Monday, April 25, 2011

Branching out into Simplicity

Hello, Jill K. Berry here. I am branching out by finding simplicity in my sketchbook.

Many years ago I saw a small painting of Van Gogh's in the Courtauld Gallery in London called "Woman at a Window". This small painting struck me, the very few strokes he used to create such a narrative. I stood for a long time and studied it, and all these years later I still am inspired by its simplicity.

Since I am going to teach in Italy in September, and because the everyday in Italy always inspires a narrative for me, stories of riches, I worked with that subject all week, and wrote haiku to go with the sketches. Enjoy!

Follow a holy man
Shrouded in linen dark black
Aged faith pure white

Don't miss anything
Stalwart and dedicated.
Cook, clean, shop and spy.

It looks romantic
The shape and craft of your broom
And the shape of you

Dreamy light falls on
The finely dressed seed thrower
Feathered fans gather.
For more Haiku my Heart, visit Recuerda Mi Corazon.


  1. Italy has such a profound place in my heart; you have captured its essence so beautifully!

  2. These are all so charming! I love the simplicity of each piece. I love a loose painting, and it inspires me to practice this method.

  3. Ack! I am trying to learn Italian! I am hoping to go a year from now. Keep up your blog while you are there--I should be taking a class in July, so maybe I'll even understand what you are saying.

  4. The simplicity of line makes the light seem stronger. It reminds me of what my lecturer said, make every line count - and they do.

  5. Stunning! Italy is one of the places I love most, and you captured the feel of the people so well with these paintings. They are just lovely.

  6. Your simple sketches are so inspiring; I would love to try this technique.
    An art question for anyone here:
    Why do you suppose Van Gogh painted over the face? It appears to me he went back in and "painted the details out"? Is there an explanation re: simplicity? Or was his inspiration more about his feelings toward the woman in the painting?
    At any rate, I can understand how this work pulls you back to it time and again!

  7. A lovely post with beautiful images. I love the women in the window.

  8. WOW!! How moving! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Beautiful paintings and haikus. Love the man in black.
    I'm currently living in Italy - moved here at the end of October 2010 - and going through the ups and downs of a wild adventure of reclaiming land and a home that was my parents and hasn't been lived in since 1987!
    Wish I could join you, but I think I will have my hands full....


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