You [Vincent van Gogh] positively paint like a madman.
You can?t ask a man to talk sensibly about the art of painting if he simply doesn?t know anything about it. But by God, how can dare to say that a painter is done because he has painted one bad picture? When a picture isn?t realized, you pitch it in the fire and start another one.
You have no idea how life-giving it is to find around one a youth that agrees not to bury one on the spot.
You must think. The eye is not enough; it needs to think as well.
You say a new era in art is preparing; you sensed it coming; continue your studies without weakening. God will do the rest.
You wretch. You?ve spoiled the pose. Do I have to tell you again you must sit like an apple? Does an apple move?
What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is a harmony parallel with nature.
When a picture isn't realized, you pitch it in the fire and start another.
When color has its greatest richness, then form has its plenitude.
When the color achieves richness, the form attains its fullness also.
When they [paintings] are done right, harmony appears by itself. The more numerous and varied they are, the more the effect is obtained and agreeable to the eye.
Whoever the master is whom you prefer, this must only be a directive for you. Otherwise you will never be anything but an imitator.
Will I ever attain the end for which I have striven so much and so long? A vague sense of malaise persists.
With a painter's temperament, all that's needed are the means of expression sufficient to be intelligible to the wide public.
Wouldn?t it be wonderful to paint a nude there? There are innumerable motifs here on the banks of the river; the same spot viewed from a different angle offers a subject of the utmost interest. It is so varied that I think I could keep busy for months without changing my place, simply turning now tot the right and now to the left.
Yes, a bunch of carrots, observed directly, painted simply in the personal way one sees it, worth more than the Ecole?s (French Classical Art Academy, ed.) everlasting slices of buttered bread, that tobacco-juice painting, slavishly done by the book? The day is coming when a single original carrot will give birth to a revolution.
If I think, everything is lost.
It's so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.
Nature as it is seen and nature as it is felt, the nature that is there? and the nature that is here both of which have to fuse in order to endure, to live that life, half human and half divine, which is the life of art or, if you will? the life of god. The landscape is reflected, humanized, rationalized within me. I objectives it, project it, fix it on my canvas.
See how the light tenderly love the apricots, it takes them over completely, enters into their pulp, light them from all sides! But it is miserly with the peaches and light only one side of them.
The eye absorbs? ? the brain produces form.
The truth is in nature, and I shall prove it.
Unfortunately the advanced age I've now reached makes the approach to new formulas of art hard for me.
If I'd known how to organize my life, it would have suited me better. But a family forces one to make a lot of concessions.
I've come to the conclusion that it's not really possible to help others.