Famous Vincent Van Gogh painting inspires Nacogdoches HS 'pallet - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Famous Vincent Van Gogh painting inspires Nacogdoches HS 'pallette to pen' project

Mandy Clay, Nacogdoches High School art teacher stands in front of her student’s various interpretations of "The Starry Night." (Source: KTRE Staff) Mandy Clay, Nacogdoches High School art teacher stands in front of her student’s various interpretations of "The Starry Night." (Source: KTRE Staff)
Nacogdoches High School art students painted a picture from Vincent Van Gogh’s "The Starry Nigh," and then wrote a story based on their artwork. (Source: KTRE Staff) Nacogdoches High School art students painted a picture from Vincent Van Gogh’s "The Starry Nigh," and then wrote a story based on their artwork. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Interpretations vary. This student saw a wolf in Van Gogh’s tree. (Source: KTRE Staff) Interpretations vary. This student saw a wolf in Van Gogh’s tree. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting, “The Starry Night,” is providing inspiration for art students at Nacogdoches High School. Students are discovering not only their artistic talents, but also their literary talents.

Vincent Van Gogh painted “The Starry Night” in 1889 from his asylum room. It’s sad to think he would never know his masterpiece would provide inspiration for Mandy Clay's high school art class. 

"It has that dreamlike quality, and I think that's what attracts them,” Clay said.

The Starry Night is a successful pallette to pen project. The art students paint their own interpretation of The Starry Night, and then they write a story. 

They get the point of the assignment.

"To show my own point of view of how it looks to me,” said Sierra Thomas, an NHS 10th  grader.

"Because everybody has different personalities, and everyone sees different things, and it reflects their personality,” said Morgan Urban, an NHS 11th grader.

Some students chose bright primary colors. 

"Instead of being like all down, it becomes happy and cheerful,” said Samantha Jasso, a 10th grader.

Some stories were filled with humor and fantasy. One artist turned Van Gogh's tree into a wolf, while Thomas Cox, an NHS senior, saw a dragon.

"I like looking out at the stars, usually with my head up, and then I decided to paint the sky like how I see it,” Cox said.

Others selected darker tones with stories reflecting sadness and tragedy.

"She was very close to her grandfather. They were both artists,” said Elyssa Bellard, a 10th grader. “He died when she was 19."

Ja'Tarius Jinkins, a 10th grader, was a bit playful, while at the same time pretty reflective in thought. 

"The river, it's like so flowing to where everything just flows and it constantly goes on and on like life, Jinkins said.

Where life takes these teenagers may be as far reaching as the sky itself.

"I've been doing art since I was 12,” Bellard said. “My main goal is to be an art major at NYU."

What's in the stars for the others may still be dreams waiting to come true. 

“I think kids are dreamers and that's something, hopefully, we can all stay dreamers even when we get older,” Clay said.

Clay was one of several teachers named an Outstanding Mentor Teacher by the Secondary Education Department at Stephen F. Austin State University on Wednesday. She was nominated by a student intern.

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