Postmark’d Art, the international group of artists I trade fabric postcards with, just completed a trade with the theme Vincent van Gogh. I now have a fabulous collection of eight pieces of fabric art inspired by a master painter. Here are four of them.
Meta Heemskerk of the Netherlands created two thermofax screens, one from a Dutch postage stamp and a second screen using Dutch words that she associates with van Gogh. She used the screens to print fabric which she then stitched.
Sarah Ann Smith of Maine was inspired by Willows at Sunset. For her, van Gogh is all about color, spontaneity and line. In the fall of 1888 he completed the painting and wrote to his brother
My dear Theo, . . . Everywhere and all over the vault of heaven is a marvelous blue and the sun sheds a radiance of pale sulphur, and it is soft and lovely as the combination of heavenly blues and yellows in a Van der Meer of Delft. I cannot paint it as beautifully as that, but it absorbs me so much that I let myself go.
Suzanna Bond of California painted an old linen tablecloth using acrylic paints. She then cut it up, stitched it and mailed what she called “A Piece of Art.” Here is the full painting before cutting
and here is the piece of art I received
Even here you can see the thick strokes of paint she applied. Can you make out which slice of the portrait I have?
I created a single piece inspired by Starry Night which I cut up as well. I kept #1 of the nine pieces. I wrote about the process here and here. This was actually the second time I have felted a large piece and then cut it up for postcards. I reminisced about the first project — also inspired by van Gogh — here.
I am so fortunate to be a part of this thrilling art community. Postmark’d Art has been going strong since 2004 and, frankly, I think we’re getting better with each trade.
This poem appeared as the daily reading on the Writer’s Almanac May 14th.
On Mondays when the museums are closed
and a handful of guards
look the other way
or read their newspapers
all of the figures
step out of golden frames
to stroll the quiet halls
or visit among old friends.
Picasso’s twisted ladies
to trade secrets
with the languid odalisques of Matisse
while sturdy Rembrandt men
shake the dust
from their velvet tams
and talk shop.
Voluptuous Renoir women
take their rosy children by the hand
to the water fountains
where they gossip
while eating Cezanne’s luscious red apples.
Even Van Gogh
in his tattered yellow straw hat
seems almost happy
on Mondays when the museums are closed.
I’ll share the remaining four postcards next week.