View From The Asylum

AnimatedGIF Assignment #1

“Van Gogh painted the view from his east-facing window in the asylum 21 times.”

I chose to animate The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh into a gif. I didn’t think I was going to put literal stars in the sky, until I began reading more about the paintings history. He painted it in 1889 from his room in the mental asylum. The painting depicts his view from his window. Van Gogh didn’t think this painting would gain much success, however now it’s one of the most well known paintings in the world. Since it’s so well known, many people have theories about this painting. One theory being, the cypress tree symbolizes death, which can be linked to Van Gogh’s suicide. This is part of the reason I chose this painting (the other reason being this painting is the one I’m most familiar with).

I chose to light up Van Gogh’s view to show there’s light at the end of the tunnel. In “The Joy of Painting,” part of the joy is seeing others feel joy for your work. Though many of the theories behind The Starry Night are just that, theories, Van Gogh still had doubts about his work. However, he must have seen some potential if he had painted it 21 times, and wanted it to be “perfect.” By having light in the dark, it allows people to see; but maybe in this case, I added light in respect to Van Gogh to help him see the potential he didn’t see at the time. When lighting up the houses, it sort of shows the many people in the world that appreciate his art. And lastly, when lighting up the sky with stars, it shows the beauty that’s found naturally within.

The process of making this was… interesting. I’m really only familiar with the photoshop app Picsart, so I used that to create the stars in the sky, and light up the houses at the bottom of the hill. However, I did it into 2 separate images (one image consisted of just stars, another image consisted of a different placement for the stars, but also the lights in the houses). I did this to show more movement within the picture, and show the progressions that happen at night. My next step was turning it into a GIF, which I’m not sure if I used the correct app to do this; but I used the app GIF Maker to combine all three images (the original Starry Night painting, edit 1, and edit 2). The app was extremely easy to navigate, and gave me so many different options for making a GIF. Once my GIF was complete, I simply downloaded it and put it in here!

This assignment help me feel very inspired, and find joy within the things I do even if I don’t see potential in them.

4 Comments on “View From The Asylum

  1. This is a really cool GIF! I love the message behind it. I knew about Van Gogh’s mental struggles, but I didn’t know about the theories you mentioned, like the symbolism of the cypress tree. I also thought your description of the process you took was really interesting. Lastly, and on a different note, I really love the background of your website.

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