I am writing this blog about Vincent van Gogh because I am struggling
a little with a concept for my 2013 exhibit. I have always felt an affinity for
van Gogh, not only for his unique painting style but most importantly because
when I look at his artwork his struggle as an artist is palpable. His early work
was, well, average. I particularly like the example below which shows two of
his sketches. The one on the left of a simple figure, strangely proportioned and two years later the one on the right vastly improved and beautiful.
Vincent van Gogh
I know from his
biography that he loved art and was a plodder like me. He kept painting until
he was satisfied and even if he wasn’t satisfied he kept painting anyway. He
started painting late in life and continued on to become one of our most admired master artists. Mental
illness may have ended his life prematurely but surely he lives on in the wealth
of artwork left behind.
So the next time you
struggle with a composition, a subject or a concept, please keep trying. And
trying. And trying…