Go See Van Gogh


Something warm, something cozy, and something sexy. Nope, this isn’t my Christmas wish list; it’s the requirements for the future paint color of our bedroom.

The Mom bought a new house and, along with our two granddaughters, moved out weeks ago, leaving our entire upstairs empty. After living in our own basement for the last six and a half years, the great remodeling has now begun! Well, almost.

First, we must get rid of all that popcorn ceiling, and because no one wants to help scrape popcorn off ceilings (by “we,” I really mean me).

Second, we must decide on the correct warm, cozy, and sexy paint color for our bedroom. And by “we,” I really mean “The Wife.” So, to get inspired we went to see the master of color: Vincent van Gogh. This time “we” means The Wife, our two granddaughters and me.

Why would you bring a seven- and eight-year-old to an art display? Because every time we do, it’s a transformative event for them. The girls have been going with us to museums for years, and they behave and engage at those exhibitions like nowhere else.

So, when The Wife saw that a Van Gogh exhibition was coming just south of Atlanta, she bought tickets. Housed in the historic Pullman Yard until January, the 20,000-square-foot spectacular immersion renders a 360-degree display of his greatest works. In a word, it’s amazing.

In a huge, two-story room, Van Gogh’s works are projected not only on the walls, but also travel around the ceiling and floor. Considered to be truly a “tortured” artist, the history of Van Gogh stretches floor to ceiling by way of the ever-changing laser light display.

And through the entire half-hour show, our two granddaughters sat almost perfectly still … completely mesmerized by the genius of color that is Van Gogh. Over his last ten years of life, he completed over 900 paintings! That’s an average of a new painting every 36 hours – an amazing feat for anyone, especially someone who was color-blind.

And for all you tortured artists out there, here’s an interesting fact. As masterful as he was, Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was alive. His greatness was only appreciated after his death.

The Wife said she thought what made him so great was that he painted what no others could see but still was always there. For example, Starry Night, considered his most famous work, was the view he painted while gazing out the barred windows of an asylum (now called a psychiatric hospital) he had checked himself into.

His view, his painting, resembles a time-lapse picture of a clear star-filled night sky. Van Gogh truly had seen what no other had. No matter what anyone else sees, continue to paint, draw, sculpt or create what you see. And if others don’t appreciate it, no worries. Like Van Gogh, you could be the next master in the making.

What warm, cozy, and sexy color did we finally choose for our bedroom after leaving the Van Gogh Immersive Experience? I’ll give you a hint; the title of this column was going to be Color Me Purple.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001.]