My long time friend, Drew Davis, asked that I submit a favorite painting for discussion on his art blog. I am pleased and honored to do so. As a former art teacher, choosing one piece of art was difficult. My comments below are a reaction to seeing this particular painting for the first time in a gallery. There is, by the way, no substitute for seeing the actual art work.
Wheat Field with Crows by Vincent van Gogh
I saw ‘Wheat Field with Crows’ for the first time at the St Louis Art Museum, during a special Vincent van Gogh exhibit. As I entered the room and looked to my left, I saw this breathtakingly beautiful painting, ‘Wheat Field with Crows’ by Vincent van Gogh.
The wheat field glowed with light and warmth. It was lovely and vibrant like a sunny garden after the rain and gave me a sense of joy. The color of the field was so rich and intense that the crows flying directly at the viewer and the hovering storm clouds – were of no consequence to me. The beauty of the picture seemed to overpower the agitation and symbolism in the sky. For me, the crows and clouds seem to frame the picture and punctuate the vibrancy and life of the painting.
‘Wheat Field with Crows’ was painted during the last weeks of van Gogh’s life, a life that ended sadly from suicide. One can only speculate on his frame of mind and the relationship of this picture to his final days and final decision. Had a turbulent storm in his life just passed and raindrops intensified the color or was the storm brewing?
Vincent van Gogh was a brilliant and visionary artist. He saw the world differently. He saw people, things and nature teeming with energy, passion and great beauty. Van Gogh was uniquely gifted in being able to share his vision and its beauty with the world.
Margo McNeil is the Missouri State Representative for District 78. She is an artist, a former Art Teacher and the play group mom for my 1980 playgroup.