van Gogh Up Close: with Hillary

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Hillary and I have been friends since we shared a parenting class together at Gladwyne Montessori for our then four and six month old babies.  That was 15 years ago!

Hillary is probably one of the most understated people I know.  I knew her for several years before I learned she can play about 150 musical instruments.  I guess she just forgot to mention it.

Something that Hillary and I share is a love for art.  We have been going to the Philadelphia Art Museum together for years.  In the beginning we would only take our big boys.  Then later we started bringing the younger kids.  We would always start out the visit with a trip to the museum store, where we would let the kids each pick a post card with a painting currently on exhibit at the Museum.  Then we all went on a scavenger hunt to find the paintings from the postcards they picked.

Now that we have a herd of teenagers who are embarrassed to be seen with us, Hillary and I are our own company at the Museum.  It is always fun with Hillary.   van Gogh just happens to be one of Hillary’s all time favorite artist.

van Gogh Up Close will be at the Philadelphia Art Museum until May 6, 2012.  I found the show very informative.  I knew van Gogh was a little crazy, but I didn’t know experts are now hypothesizing that van Gogh’s death was not a suicide.  The new theory in the book Van Gogh: The Life, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith is that two young drinking companions accidentally shot him.

My favorite painting “Wheat Field in Rain” was a rain soaked landscape that van Gogh painted looking out from his hospital window.  You can almost smell the rain in the painting.

My husband found the painting “Undergrowth with a Couple” incredibly creepy.

I have actually seen this exhibit three times.  The first time was with my husband and our friend Gary, the second time was also with my husband and our daughter Grace and last, but not least was with my good friend HillaryI highly recommend it.

Shelli Alford is an artist and author, who enjoys learning from master oil painters from around the world and reviewing their classes, workshops and demonstrations.

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