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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

LETTERS OF VINCENT VAN GOGH

For Sepia Scenes and Weekend Reflections, scroll down to end of post- thanks:)

  For Weekend Reflections, hosted by James
reflections are of the bouquet of flowers in vase, and of the peach tiles of the floor below


Last time I was in the book store I ran into this book that proved to be a treasure.
This book of H. Anna Suh displays the letters of Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo. These two brothers are close and kept in touch by writing, even though they lived far from each other most of the time. Their father was a Protestant pastor of a tiny church in a Catholic province in the Netherlands. Although Vincent's dad threw him out of church, Vincent's view is that "God is the greatest artist of all." I like that humble attitude!
Most of the letters tell about Vincent's daily life and what sketches and paintings he was working on. Most of these sketches are not well known, but they are a priceless gift to the world.

p. 79 - Vincent gives much attention to how people from the country lived and worked
for Sepia Scenes, hosted by Mary T.

What I'm jazzed about is that I can read the letters in the original (Dutch). My first glances already told me that some little idioms are not translated. One of his letters he ends with "believe me", which means that he underlines what he had just written, and signs with, "love, Vincent."
In later life he writes in French, since he and also his brother lived in France for a period.
Vincent was someone who cared a great deal about people, and especially the poor.

 p. 122 - A typical Dutch sight in that time -a row of pollard willows
sorry, but the uneven color is in the original photo in the book

For a Dutchman to have strong individual views would be typical,  so maybe I downplay his conflicts with the traditional painters as well as his run-ins with his more narcissistic painter friends.
His driven nature, not being understood as a painter, in combination with his (emotional) loneliness provide for the backdrop for his battle with depression.
Am I defending him? Maybe - probably...(guess it depends in whose camp you are, lol). I would like to think that others who would understand my struggles would defend me too:) 

If you're an artist, you want to keep your sketches 
You never know how much they'll be worth later:)



~*~

24 comments:

Woody said...

Wow, that books sounds pretty interesting and the sketches are wonderful!! Clever reflections :-)

Jim said...

Happy MidWeek Blues, Jeannette!
I stopped here at your Van Gogh letters book post. Yes, save the drafts. But I generally don't, mainly because I won't ever become famous.

I read this book one afternoon in a Border's Book Store here. It was the most delightful find. I can still remember being surprised.

Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. We spent almost a week in St. Remy, Provence, France in 2007. There is a wonderful self guided walking tour near the infirmary where he stayed after cutting his ear off.

Here is a link to my posts showing a little of that walk. I have oodles of pictures that I didn't post. Of course I matched up his olive garden to the picture.
Jim's Van Gogh posts
Biscuit & Biscuit has moved to the French Riviera now.
..

hip-chick said...

great info on Van Gogh. I never really knew that much about him.

jeannette said...

Woody,
That coming from a great photographer, I take as a compliment!

Jim,
went to your pic of the olive trees -what a great pic to match up with v.Gogh's painting! It makes him more of a painter instead of a cleb!

They balk in the Netherlands about some of the anecdotes (like cutting off his ear), but here in the US they believe 'em all -don't know what to think now!
The only sure thing for me is that I love his painterly interpretation of impressionism.

HipChick,
You have delightful blogs! Every painter has his/her favorites, so van Gogh is one of mine. If you like to see my art, it's on Art Notes:) (click on top of right side bar)

Chrisy said...

These diaries are wonderful to read aren't they...I have one by Frida Kahlo and it's so exciting to see the artists own handwriting and sketches.ps your hubby's pic on the header is exquisite...feel like I'm there looking up....!

Sylvia K said...

Sounds like a great book! I'm going to look for it. Van Gogh is and has been one of my favorite artists and I really enjoyed the information you've shared with us. And great reflections for the day as well! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Sylvia

Riet said...

I loved to read about my favorite painter Vincent van Gogh.That is a wonderful book.

Ebie said...

I love how the reflection blends in with the colors of the book and tiles!

Enjoy your weekend!

Dimple said...

Interesting. This is the second blog post with a reference to Van Gogh I have read this week! I seemed to miss the reflection picture, however. Maybe it didn't load properly!

Leovi said...

Van Gogh is my weakness, always has been, I've read all his life, his paintings are gems, I love.

Dianne said...

Vincent was a sweet man I think

lovely reflection

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Have you seen the five (or is it six) volumes that the Van Gogh museum has published of Vincent's letters. Every reference to a local scene or a work or art is documented with a photograph so you can see what he was talking about. Took years to compile. Very impressive and very expensive.

'Tsuki said...

I made here a nice discovery ; thank for the sharing on those sepia draws...

~✿~Icy BC said...

Van Gogh is a fascinating and talented artist. I love his paintings.

Your paintings are wonderful..

JM said...

Great post and I love the quote(?) at the end! :-)

Dick said...

Ja het is natuurlijk het beste om de originelen te kunnen lezen. Vooral voor jou als kunstenares heel interessant.

jeannette said...

Chrisy,
Oh I'm glad you mentioned that -who is the author of Kahlo's diary? I've read about her life and her husband's but not about her life and work per se...

Sylvia,
Hope you find it, its worth reading and actually not that expensive. Enjoy your weekend too1

Riet,
Forgot if you live in Holland? To go to the van Gogh's museum (one street from the Rijksmuseum was an experience never to forget!Thanks for your visit!

Ebie,
Thank you -glad I saw it when the book was laying on my table:)

Dimple,
Oh, hope right now it's okay? (there was one time that I removed it to crop it some more).

Leovi,
Kow what you're talking about -sometimes I wish he would be alive right now so I could talk to him:)

Dianne,
Don't know if I would call him sweet, but I love his passion!

Oakland,
Probably would be too expensive for me (right now), but thanks for the reference. The visit to the fan Gogh museum was really a treat.

Tsuki,
you're welcome, friend!

Icy Bc,
I'm proud to come from the same country as he did.

JM,
Thank you! Yeah, that quote was one of my own "exhortations"(ahem:)

Dick,
Thank you - zijn kunst is gewelding! Glad to see you more on your blog than last year! How is it going?

Elizabeth said...

I went to a splendid exhibition of Van Gogh's work in about 1964 in
]London which included lots of his drawings and sketches. Ever since then I have been a most avid fan.
Such a terrible tragic life and such power and verve in his work.
Theo seems to have been the best brother anyone could wish for.
How wrenching to deal with someone so tormented and brilliant and flawed too.
How thrilling that you are able to read the letters in the original.

Cildemer said...

Love Van Gogh's paintings! He's my favourite painter;o)

***
Hope you are having a fabulous weekend, Jeannette****

Pagan Sphinx said...

What a wonderful book. Vincent's letters are such wonderful companions to his paintings, as he frequently included tid-bits about his process and state of mind in them.

I enjoyed your post. My main blog, The Pagan Sphinx, is essentially an art blog with a smattering of culture, music and a bit of the personal. Please stop by, if you have a chance!

EG Wow said...

Lucky you to be able to read the original! The book does sound fascinating indeed.

Eki said...

I must admit I'm not much of a sketcher ... I prefer using my camera to sort of 'sketch' with light. :)
But I always admire sketches so well done ....

James said...

Looks like a very interesting book and the shadowy reflection reminds me of an aangel.

jeannette said...

Elizabeth,
Even though I've never met you in reality, it's like I can hear you talk when I read your comment:)

In 2002, I believe, I was in his museum in Amsterdam, but I don't remember that I saw his sketches.
Have to admit that at that time I was somewhat distracted.
I remember two men talking in front of one of his paintings (like one of them had painted it himself:))
- when we came back an hour later to get a better look, they were still standing there -talking about the painting.

This book indicated that Theo died less than a year later of a broken heart.

Cildemer,
Thank you, Friend! Hope you enjoyed your weekend!
Throughout history France and Holland had many connections. The last name of my mother was de Charon de Saint Germain:)

Pagan Sphinx,
Thanks for the follow, Friend:)
Me thinks that in Vincent's whole adult life, art was what he ate, dreamed, and lived.
Thank you for posting artists of the past!

EG Wow,
What I like is that in his letters his hopes, fears and dreams are verbalized!

Eki,
I'm not much of a sketcher, either. But then, I'm not much of a photographer either:) On this side of the ocean, I discovered that some people like sketches better than paintings:)

James,
So great that you are doing better, only I hope that you are not forcing yourself to get back on track with your blog. Your health is worth more:)
Yeah, that was a happy accident that reflection, and inspired me to do this whole post about the book:)