Reading Van Gogh

Posted on by Wess Foreman

I've begun reading from "Theories of Modern Art" in order to broaden my knowledge of artists and the major art movements of history. The book is a six-hundred-plus page Juggernaut used as textbooks in college art classes apparently [I may have had a class that required this book, but that's beyond my memory - and was undoubtedly beyond my interest to read at the time].

Anyway, it has been interesting reading letters from [the now-famous artist] Vincent van Gogh writing about his artwork and thoughts on art in general. The letters - written mostly to his brother Theo after leaving the bustling art scene of Paris for the solitude of Arles - create a sort of diary of creative investigation. Amid his rants on subject matter and the specific color choices he's made in paintings as well as his admiration of Japanese painting. I see the same electric yearning of creativity that I often experience when I delve into my own artwork and discover this simple but elusive thing called style.

"When the thing represented is, in point of character, absolutely in agreement and one with manner of representing it, isn't it just that which gives a work of art its quality?" - Vincent van Gogh