Yun Yi's Stuff

“Starry Night” – A Thanksgiving Note to Van Gogh

Posted on: November 29, 2013

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on can...
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night. Oil on canvas, 73×92 cm, 28¾×36¼ in. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had an evening class the day before Thanksgiving day. One 10 year-old girl was painting acrylic, another three younger ones (about 7 year-old) were doing collages by using construction paper. One boy got tired of collage, so I just let him do whatever he felt like. He said without thinking: “I am going to draw ‘Starry Night'”. He looked at me.

“‘Starry Night?'”

“Yes.” He said.

“Yes, ” another girl Rachel Liu immediately responded, “I love that picture!”

“Are you guys talking about Van Gogh’s painting?”

“YES!” 3 of them “yelled” at me at the same time. Then they told me they had school projects that were based on this painting and they all enjoyed them very much.

I was “amused” by how they liked such a “profound” masterpiece, considering how many adults don’t even “understand” it. So I asked Rachel: “Do you really like that picture?”

“Yes, I like it!” She answered without hesitation.


“???… eh…” She thought a little moment, “I don’t know.” She said with a little shyness.

“But you do like it. I mean, you LOVE it, right?”

“Yes.” She looked at me, nodded her little head determinedly.

The boy was anxiously waiting for the conversation to end. He asked me: “I want to drawing ‘Starry Night’, do you have it?”

I immediately checked my Van Gogh books but found it was not there. So I rushed to my computer and printed it from online. When I brought the picture to classroom, they all cheered up loudly: “That’s the one!”

The boy’s recreating “Starry Night” did not succeed, because there was not enough time. Before he left class, I asked him if he wanted the print of “Starry Night”, he looked at me surprisingly: “really? I can have it?”

“Yes, of course!”

He grabbed the print with great joy and thanked me.

That night, the night before thanksgiving, I found myself keeping thinking of Van Gogh. I realized, despite the fact that Van Gogh was not accepted at his time, and he was still not “understood” by millions adults now and then, he nonetheless touched these children’s hearts. And from these children’s eyes, I know it was joy they received from his painting.

Thanks Vincent! How I wish there’s a way to let you know about this.Enhanced by Zemanta

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