Yesterday morning I stumbled off a coach bus at 5am. I had gone from London to Amsterdam, the night was long and uncomfortable and I dragged myself to my only goal in Amsterdam-- The Van Gogh Museum.
As I walked into the first room I was introduced to Vincent van Gogh, his humble beginning into art officially started at the age of 27.
I moved from painting to painting, calmly focusing on each work. I wandered through the rooms, his Dutch years, the Paris years... The way his colours went from dark muddy and muted into the bright and colourful pigments everyone knows today.
I stood in front of my favourite painting Almond blossom, with a new perspective on the artist I admired. Vincent had 10 years to paint all the works that we enjoy today.
He threw himself into the love of discovery, experimentation and inspiration. He tried different techniques with his tools- moody thick ladden dark paints and light draftsman style thin layers that almost look like pointilism in watercolour. He tried out colour combinations and light sources. Every piece of artwork shows progress and development from the last. You can see his haste and his frustration. His joy and his discovery.
At the end of the exhibition was a timeline of his life, between people who rushed through to the bookshop I slowly read the words that summed up his life as an artist.
It felt to abrupt and too short. Ten years of ardious work summed up into a measly little timeline, one that highlighted his times with Gauguin and his admissions to mental hospitals.
When I read the words "Vincent shot himself in the chest" I felt my tears on my cheeks. The work he had done felt like a scratch into the true existance of the character we know as Vincent van Gogh. This was just an introduction into a deep, intense being and my respect and admiration grew as I viewed his last works, slowly abosrbing them. I left silent, hoping to remember that feeling of pure passion forever. Another loss of a dear friend I never met, oh I wish I had.
Vincent van Gogh has reaffirmed to me that experimentation and passion should always be in your work. He showed me that I should follow my heart and do what feels right. It is only day 2 on my trek thru the mainland of Europe and I am already inspired to create new work and to push myself to new heights that I never even imagined.
All the best,