If you’ve been around these parts a while you know a have a thing for Vincent Van Gogh. My life’s mission is to see as many paintings in real life as I can, and there’s something about each one that just speaks to me, so you can only imagine what happened when I found this skirt and how it took me less than 10 seconds to add it to my shopping cart.
Lipstick (wearing Roseberry)
I used to teach high school, in the age of standardized testing and writing formulaic essays to be able to graduate. There was also research papers, oh the number of essays I’ve assigned and graded in my life! In attempts to liven up all my former students had to learn and repeat, I taught a humanities unit on Van Gogh and had students write persuasive essays about his life combining opinions with research. I walked them through several sources and how to use them, and it was just always the ticket that made writing click for most of them. His strange life and missing ear just seemed to hook teenagers (and adults too) and I was amazed how many students wrote these amazingly analytical pieces citing documentaries watched, art history lectures read, and scholarly research pieces.
It made my heart sing, and it made a process they had way too much homework over the year a little more interesting. It definitely made grading more fun, and I never grew tired of learning more and more about this artist, and hence my passion grew deeper and desire to see these paintings grew too. I know some students rolled their eyes, but I think most kids left my class a bit enchanted with this artist and had a newfound appreciation for him and his works.
My crowning moment of teaching all this was when one kid returned home after being gone for spring break and brought me a gift. His dad was doing business in The Netherlands, and he brought him along so he could go to the Van Gogh Museum. His parents had helped with his research, they were so pleased to watch him learn and grow in his writing and art appreciation, and when the easy opportunity arose to take him to see what he was learning in person, they took it! They bought a book for me at the museum and wrote me the nicest thank you note for giving them an appreciation for this artist. My teaching career feels so long ago and there’s not much I have from it, but that book is still on my bookshelf and I’m so grateful for the reminder that at least one kid left high school with a little more appreciation for learning and literature, art, and history- and that his family grew together through it too!
I have to admit that it kills me a little bit every time I get to travel and see another Van Gogh and realize business Camille gets this opportunity, and I ache for all the teachers who teach about him and may never afford it. I used to be in those shoes! But I am grateful for the time in my life I got to be a teacher, and for the moments when my career was to talk about my favorite books, artists, and help teenagers achieve passing scores on tests and see that light in their faces.
So every time I go on an artist date I get a little reminder of my former life, and every time I see a Van Gogh I not only get to try to remember every scholarly document published regarding him I’ve read or reviewed, but I get that feeling of writing and art becoming exciting to kids for the first time, and I guess that’s why the obsession remains and only seems to get stronger.
And that’s why when you find a skirt that is perfect for any artist date night outfit needs, you snatch it quickly, and you gladly wear it feeling chic at museums and events that benefit the arts or education.
Photos by Chrissy Blake of Let Me See You Sparkle Photo
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