|©2015 Photo Of The Inside Of Van Gogh's Sunflower by Jill Saur|
The night before my trip to New York, I downloaded the collection of Van Gogh's letters to my iPad. I've been reading his letters off and on for the past few years. This particular letter to Theo was the one I read the morning that I was getting ready to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. How ironic that Vincent considered himself a nonentity in the eyes of most people and fast forward to today and people flock to the museums to gaze upon his work. I love his words describing that he was driven with an irresistible momentum:
“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.” - Vincent Van Gogh
I relate to being drawn and driven to paint with an irresistible momentum. When I'm captivated by an idea, an image, a feeling, or a thing of beauty, I'm compelled to express those thoughts and emotions with paint, brushes, palette knife, and canvas.
When I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city last year, I gazed upon the works of Vincent Van Gogh with utter amazement. The painting above was completed by Vincent in 1887, three years before his death. I could get lost in this painting. The texture, the colors, the feeling, everything about it is stunning. I zoomed in to capture the inside of this piece. In my three visits to the museum over a period of four days, I would say I returned to see this painting at least ten times. When I left, my heart was full. - Jill Saur
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