Sometimes life does not make sense and other times we feel we make no sense to the world. In a small house in a town called Zundert, Netherlands a boy is born to a minister father and a mother. It is 1853 and he is named Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh did not grow up wanting to be a painter he first wanted to be a practicing minister. It didn’t go as planned; he was rejected from the School of Theology in Amsterdam because he refused to take a Latin exam. Next he volunteered in a coal mine in Belgium; among the miners and their families he was known as, “Christ of the Coal Mine.” Sad to say he was seen as a martyr and when his contract ended they turned him down for a renewal.
Undaunted, he moved to Brussels where he decided to be a painter. He didn’t just throw himself into art he became immersed in it, teaching himself and reading books by Jean-Francoise Millet and Charles Bargue. In 1882 he moved back to the Netherlands and not calling anywhere his home he roamed about painting people in their landscape. He then moved to Paris where impression art was the novelty; he was taught by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec among others. He engrossed himself in eastern philosophy since he was enthralled by Japanese art.
Vincent van Gogh had said, “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream,” and that is what he did when he moved into his famous “little yellow house” in Arles, France. In his painting of the “little yellow house”, he uses a light butter color in the entire painting. The house has two stories with the bottom floors used as a kitchen and atelier. The top floor is where Paul Gauguin and Van Gogh lived. In the painting the window with the green shutters opened is where Paul Gauguin stayed for nine months. The window with the green closed shutters was Van Gogh’s bedroom. In his art he draws with vibrant colors and swirling motions, expressing powerful emotions with every brush stroke.
Van Gogh was inspired by nature, in it he found serenity. Painting kept him feeling alive and hopeful; it seemed to awaken his spirits and animate his lonely and cold world. He sought acceptance and warmth through his drawings, displaying bold colors and vivacity of style. He didn’t care if what he was painting beauty or if people approved of it, he said once, “I want to paint what I fee and feel what I paint.” Only then did it all make sense. M. Stieg