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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Vincent van Gogh and quick work


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Vincent van Gogh


Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was a Dutch painter best known for painting with bright colors, vivid brushstrokes and his innovative depictions of reality. Johanna van Gogh-Boner said,


"He is one of the most advanced painters and it is difficult to understand him, even for me who knows him so intimately. His ideas cover so much ground, examining what is humane and how one should look at the world, that one must first free oneself from anything remotely linked to convention to understand what he was trying to say, but I am sure he will be understood later on. It is just hard to say when." (Letter to Theo van Gogh, 1889)


Artist G. Albert Aurier said,


"Indeed, independent of this indefinable aroma of good faith and of the truly seen that all his paintings exude, the choice of subjects, the constant harmony between the most excessive color notes, the conscientious study of character, the continual search for the essential sign of each thing, a thousand significant details undeniably assert his profound and almost childlike sincerity, his great love for nature and for truth - his own personal truth." (Les Isoles: Vincent van Gogh, 1890)


The rest of this post is some quotes from van Gogh.


Quick work


"Quick work doesn't mean less serious work, it depends on one's self confidence and experience... I must warn you that everyone will think that I work too fast. Don't you believe a word of it. Is it not emotion, the sincerity of one's feeling for nature, that draws us, and if the emotions are sometimes so strong that one works without knowing one works, when sometimes the strokes come with a continuity and coherence like words in a speech or letter, then one must remember that it has not always been so, and that in time to come there will again be hard days, empty of inspiration. One must strike while the iron is hot and put the forged bars on the side." (


"I tell you, if one wants to be active, one must not be afraid of going wrong, one must not be afraid of making mistakes now and then. Many people think that they will become good just by doing no harm - but that's a lie, and you yourself used to call it that. That way lies to stagnation, mediocrity." (Letter to Theo van Gogh, 1884)