how do you explain van gogh’s swirls to an ordinary house painter?

Posted: May 30, 2007 in All and Sundry, Art Attacks, Musings, Random Observations

hmmm…. tough question it is. here’s how we did it.

last sunday, i went to my friend’s house to show her how to paint van gogh’s abstract impressionist swirls on the walls of her son’s new room. the new house they’re currently building is almost done, except that they haven’t started painting the room walls yet.

her son wanted a combination of orange and yellow swirls on the walls of his room. but not swirls that form a particular definite pattern. this she told me after i suggested a pollock design that can be found in boysen’s new decoret collection. when i suggested van gogh’s sky in starry night, she nodded and said: “that’s it!” except that the color shouldn’t be blue but orange and yellow to connote sunset hues.

so when i showed her how to do the swirls, after i also suggested other techniques like monet’s daubs among others, she liked the swirls. she called the house painter, a short stocky man in his late 30s who was covered with a rainbow of paints, to watch my demonstration.

after watching me, the man nodded, gave a lopsided smile that looked more like a smirk and said: “aah! kaya na! (that’s doable!).”

“so, kaya? can you do it? do you understand how to do the swirls?” i asked, looking for a bit of confirmation aside from a smirk.

“yes!” the man said. “kana diay murag binuang lang. (it’s like crazy swirls. no pattern at all). ”

“yes, sort of.” my friend said trying so hard to make it sound simple.

the truth is, it’s not easy explaining how to paint a van gogh swirl. you don’t tell a “simple” house painter that he’s supposed to do an abstract impressionist technique, right?

the painter looked at us with a wide smile and quipped: “that’s easy. i’m going to bring my kids here to help me paint those swirls.”

i decided to not say anything after that. knowing that i am an obsessive compulsive when it comes to painting rooms or what-not, i might end up volunteering to paint the room myself or worse, end up suggesting that i watch the house painter closely when he starts painting the room. 🙂

  1. thysz says:

    i love the painter’s suggestion. kids evoke, somehow, van gogh’s spontaneity in painting and i would love to see how the kids’ energy will translate to art, or a wall decor for that matter! Ciao! firdt time here! nice blog!

  2. mebuyan says:

    haha. yes, his suggestion to bring kids is good. but when you’re building a house and trying to budget your paint, sometimes you can’t help but make sure you don’t waste your paint because that means another cash out for you. my friends and i just wanted to be practical and make sure she gets her money’s worth.:-)
    it’s another story if that were my house. i would have allowed the painter to bring kids and wouldn’t worry about the outcome.

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