WIP Wednesday: Van Gogh scarf

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Vincent van Gogh, Almond Blossoms. 1890. Oil on canvas. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Source

This one is going to be a WIP for a while. I am attempting to emulate Vincent van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms painting in a scarf which, for the moment, means that I am making a blue scarf that will eventually have lots of flower appliqués on it. The base scarf is my bus-crochet project, since I don’t have to think much about what I am doing because it is just rows of double crochet stitches. What I’m trying to decide now is how to make the flowers.

When looking at the painting, the flowers appear to be almost white; however, after doing a little research on some of the preservation issues facing many of van Gogh’s paintings for another post I wrote, I thought that maybe the blossoms had originally been pink, but the red pigment has since faded. Being as anal as I am, I had to look up what real almond blossoms look like. As you can see, they are dark pink in the center and pale pink to white in the petals. The center also has a distinct greenish, star-shaped sepal (I think that’s the sepal…) around the pistil and stamens. From what I’ve read, almond blossoms are generally white, though some can be pink.

(Apologies for the excessive use of photo filters on the collage above– apparently I am less perceptive of yellow tones when I am half asleep on the bus in the morning). I found a nice sky blue yarn at Michael’s, and last night, I experimented with four different iterations of crocheted almond blossoms (although the pattern I did a couple of variations on, which is from 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield, is supposed to be for a meconopsis flower). I’m thinking of going with 2 or 4 for the blossoms. 4 is slightly more work because it includes a slip stitch layer of light pink yarn on the outer edge of the fuchsia, which I have to admit is a little bit of a deterrent. I mean, I’m probably going to have to make 100 of these if I want to achieve the effect I am currently picturing, and crocheting through a slip stitch is kind of a pain. However, I feel like the fuchsia in 2 is too intense juxtaposed directly next to the white petals. I would love another opinion from anyone reading this post!

Mondrian-inspired scarf

16056954159_62f8e9e9af_z I must confess that, prior to making this scarf, I was pretty ambivalent to Piet Mondrian and De Stijl (the group in which Mondrian was one of the founding members) in general. At a first glance, Mondrian’s signature style– using the primary three colors (red, yellow, and blue) and primary values (white, black, and gray) in patterns of squares, rectangles, and straight lines– appears almost too simplistic. However, as I worked my way through the scarf, I grew to appreciate the purity of the colors and values, the geometry of the shapes, and the vertical and horizontal lines. But before I get to ahead of myself, the questions that must first be asked are: Who was Piet Mondrian, and what is De Stijl?  Continue reading