I share a birthday with Vincent Van Gogh.
I don’t have any personal or historical connection to Van Gogh, either as artistic phenomenon or human being, except that we are both of Dutch decent, yet it is Vincent who has captured my spiritual and creative imagination. Of his torment I have read only second hand accounts. His letters to his brother Theo are on my list of books to read. His life, I find fascinating, and there is a story in there somewhere, inspired by it, a writing back as it were.
But it is his art, and his dedication to it, and his arrival at becoming an artist, that speaks to me the most. As yet I have not gotten to the stage of mastery of my craft that he got to. I am at the stage of apprentice. Which is why those blurry images are in my header.
If you squint, as you would looking at an Impressionist painting, you will see more clearly what they are. They are over-pixelated sections of Van Gogh’s early works, before he found his style.
Each section is taken as what I perceive to be the compositional focus point of the painting, the point of interest in the painting. The paintings are good, as far as paintings go; the compositions are well arranged, the subjects interesting, the paint well-mixed and applied. But he hasn’t found it yet.
The colour isn’t there, the unmistakeable brush strokes have yet to be found, the almost cartoonish animation of the subjects has yet to appear. This is an artist in the making, practising craft, finding his way. As I am.
I hope that I too will find my own unique vision, my own uncompromising vision that will help people to see the world, and art, anew.
The only way to get there is to practise my craft, until that day when the world cracks open, and the light and the colours pour in.