“Painting gives me light on different questions of tone and form and materials, before which I have up to now stood helpless. There is in painting something infinite – I cannot explain it to you so well, but for expressing one’s impression, it is so delightful. There are in colors hidden effects of harmony or contrast that involuntarily combine to work together, and which would not be possible if used in another way.” p. 153
“I shall have a hard time of it yet before I can make people accept my pictures, but I am not going to let myself be discouraged. I remember that I once read of Delacroix, how seventeen pictures of his were refused. What damned brave fellows they were, those pioneers! But the battle must be carried on even in the present, and for all the little I may be worth I shall carry on my own fight.” p. 287
Excerpts from “Dear Theo, The Autobiography of Vincent van Gogh – edited by Irving Stone.
I recently picked up my copy of Irving Stone’s book of Vincent’s letters to his brother and immediately spotted these two passages that resonated with me. If he only knew how much his paintings are now loved and admired by the world. It doesn’t sound like he ever did while he was alive.
I suppose there are some creative types who never question their “genius” — but much of the time, I know I question my abilities and my works. Sometimes I paint and just wipe the paint off the canvas before it’s had a chance to dry. Sometimes I can hit the right “notes” and am pleased with myself for what I’ve done. But there’s always that critical eye that is necessary to use to determine when something is done, when it is worthy of remaining on the canvas – what other adjustments would make it better?
A scene can catch my eye, a simple still life set-up, a person I long to paint, and the itch takes over to attempt the artwork to be painted, the story to be written, or the poem to compose. Maybe other people won’t like my style, my message, or my work, but that’s why there are so many ways people create. I love seeing other people’s creations and learn from them as well. I am amazed by other people’s talent and ideas.
I will do the best I can to give all these inspirations my best work. I hope others enjoy what I do.