Loving Vincent: Creating the first painted feature animation

PUBLISHED: 10:39 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 11 October 2017

Sarah Wimperis

Sarah Wimperis

Archant

Sarah Wimperis was among 95 artists who created new animation Loving Vincent. Her pictures of the French landscape that inspired Van Gogh go on display in Primrose Hill

Sarah Wimperis Sarah Wimperis

“We cannot speak other than our paintings” wrote Vincent Van Gogh in his final letter.

Moviemakers have taken the artist literally by creating the first painted feature animation about his final weeks.

Loving Vincent stars Helen McCrory, Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson and Saoirse Ronan as the subjects of his famous paintings, based on the inhabitants of Auvers-Sur-Oise where he died from a gunshot wound in July 1890.

Exploring the reasons why he may have taken his own life, their performances were shot as live action then overlaid with hand-painted oils on 65,000 frames by 95 artists.

a still from loving Vincent a still from loving Vincent

Sarah Wimperis was the sole British artist and over five months of 12 hour days she painted 350 oils of innkeeper’s daughter Adeline Ravoux played by Tomlinson. They make up 30 seconds of the 94 minute movie which is out on October 9.

After wrapping the film this summer, the Cornish artist stayed in the French landscape that inspired Van Gogh and her resulting work shows at Beside The Wave in Primrose Hill.

Light and Heat reflects how the impressionist painter and illustrator became immersed in Van Gogh’s themes, colours and techniques as well as the lifestyle of living, painting and eating outdoors.

“Such an intense experience is bound to affect your work,” she says, “We all felt Vincent was inside our heads. Certainly I find it very easy to devote long hours to painting and my brushwork and colour skills improved. His dogged pursuit of his own artistic voice, in the face of all opposition, has helped me to believe in myself as an artist.”

Stills from the movie Loving Vincent Stills from the movie Loving Vincent

Her work she says is less about the classic tourist spots “so much as the mundane, everyday things that make a sense of a place. To paint in extreme heat is challenging, the air seems to have a different colour.”

“Sarah has been reassembling her relationship with France after channelling Vincent van Gogh for so long,” says Beside the Wave Director Ingrid Heseltine. “She’s spent the summer seeing afresh familiar landscapes through the expressive ‘lens’ of Van Gogh’s paintings - the way in which he represented the characters and the landscape around him.”

Sarah Wimperis Light and Heat runs at Beside the Wave, Chalcot Road from October 12 until November 2.

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