I discovered if you search Vincent van Gogh’s paintings using the word “undergrowth” rather than, say, trees or forest, the results are paintings that remind me more of Klimt‘s forests than a Van Gogh, for example, these four at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He was in Paris at the time he did the one below, so no surprise really they also remind me of Monet.
”It had struck me how firmly the saplings were rooted in the ground – I started on them with the brush, but because the ground was already impasted, brush-strokes simply vanished into it. Then I squeezed the roots and trunks in from the tube and modelled them a little with the brush.”
Letter to Theo van Gogh, 3 September 1882
Every now and then I think my long-time love of Van Gogh’s paintings might have worn thin, only to find paintings new to me, fresh inspiration and a reminder of what I so enjoy — the colour, the mark making, the determination. You’d think I might have realised by now I’ll never stop learning from his paintings and drawings because as my painting develops what I see and learn changes. This week it was “undergrowth”. Look at that glow of a shaft of sunlight in the painting below for starters!