Archive | April, 2019

Film Review: ‘Loving Vincent’ (2017)

3 Apr

Loving Vincent (2017), directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, from a script by Kobiela, Welchman, and Jacek Dehnel; starring the voices of Douglas Booth, Jerome Flynn, Robert Gulaczyk, Helen McCrory, Josh Burdett, Holly Earl and others.


I missed this film when it debuted on the big screen in late 2017, unfortunately. It’s now out on DVD and is also streaming at Amazon and other sites.

I had awaited it eagerly after reporting about it on my blog three years ago:

A Polish film currently in the works features an animated treatment of the life of Van Gogh. The film, entitled Loving Vincent, features more than 63,000 paintings created in the artist’s style, rendered by a total of 80 artists.

This is an incredibly beautiful film. It isn’t done with CGI — the handiwork of dozens of skilled artists painted the animation artwork traditionally, in the style of Van Gogh’s most famous works. This labor of love shines throughout the film.

The story is less successful than the visuals, however. A friend travels to Arles and other places where Van Gogh lived, and interviews people who knew him. The friend, Armand Roulin (voiced by Douglas Booth), is the son of the Postman Joseph Roulin (whom Van Gogh pained in real life). Armand has a letter from Vincent to his brother Theo that was returned, and he’s trying to figure out what to do with it. He also wants to determine the circumstances of the painter’s death.

Van Gogh is commonly believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound; however, as the film unfolds, the viewer sees that there are irregularities in the state of the wound that put that belief in doubt.

As Roulin continues with his interviews, he visits many of the people and places that appear in Van Gogh’s paintings. Anyone who knows even a little bit about the painter’s work will recognize numerous famous figures, who’ve been given movement and voices by the animators. It’s a stunning achievement.

Eventually, Roulin concludes that it’s not possible to really discover the true story of Van Gogh’s tragic demise, so viewers who were looking for a big “reveal” at the end will be disappointed. The journey and the people of Van Gogh’s paintings are the story.

I recommend watching it for the stunning artwork and the clever way that Van Gogh’s portraits and landscapes have been assembled into a narrative.



Reminder: Read My Book

3 Apr

My book, Foleytown: Comic Tales of Growing Up in Various Unfashionable Parts of California, contains nineteen humorous (at least I hope people find them humorous) tales about growing up in inland California–the part that most people outside of the state have never heard of (or even many people inside the state).


Foleytown is available in print and e-book formats. I painted the cover illustration, of course. 

If you liked the movie Lady Bird, concerning a girl who grew up in a scrubby working-class part of Sacramento, you may very well like my book also. The most recent review notes:

“These stories are charming, well-paced, and exhibit the author’s craft very nicely. The universal appeal of the folks-ey tales appealed to me, struck a familiar chord, and caused me to yearn for simpler times. I hope that S.K. Cole plans another publication soon.”


2 Apr

Thanks to a buyer in Cedar Rapids, IA, this poinsettia watercolor has found a new home. This one’s gone, but please visit my SK Cole Art Etsy site for a selection of more beautiful floral watercolors.
more designs 12-17-13 002

Update, 4/3/19: The buyer has left a nice comment in the feedback section of my site: “Lovely painting! Quick shipping, too!”

Prickly Pear Painting on Wood

2 Apr

This is a painting of a blooming prickly pear I did on wood for a friend who lived in the Southwest. It’s done in acrylic and India ink. Dated 2017. Visit my SKColeArt Etsy site for more beautiful acrlyic paintings and florals.

Painting of Prickly Pear