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Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Letter to Vincent Van Gogh

This is coming out late Sunday night instead of this afternoon because I have been loosing my mind for hours as I tried to deal with the government and their complicated programs. Without an ART ANGEL who came to my rescue I could never have finished. Now, thanks to all the people who commented on my last email with the El Chapultepec painting. Yes, the painting will be in the book that I am finishing.

In these days of stress and confinement I have been daydreaming as a way to revive creativity. This brought up the idea of sending a letter to Vincent Van Gogh. How would I do it and what would I say? I decided to paint one of his favorite subjects, the sunflower, and then I painted a postage stamp in the upper right hand corner with one of his self portraits. I know I can't really send this to Vincent so I am sending it to all of you and asking you to take some time and daydream about what you would say if you could send him a letter. Remember daydreaming is good for the spirit and especially good for recharging creativity.

Van Gogh's portrait was fun to paint and I really tried to show some of the brush strokes that are so characteristic of his paintings. The sunflower is surrounded by different greens to compliment its red-orange center and the yellow and gold leaves surround the center in the same way Vincent's yellow straw hat surrounds his head and face. I added cobalt violet, cerulean blue, and red to the green leaves so they didn't get to boring and then created designs to show rhythm and suggest movement. I mixed violet with the yellow petals for the shadow shapes and used yellow ochre and different violets for the large stem. This painting kept me occupied for more than a week and it was a lot more rewarding than watching the news. Take my advice and spend some time day dreaming about writing a letter to Vincent and what you would say to that heroic artist. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

Watercolor Artist's Blog by Dennis Pendleton

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