The Happiness of Art Masthead
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
For most people, the name Vincent van Gogh brings to mind a few highly sought-after paintings like The Starry Night and Sunflowers, the song "Vincent" by "American Pie" singer Don Mclean [listen], or the time-worn cliché of a mad artist who cut off his own ear to impress a woman.

But when was the last time you actually looked at a van Gogh painting? I mean really looked closely?

Last summer, my daughter and I had the opportunity to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Art Institute of Chicago, both of which, at the time, were featuring van Gogh exhibits.

I took a photo of van Gogh's Self-Portrait (1887) with my phone (see below; click to zoom). Standing only inches away from a famous painting I've "seen" a hundred times, but never experienced up close or in person, well… it left an impression, as it were.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
While I never excelled in art history at school, I can certainly appreciate the Pointillist-influenced style; the brush strokes and texture of paint; the masterful use of color and application of a technique my old illustration professor used to call 'color jumping'.

Van Gogh had a long history of painting self portraits. Here they are, in chronological order.

Some of my favorite works by van Gogh are from his Montmartre series, especially his paintings of Le Moulin de la Galette, which were made in 1886 and feature a windmill in the historic Montmartre district in Paris's 18th arrondissement. (The windmill, though it has been moved and restored, is still standing. Here's another artist's version of the same windmill for reference.)
I recently did a quick watercolor study based on van Gogh's version (you can see his original by clicking on mine, below)…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
My wife and I have always had a soft spot in our hearts for the Montmartre district, and Place du Tertre Square in particular, where artists set up tables on the street to draw and paint. (Doing that myself some day holds a prominent spot on my bucket list.)

So how do you pronounce van Gogh? Well, it depends. American's tend to say van-GO, while the British pronounce it van-GOFF. But Vincent was Dutch, so… read this.

You can now explore the world’s largest online collection of works by Vincent van Gogh via the Van Gogh Museum and, thanks to the Google Cultural Institute's Art Project, you can also explore the artist's work in detail here. (Be sure to zoom in.) 

Van Gogh wrote many letters during his relatively short life, most of which you can now view online. The easy accessibility of thousands of the artist's letters, drawings and paintings have made it possible for others to bring his work to life with 3D animation and visual mapping.
There's also an amazing new hand-painted film currently being made about the artist called Loving Vincent, which features 12 oil paintings per second by 100+ painters. Artists who wish to participate in the making of the film can apply here. [View trailer – definitely worth the click.]
Vincent van Gogh produced more than 2,000 pieces of art during his lifetime, including approximately 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches. He died in the summer of 1890 at the age of 37; his final words were, "The sadness will last forever."

The next time you see a van Gogh, stop... and look closer. Take some time and learn about the artist. Read about his struggles with mental illness, his letters to his brother, the vast body of work he left behind, and the mystery surrounding his alleged suicide. (There is compelling evidence suggesting he may have been murdered.)

Look closer. You'll better appreciate the many qualities which make the artist, and his work, so extraordinary.
"There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." 
–Vincent van Gogh
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig.
Bits, Bytes & Nybbles,
culled from the depths of the Internet…

Harvard studied people for 75 years & found that happiness comes from one thing... • Now you can have a Diet Coke bottle unlike anyone else. (No two bottles are the same. Here's how they do it.) • Learn how to market your company on Instagram. • Using a pen and paper, this guy does something only 12 people in the world can • Here's an absolutely beautiful map of Mars, hand-drawn by a cartographer using NASA data.
"A Wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present. But you… You ARE YOU! And, now isn't that pleasant!" 
–Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Dr. Seuss would have turned 112 this past Wednesday, March 2nd. If you'd like a free Dr. Seuss font like the one I used above, simply click on the birthday cake!

PS: When you click, you'll see two, different Seuss fonts like this…
Click one or both of the small, grey "Download" buttons like the ones circled in red (not the big, green download button at the top of the page.) Enjoy!
"Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry." 
–Dr. Seuss
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig.
"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." 
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
The winner of February's print giveaway will be notified via email today, so be sure to check your inbox. A matted, limited edition print like the one pictured below will be shipped when I hear back. Congratulations!
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Don't feel bad if you didn't win this time – all subscribers have a chance to win, each and every month. (See details of the new March print giveaway below.)
"Normality is a paved road: It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it." 
–Vincent van Gogh

March Print Giveaway

My Garden Fine Art Print

Everything Beautiful

This print started out as many do — a gift for one of my children.

  • SIZE: Artwork is 10 x 10 inches, matted to 8 x 8 inches (fits in 12 x 12 inch frame).
  • EDITION: Artist proof.
  • MATERIALS: Hand-signed, limited edition, Giclée fine art print, matted but unframed.
  • PAPER: Printed on Hahnemuhle William Turner — a 310g, acid-free, natural white, mould-made paper with 100% rag content (highly archival).
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   Until Next Week…

Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.

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Photograph of D.E.Uhlig

About Me

Hi. I’m D.E.Uhlig. I’m an artist, author, husband and father.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Years ago I gave my wife a hand-drawn card for our anniversary, and she loved it so much she made me promise to ALWAYS hand-draw her cards. Then our three kids made me promise to do the same with their birthday cards. And when I posted some of my drawings online, people began asking how they could purchase my work—so I created this newsletter. I believe in something I like to call “The Happiness of Art” and I hope it makes you smile.

Official Bio

D.E.Uhlig is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor, University Daily Kansan, Editorial Humor Magazine, and World Policy Journal. Commercial illustration and design clients over the years have included Samsung, Sprint, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, among others—and his Starbucks RedCup illustrations have been featured on the company's Pinterest and Facebook pages. In 1989, Mr. Uhlig co-founded Uhlig LLC, a leading provider of cross-media publishing and communication services in industries ranging from residential housing to book publishing to cancer care. Mr. Uhlig is married with three children and resides in Kansas City. He is currently working on children’s books, ebooks and apps.

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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.

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