Day 10: VINCENT AND ARRIVING IN BERLIN


Starry Starry Night,

Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills

In colors on the snowy linen land.

Its 10.50am and I am on a bus to the airport and I feel a bit proud of this morning’s achievements. I got up early and went for my run (walk) around Vondelpark and the canals, came back to the hotel and ate breakfast, showered, packed up my bags and checked out. I was waiting at the Van Gogh Museum when they opened at 9am – spent one hour in there (wish I’d had more), ran across town to the apple shop to buy a replacement charger as I left mine in London. Made it back to the hotel to pick my suitcases up and haul them to the bus stop to catch a 10.30 bus. I managed to make three sketches on the bus as I have been asked to bring some to show my tutor tomorrow. Awesome if I may say so myself.

The Van Gogh Museum was wonderful. I didn’t realize that VanGogh only painted for 10 years, and further to that; all of the highly saturated impasto work we know him for he created in the last 3 years of his life. There seemed to be a distinct shift in his work once he moved to Paris in 1888 and then he died in 1890. What a beautiful, fragile, insightful soul.

This is a little bit random but there is a Dr Who episode where the Tardis lands in Arles in 1890 and the Doctor and Amy befriend Vincent just before his death. I love it and I will forever more think of his character like the one in that episode. 

Artists are always looking for ways to make the optical experience of a painting more sophisticated. I was amazed to see that Vincent crushed glass into a fine dust and sprinkled it over the surface of his painting. This is not visible to the naked eye but the gallery will allow you to observe it through a microscope. I can only imagine that the way the light refracts as it hits the pieces of glass would intensify the luminosity of the painting. I have not known any other artist to do this although I know marble dust is sometimes mixed in with the paint.

Later…
Arriving in Berlin is exciting. Eva is my host and she met me at the apartment to run through the quirks. It’s gorgeous but I am exhausted. A quick trip to the supermarket to grab some dinner – fresh roggenbrot, liverwurst, blueberries and beer – that’ll do. In a state of delirium I devour my purchases and fall asleep as I hit the pillow.


Photos: The door way to the apartment block and the view from my window.

 Lyrics Credit: Don McLean, Vincent, 1971