A Colorful Person: Vincent Van Gogh

beautiful starry-night-by-van-gogh-1853-1890-us-public-domain-commonswikimedia-org

“The way to know life is to love many things.”
~Vincent Van Gogh

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To say this man was misunderstood is an understatement. To say there were probably many reasons for that, again, is an understatement. To associate this great artist with the phenomena of color is quite obvious. Vincent lived and breathed color and he is this month’s colorful person.

Vincent Van Gogh, a man never appreciated in his lifetime is one of the most well-known artists today. His work has inspired many and his story is certainly sad and compelling. He was one of history’s tragic figures. He gave so much and got so little in return. I must admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for this man, this person who saw beyond reality, who shared his profound soul with his beautiful art and lost his mind in the process.

van gogh with ear

“I wish they would only take me as I am.”
Vincent Van Gogh

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In essence he was lonely. To him probably the loneliest person in the world. I can certainly identify with the feeling. Vincent was misunderstood and alone in an unforgiving and harsh world.  I can understand being totally consumed and compelled by one’s art to devote oneself so fully to it….only to be ignored. Vincent wanted to share his beauty with the world and in his lifetime the only person who truly cared about him was his brother Theo. It was Theo who supported Vincent monetarily and enabled Vincent to keep painting.

Van_Gogh_Twelve_Sunflowers wikimedia commons

Ever since I first beheld a Van Gogh I have been entranced with these genuine masterpieces. His paintings embrace the soul of color. They inspire me and I cannot get enough of their imperfect beauty.

Vincent Van Gogh made the world a better place, a lovelier place. Perhaps it was his suffering which enhanced his vision. His devotion to his craft was more than apparent in his work.

van gogh irises-1889 wikipaintings

It is through this story of Vincent Van Gogh that has allowed me to realise just how fleeting life can be and how beauty and talent can endure beyond the life of the artist. It is due to his story, this wild man of color that I have learned not to be so judgemental. Who knows what hidden talent and beauty lies behind the eyes of any random stranger I may encounter. Everyone has something wonderful about them. It is the norms of society that at times does not fully appreciate this, but I try to. For Vincent’s sake and for mine.

~Strawberryindigo.

Vincent_van_Gogh_(1853-1890)_-_Wheat_Field_with_Crows_(1890)

“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it.  Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.”
~Vincent Van Gogh

Want to know more?

Vincent (Starry Starry Night) By Don McLean (youtube)  *A sadly beautiful song*

Vincent Van Gogh (Wikipedia)

The Van Gogh Online Gallery

 Vincent

Favorite Song: “Vincent” or “Starry, Starry Night” by Don McLean. (dshenai.wordpress.com)

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh (segmation.wordpress.com)

Daily Love Quote: #7 (Vincent van Gogh) (skillcode.wordpress.com)

Vincent Van Gogh (kfwright2013.wordpress.com)

Van Gogh Self Portrait (sonofishmael.wordpress.com)

Mourning, Moving to the Stars (rennashesso.wordpress.com)

Vincent Van Gogh (mikechampioncoombes.wordpress.com)

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An open letter to all the sensitive artist types

  

  Hello there. I am one of you and we are legion.  Our lot is a deep one, a gutsy one for sure. We are a strange group with a yearning desire to be our unique selves in this plastic preconceived prefabricated world.  It is we who come up with the ideas that others consume.

I know most of us are compelled to do this, this whatever we do that we deem art. And this compulsion runs deep, at least for me. For so many years I deprived myself of artistic endeavors, never making the time for it… thinking it frivolous, unnecessary…calling it a stupid dream and retreating back into the doldrums.

The voice never dies completely…this need to create, to share oneself. That voice grew from a whisper to a scream. I had to listen. The floodgates opened and they haven’t closed yet.  It’s a compulsion, a need like air to breathe.  Creative people know what I mean by this.  Sometimes I think living the life of someone a bit more “typical” would be simpler and easier. Less painful perhaps? At times the thought is tempting but in the end I wouldn’t want to live without this colorfully crazy creative streak.

Endless forms most beautiful

Art comes in endless forms.  I see it in everyday life from the musician and the writer to the carpenter, computer programmer, physicist, or cook. It is the soul of the person creating it that makes it beautiful. In my mind the only requirement for art to be art is that it contains a tiny drop of essence of the artist. If it’s honest and true that is what’s important. It is the stuff of daydreams and the inner workings of the soul that makes it memorable and remarkable.

Good art entertains, it amuses. It is whimsical and fun.

Great art makes you feel. Sometimes quite deeply and your life is forever changed by it.

The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Mod...
Image via Wikipedia

Starry Starry Night

A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing live and in color several major works by some of my favorite Impressionists, including the great Vincent Van Gogh.  It was the brushstrokes that did it. I could see the mind of the master at work…the one who takes command of the brush and creates a universe with it.  There is a force to the artist.  The gutsy part.  Vincent had it all right, we artists need that;  the show off….the ham. The part that is compelled to share that which we have created.  Even shy ones like me have that side… but there is also the other side; the sensitive one.   Vincent had that in spades. He poured out his heart onto the canvas with wild abandon.  I believe that creativity lies in that deep soulful side. I have that side…the indigo to my strawberry. It was that side that started to cry in the middle of the exhibit. I welled up and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even see the art at that point but the images from that day will forever be etched in my memory.

What I am trying to say

This piece is entitled: An open letter to all sensitive artist types and it is. However,  I do have one certain artist in mind when I write this and to that person I say…..

It is the artists that stick their neck out. It takes courage to put your work in front of others. Your heart is on a plate for others to dissect and chew up. Humans are natural judges and it’s a hard dose to swallow when you are on the receiving end of a disinterested audience.  What is the purpose of art if it is not shared?  And appreciated.

It takes courage to pursue a dream and awfully thick skin.  Unfortunately most of us artistic types are sensitive and all the courage in the world doesn’t stop hurt feelings.  Some people are jerks and will knock anyone down who dares to dream. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Because once in a while dreams do come true.  Don’t let a few sour grapes spoil a fantastic bottle of wine.

But don’t just listen to me:

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.  Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the other people want what they want.  Indeed, the moment an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist….”

**Oscar Wilde**

Have a wildly creative day

Strawberryindigo.