It is amazing what we can learn from history and people who achieved extraordinary accomplishments in a time with no technology, no modern conveniences or tools.
Recently, my family and I took a day to visit the VanGogh exhibit in Ottaway, Ontario, Canada.
A great educational tool for my 11 year old son, I thought. (And it was).
What surprised yours truly is that after I unplugged by ‘berry and plugged in the audio accompaniment to the exhibit, I became overwhelmed thinking of what it took to produce such fine works of art.
I remember what most people do about VanGogh – the ear thing…and I knew he was a great artist, but I either had forgotten his story or was not listening when presented as a youngster (entirely possible).
What I took away from the 2.5 hours and the hundreds of works of art were some pretty significant lessons for my day to day. Here are the 6 lessons I took from the exhibit. If you get the chance – go!!
1. Persistence – Did many things until he started painting. Was an art dealer, did book sales, was a preacher – all before turning to painting at the age of 27. How many of us, or of youth today think they have to make up their mind what they want to do by 20, let alone 27. What he accomplished as an artist happened after that stage of his life.
2. Overcome obstacles – 2 of the toughest – depression and mental illness. Although succumbed at 47 years he had a strong sense of creation and celebration of life while he was alive, and was able to leave a legacy that astounds hundreds of years later.
3. Productivity. In 15 years as an artist, he produced approx. 900 paintings, each one representing a theme or event in his life. Talk about focus, that is 1 painting every 6 days for 15 years. Wow!
4. Learning – very influenced by Japanese art, early photography and other artistic works from Rembrandt and others. Represents how valuable it can be to learn from others.
5. Attention to detail. Not being an art aficionado, it amazed me how much detail each of his works had. The smallest part of gardens, smallest detail , looking to amplify their beauty through tremendous attention to detail.
6. Perspective/depth. Mr. Van Gogh loved using the front to back and playing with perspectives. In life, seeing different perspectives other than our own can help us be better at whatever we want – parenting, business, relationships etc.
I never in a hundred years would have thought that visiting the art exhibit would have such an impact. Truth be told, I probably never would have gone if it were not so important for my family to go.
Thanks to them, I am better as a person and for my work at STAK Fitness. Thank you Mr. VanGogh.
More on the VanGogh exhibit in Ottawa – http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/exhibitions/current/details/van-gogh-up-close-70