The Strom Approaches: Essay
The piece of art that I have selected to write about is, "Wheat Field and Cypress Trees," by Vincent van Gogh. The oil painting was created in 1889 and currently resides at The National Gallery, in London.
I was drawn to this particular painting by the atmospheric qualities that are represented in the work. The painting, in my opinion, has a brooding quality to it. It looks as if a violent storm will erupt at any moment and ravage the landscape with the elements.
The painting also makes wonder what might lie beyond its borders. I imagine that, just off to the left, there would be a sloping, jagged cliff that descends into an angry sea. And, to the right, a field that extends as far as the eye can see into a distant mountain range.
From the little that I know about van Gogh's life, like the painting, it always seemed to be on the verge of a new storm. This painting obviously reflected the emotions that van Gogh must have been experiencing.
Just as a writer must choose his or her words carefully to convey a feeling, an artist must choose its subjects with skill and position them in a way that engages the viewer to take in all of the elements, and at the same time, have a few surprises.
In this painting, van Gogh knew the importance of the cypress tree, but did not place it dead center, as that would have blocked the rest of the beautiful landscape and caused the eye to stop there. He wisely used the green of the cypress as the darkest value and repeated that same color sparingly, with a few linear strokes of his brush.
Van Gogh knew the importance of simplicity and let one cypress tree, with beautiful detail, be an expression of nature, rather than cluttering it with a grove of such trees.
In using color, van Gogh lets the colors flow from one part of the painting to another, all with subdued hues. He uses shading through his brush strokes to define and shape the trees, shrubs, and field of whea…