time winding sample balls of yarn from my stash to show them how their display department could accomplish this same look.  I came back to the studio bubbling with excitement;  Van Gogh, arguably one of history's greatest colorists, actually used yarn as a way to  explore the mysteries of color interplay! 

My husband Gary, a painter and faux finish artist himself, caught my enthusiasm.  Having long  created boxes as upcycled art pieces, he pulled the perfect container from his collection and proceeded to transform it.  Photos of that amazing process are below.  From modern French wine box to 100 year old aritist's tool in a few hours.....

 And then I got to wind some balls of yarn and place them inside.  What an outstandingly cool way to play with color, don't you think?   The artistic process never ceases to amaze me.