Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter
Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh
Dutch Post-Impressionist Painter
There is something intimate about painting I cannot explain to you – but it is so delightful just for expressing one's feelings.
Try to grasp the essence of what the great artists, the serious masters, say in their masterpieces, and you will again find God in them. One man has written or said it in a book, another in a painting.
When we are working at a difficult task and strive after a good thing, we are fighting a righteous battle, the direct reward of which is that we are kept from much evil. As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed. Indeed life is a have to defend and protect ourselves, and with a cheerful and brace spirit we must battle; we plan and calculate in order to make progress.
The sunflower is mine, in a way.
There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as between an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it sheds light, too, and that is its real function. And love makes one more calm about many things, and so one is more fit for one's work.
We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words.
Whoever lives sincerely and encounters much trouble and disappointment without being bowed down is worth more than one who has always sailed before the wind and has only known prosperity.
The thing has already taken form in my mind before I start it. The first attempts are absolutely unbearable. I say this because I want you to know that if you see something worthwhile in what I am doing, it is not by accident but because of real direction and purpose.
There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.
Well, right now it seems that things are going very badly for me, have been doing so for some considerable time, and may continue to do so well into the future. But it is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain, I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!
Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.
The victory one would gain after a whole life of work and effort is better than one that is gained sooner.
There may be a time in life when one is tired of everything and feels as if all one does is wrong, and there may be some truth in it- do you think this is a feeling one must try to forget and to banish, or is it 'the longing for God,' which one must not fear, but cherish to see if it may bring us some good? Is it 'the longing for God' which leads us to make a choice which we never regret? Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.
What a splendid thing watercolor is to express atmosphere and distance, so that the figure is surrounded by air and can breathe in it
You can't be at the Pole and at the Equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be color.
The way to know life is to love many things.
Those Dutchmen had hardly any imagination or fantasy, but their good taste and their scientific knowledge of composition were enormous.
What am I in most people's eyes? A nonentity or an eccentric and disagreeable man... I should want my work to show what is in the heart of such an eccentric, of such a nobody.
You can't be at the pole and the equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be color.
The work is an absolute necessity for me. I can't put it off, I don't care for anything but the work; that is to say, the pleasure in something else ceases at once and I become melancholy when I can't go on with my work. Then I feel like a weaver who sees that his threads are tangled, and the pattern he had on the loom is gone to hell, and all his thought and exertion is lost.
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.
You will say that I am not a success — vaincre or être vaincu, [to conquer or to be conquered], it doesn't matter to me, one has feeling and movement in any event, and they are more akin than they may seem to be or than can be put into words.
The world concerns me only in so far as I have a certain debt and duty to it, because I have lived in it for thirty years and owe to it to leave behind some souvenir in the shape of drawings and paintings – not done to please any particular movement, but within which a genuine human sentiment is expressed.