I think anyone can recognise a Van Gogh painting. I’m no expert in any sense of the word, but there is most definitely something that carries a unique style or signature about his work.
The colours are very vivid and the swirling brush strokes all seem to scream Van Gogh. I’ve even seen modern day artists paint things in his style, mimicking the same presentational flair of swirling vibrant colours. A picture of Batman (comic hero) on a U.S. city roof top. It is obviously a cheesy and comical take, but the tribute is there. “Oh a Van Gogh style,” we say humorously.
The first time I remember seeing a Van Gough painting was the Sun Flowers. I had heard the name like many other late artists' names. They were names that meant nothing because I did not know a painting or style belonging to any of them. But this was the very first time I could put a picture to the artist known as Van Gogh. It was the Sun Flowers. I was so unimpressed at the time. I could not appreciate the bright colours or any of it for it seemed juvenile to me.
I was an ordinary secondary school lad with impressions of epic and panoramic battle scenes like Waterloo paintings or Trafalgar. There were comic books in every news agents with graphic packed boy orientated battle stories. How on earth could people like this Van Gogh painting of, what looked like, infantile sun flowers?
Then as time went on and the years rolled by, I came of age and saw many things in a different perspective. Van Gogh slowly dawned upon me. I began to see other paintings of his and was still unimpressed, but I began to notice the style and also learn something of the man. Gradually, (I honestly don’t know when) Van Gogh happened to me. I just began to look at his many paintings and realised how wonderful and full of colourful life they really were.
Today I get great pleasure from looking at his paintings. I don’t know the names of them all because it is unimportant to me. I just know his style and feel that little twinge of delight when seeing his pictures (or paintings for the more seasoned Van Gogh fans.)
Above is one of my favourite Van Gogh paintings.