Flaming Flowers that Brightly Blaze

The artist Nikita Regina sent this Vase with Irises (1890) postcard that shows a Vincent van Gogh painting I was lucky enough to see in the Rijksmuseum once upon a starry, starry night. The magical quality of the card and Vincent’s work is beautiful, but Nikita’s needlepoint stamp outshines it all.

Flaming flowers that brightly blaze / Swirling clouds of violet haze / Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of China blue / Colors changing hue

Don McLean, Vincent (1972)
Vincent van Gogh features prominently in The Postcardist office

Besides having lots of Vincent paraphernalia in my office, I also could listen over and over to Don McLean’s song Vincent (which some call Starry, Starry Night). I had the original American Pie album, and that song concluded our 8th Grade dance. But it was Vincent that I listened to more often. That song sent me to the public library to learn as much as I could about the artist. What a bit of serendipity that I ended up living a 10-minute walk from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam many years later. Or that last October, I sat on a cushion at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Minneapolis and watched that experience play through three full times.

I never forgot how that fascination with Van Gogh all started. With a song. This song.

Just look at how special this is. Nikita used my magic number for the stamp value. Thank you.

Look at the magnificent detail on that needlepoint “stamp” Nikita created

14 comments on Flaming Flowers that Brightly Blaze

  1. OG says:

    What a most special postcard, like all cards from Nic and that Don McLean song is a delight!

    1. Frank says:

      Nic really does special things for our postcard community. I feel so fortunate to be in her orbit.

  2. Dave W says:

    Nic is a talented artist in multiple media, and an awesome human! Mail from her is such a delight!
    I was sort of indifferent to Vincent til I saw a painting of his in the Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia. The eyes of his friend the postman were a startling blue! I had the chance to visit the VG museum in Amsterdam and now I’m totally team Vincent so the immersive show was just awesome to me too. Its fascinating how there are threads in our lives that make them so wonderful. Folks like you and Nic make the world a better place.

    1. Frank says:

      Interesting progression, Dave. I love The Postman at The barnes (and I also love their Renoirs). I think Van Gogh has such an interesting arc…did you see the movie Loving Vincent? It’s hard to watch in the beginning…and then, like your progression, I loved it more and more and more. Here’s a link to the trailer.

      1. Dave W says:

        I used to really love Renoir and do like many of his, especially “Luncheon of the Boating Party”, but the 40 or so at the Barnes turned me off from him. Many were crude or poorly done. I did see Loving Vincent. It was very good. The Art History Babes podcast had an episode on Van Gogh where they dispelled a lot of myths about him and accused Gaugin of chopping off his ear, and local kids shooting him in the gut, probably accidentally.

        1. Frank says:

          I saw a Renoir exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They had lots of multimedia pieces, including films of him all bent and broken while his young assistant (there’s a whole undertone about this) put the brush in his gnarled fingers and a cigarette holder in his mouth. So, I kinda had a sense that some of his work would be a little shaky. I always like to see the eras they did work. I will say this for Renoir — he sure got people to pose for him.

          1. Dave W says:

            I’ve seen that video, maybe at the Philadelphia Art Museum too. I couldn’t tell if it was elder abuse or greed on Renoir’s part. It’s also possible it was none of the above, I just don’t know.
            I had the suspicion after the Barnes show that the guy buying a lot of the art for Barnes just said “Gimme all the Renoirs you have” of the 3000 or so Renoir did, without any consideration for quality. In that scenario the buyer was just trying to up his handling fee(s) and satisfy his client, Dr. Barnes.

          2. Frank says:

            That’s a really interesting perspective about the broker. My sense with the Renoir film was he wasn’t up to it but they’d roll him out and shove a paintbrush in his hand.

  3. Ana says:

    Wow! I love that special mail from
    Nic. She does art perfection. Special things, always. The details!!!!!
    And that song. He has an amazing voice. I love how postcards can take us into traveling within ourselves too. From 8th grade to last year. What a journey, Frank!

    1. Frank says:

      Ana, that is quite a journey, from the long song American Pie to end the 8th Grade dance to watching Vincent’s images dance around me in the immersive experience. What a nice thing to realize postcards prompt those memories. And, yes, Nic’s creativity and thoughtfulness. So good.

  4. Teresa says:

    That cross-stitch blows my mind

    1. Frank says:

      I felt the same. I don’t have enough talent or patience to do a single row, let alone create a piece of stamp art like that. I said wow when I saw it.

  5. Hi, Frank! You had me at Van Gogh!

    I”ve also had the joy of seeing some of his work at both the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In fact, I wrote in my journal that VASE OF IRISES was my favorite of his paintings on exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum, and I bought a postcard of it that day.

    It was another special thrill to stand before IRISES at the Getty as that’s one of my favorite paintings ever. I recently started painting a paint-by-numbers kit of it.

    We had tickets for the immersive experience here in Atlanta. Unfortunately, we didn’t go for a number of reasons. I’m glad it was a special experience for you.

    I believe I spy the Van Gogh piece THE BEDROOM hanging in the background of your picture of the postcard.

    I am gobsmacked by Nikita’s cross stitch stamp! It’s a masterpiece in itself! I’m going to contact her to learn how she made it.

    Thanks for sharing all this Van Gogh goodness today!

    Karen Commins

    1. Frank says:

      Hi Karen! Yes, I’m all in on Van Gogh, too. I had a season’s pass to the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum when I lived there (only 12 euros!) and used it more times than was economical for them.

      Sad you didn’t get to see the immersive experience in Atlanta, but I’m sure you’ll get to ot.

      And that needlepoint by Nic. Wow!

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