Painters

It’s no secret that marijuana helps with creativity and oftentimes creative inspiration. For that reason, many different artists have favored using the herb. Some of history’s greatest painters are no exception to this. The following artists had incredible careers and also have likely used marijuana.

Vincent Van Gogh

 

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the best known Dutch painters in history. Ironically, he was quite poor and unknown during his actual lifetime. His paintings were post-impressionistic and exhibited high levels of color, emotion, and beauty. His art was extremely influential in the century after his own. Despite his early death (by suicide) at age 37, Van Gogh’s work had a resounding effect on the art world in the 100+ years since.

Van Gogh was born in 1853 and died in 1890. Van Gogh’s family struggled with poverty since he was 15 years old, forcing him to stop going to school and begin working instead. He worked at an art dealership and was eventually transferred to London.

Van Gogh struggled with mental health, having breakdowns that led to him becoming extremely religious — as well as led to his firing from the art dealership and numerous jobs after that. He eventually became a full-time artist, although continued to struggle with mental health. He did a variety of inadvisable thing, most notably cutting off his ear and offering it to a prostitute.

He continued to paint his incredible works through it all until he finally shot himself in the chest and died in 1890. Thanks to Van Gogh’s brother’s wife, Johanna, his art was collected and displayed in Paris, and from then on he became known as one of the greatest Dutch painters of all time — second only to Rembrandt.

Van Gogh was known to have consumed a variety of substances, although his consumption of marijuana has not been specifically proven. There was a decent chance that he was actually painting on hemp canvasses, however.

Salvador Dali

 

Salvador Dali was a Spanish painter who is best known for his melting clocks painting (called The Persistence of Memory) from 1931. He was a Surrealist painter who was born in Spain in 1904. He began drawing at a very early age and was supported in his art by both of his parents.

He studied in Madrid and was greatly influenced by a variety of styles of art, including Cubism and Metaphysics. He was arrogant and argumentative, earning him a suspension and eventually an expulsion from his university.

He was a great admirer of Pablo Picasso and even met with him in Paris during the 1920s. He met some other famous painters and was influenced by their work, eventually bringing him to the Surrealist period of his art in 1929. He was later expelled from the official Surrealist movement members in 1934, likely due to a disagreement with the leader. Nevertheless, he continued to participate in Surrealist exhibitions, lectures, and so on.

Dali became well known for his flamboyant personality and unique works of art while he was still alive. He died from heart failure in 1989, about 9 years after he developed a motor disorder and 7 years after the death of his wife.

Dali smoked marijuana, although his precise habits and use of it are now well-known. He famously said, “I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.”

David Hockney

 

David Hockney is 80 years old now and is considered one of this century’s greatest artists from Britain. Hockney went to school in London and then moved to the United States during the ‘60s. His most famous paintings, those of Los Angeles swimming pools, were made at this time.

Hockney is also a photographer, which he started in the 1970s. He is best known for his collages of photographs (which he refers to as “joiners”). Despite his old age, Hockney continues to make and display works of art.

He is best known for his work that combined art and technology. He utilized fax machines and printers during the early 1990s, and by 2009 he was using iPhones and iPads to create art with the Brushes app. He was voted “the most influential British artist of all time” in 2011. The voters were more than a thousand British artists.

Hockney’s take on marijuana? In his words: “Why is the stuff still illegal? I assume it’s the power of the alcohol lobby being behind most things. Alcohol has damaged and killed friends of mine, but I’ve never known anyone harmed by the weed, whose relaxing pleasure I have enjoyed for 40 years.”

Jackson Pollock

 

Jackson Pollock was an American painter and a huge contributor to the abstract expressionist movement. He was born in 1912 in Wyoming and is best known for his use of splatter pieces as well as other works of art involved the pouring of paint and various objects onto the canvas.

When Pollock was 18 he moved to New York City and started studying art. He worked with the Public Works of Art Project started by President Roosevelt in an attempt to restart the economy during the Depression. Pollock and other modern artists created hundreds and hundreds of pieces of art.

He eventually was contracted with Peggy Guggenheim, who was extremely impressed with his highly original work. He and his wife bought a farmhouse where he set up his studio and continued honing his drip technique.

He was once featured in Life magazine, which led to superstardom overnight. During 1949 he was the highest paid painter in the United States. He had some trouble with managing his new fame and became an alcoholic (like his father). The more pressure he felt, the worse his alcoholism became. Pollock’s marriage deteriorated and he became unfaithful, dating other women. He was on his way home, driving while intoxicated when he ran into a tree and died instantly in 1956 at the age of 44.

Pollock’s way of thinking, living, and making art has been associated with a group that is known for smoking marijuana (among other alternative lifestyle aspects): the Beatniks. Spontaneity was a cornerstone of Pollock’s splatter technique, his paintings appearing more like bursts of spontaneity rather than a premeditated picture.

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