Fifteenth and final installment “Le Cafe de Nuit” ( the Night Cafe ) by Van Gogh
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Ben

Yes. I’m afraid so too, but I wouldn’t have tried otherwise because it’s outside of my comfort zone.  I just needed it so I had no other avenue.  

 

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Ben

I’m including a picture of the actual frame on the original painting- which I saw in 2016.  

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CollieFeathers

I like your more impressionistic frame better than the full size one. Suits the painting more.

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Ben

This isn’t complete.  I’m happy with progress, but going to continue work on the frame. I’ve struggled a bit with color.  I got it partly right but the darker shades keep eluding me.  But I thought I’d show that not everything goes to plan.  I also frankly made the frame too wide compared to the original- so it overwhelms the painting, but this is part of the learning curve I guess. I will post further.  I don’t think of it as being hypercritical but rather to be honest with myself, because I would suppose that everyone who makes miniatures is the same. You are always aiming for the perfection.  Falling short is human, but we still aim for that ideal, which I’m well aware can’t fully be achieved.  

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WeekendMiniaturist

The Frame looks good, you are making good progress.   You may want to consider trying your color / staining experiments on uncarved wood.  The original frame is strange to me, as it looks barn weathered and not finished at all, as my fussy expectations for a frame would be, for a masterpiece hanging in a museum.

My Grandmother was a painter and she participated in the Artistic Community in New Mexico when I was in my teenage years.  She loved barn weathered wood for her frames, and while the original is carved ornately for this Van Gogh, it doesn't appear to be finished, it appears to the weathered.... this is a whole other set of techniques.  Noel & Pat Thomas are the experts on weathered techniques in our miniature community... if you go back to the KC Toy and Miniature Museum, they have one of their structures on display, and then you can read their articles in Nutshell News or read Pat's blog...

http://www.thomasopenhouse.com/

If these techniques are of interest to study, the model railroaders have lots of articles and publications on weathering... I even have one of their books somewhere in my piles of books, so may find some useful info at your library.

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Ben

Yes I’ll look into it.  I’m going to do some more work on it.  I’ll see how it evolves.  I need to let it fully dry before next approach.  I’m going to go to the t&m museum this week to check it out.  Ironic isn’t it?  I’m just getting started in miniature world and The toy & miniature museum is right in my town.  I have a fiend at work can’t understand why I paint so small - I tell him I can’t paint large!  I just can’t do it.  It requires so much preparation.  Minis are instant gratification.  You can work on the sky and then move onto the ground and move on to figures all in the same hour.  And it’s cheap!  Very little paint and medium used. 

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Ben

I’m getting a little closer but still not satisfied 

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WeekendMiniaturist

(Selfishly) I am glad you only want to paint in miniature!  Someday when you are famous miniaturist, we can say we watched your talents blossom on the FMF.

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Ben

I’m getting to a close of “The Night Cafe” by the great Vincent Van Gogh.  I’ll post once I get a chance to take a decent picture of it.  I don’t know how much more I’ll work on the frame, I kind of like it now the way it is and I’m getting the bug to start a new painting.  

I really came to appreciate Night Cafe even more than I had and I didn’t think it was possible.  Of course as a teenager I was in complete awe of it and I’ll never get that back, but now I have more mature appreciation.  

I had at least one regret on it.  The two things that gave me a lot of pleasure on the original were the shadow under the pool table, and the curtain to the back room. 

I loved the shape of the curtain opening and I regret to say I didn’t get it right, so I’ll have to cut off my ear for that one.  

 But I like my adaptation of his shadow under the billiard table - of course it’s not good enough but I admired his so much, I could have swam in it with my eyes, that to think I got to have a hand at it was a great treat that I suppose few people get to experience so I’m grateful to God for that!

I’m debating now what to paint next.    I’d like to paint “Starry Night “ but only so I could get it out of the way, which isn’t probably a very good reason.  I’ve seen the real one twice, and couldn’t get a straight shot at it (picture) because of the crowd.  I like it, but not as much as others paintings of his.

 Ironically with Night Cafe, I was the only one there!  Me and the guard that is.

 I think if I ever get a chance to see it again I’ll pull it off the wall and hang it in my family room.  It really deserves someone to appreciate it.  They’d better put up some more guards.  

Van Gogh wrote that he thought it was an ugly painting, and if you agree with him you’ll be in good company.  

But if you want to be right you’ll have to agree with me that it’s probably his best.  I know he had to be proud of that pool table and shadow!

 

 

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Ben

This is the finished painting. Thanks for the interest in it.  My purpose in this was just to show my particular process for anyone who might be interested in how I would do it.

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CollieFeathers

It's absolutely stunning. And I think the frame is perfect for the painting. Thank you for sharing your process.

"Cafe Terrace" is one of my favorites. Hint Hint. Have been intending to get a print of that piece (real size) frame it and hang it.

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Ben

Thank you so much for the compliment.  I like cafe terrace too and ironically I have a print of it!  I think my wife bought it years ago.  Maybe I’ll paint it one of these days

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Wm. R. Robertson

I got to see this painting today and meet Ben. His painting skills really capture the brush strokes Van Gogh.

I look forward to seeing how his work progresses.

Bill

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WeekendMiniaturist

I hope we get to see more of Ben's paintings on the FMF...  

 

 

 

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