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Vincent van Gogh quotes

Dutch painter, one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists, 1853-1890


It would be difficult for me to express all my thoughts about it. It remains a constant disappointment to me that my drawings are not yet what I want them to be. The difficulties are indeed numerous and great, and cannot be overcome immediately. Making progress is like miners' work: it doesn't advance as quickly as one should like, and also as others expect; but faced with such a task, patience and faithfulness are essential. In fact, I don't think much about the difficulties, because if one thought of them too much, one would get dazed or confused.

 

Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.

 

The more ugly, older, more cantankerous, more ill and poorer I become, the more I try to make amends by making my colours more vibrant, more balanced and beaming.

 

Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul.

 

One wants to be an honest man; one is so, one works hard; but still one cannot make both ends meet; on must give up the work, there is no chance of carrying it out without spending more on it than one gets back for it; one gets a feeling of shortcoming, of not keeping one's promises. One is afraid of making friends; like an old leper, one would like to call from afar: Don't come too near me, for intercourse with me brings you sorrow and loss. One cannot present oneself as somebody who comes to propose a good business or who has a plan which will bring great profit. On the contrary, it is clear that it will end with a deficit, and still one feels a power surging within; one has work to do and it must be done. One must set to work with a calm, everyday face, live one's ordinary life, get along with the models, with the man who comes for the rent, with everybody, in fact. You must not think of me as afraid.

 

One must work and dare if one really wants to live.

 

One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever come to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.

 

Of course my moods change, but the average is serenity. I have a firm faith in art, a firm confidence in its being a powerful stream which carries a man to a harbor, though he himself must do his bit too; at all events, I think it such a great blessing when a man has found his work that I cannot count myself among the unfortunate. I mean, I may be in certain relatively great difficulties, and there may be gloomy days in my life, but I shouldn't like to be counted among the unfortunate, nor would it be correct if I were.

 

Now since I have seen the ocean with my own eyes, I feel completely how important it is for me to stay in the south and to experience the color which must be carried to the uttermost- it is not far to Africa.

 

Now it so happens in the world that opposed to characters of such persons as he there are characters like mine, for instance. I care as little for the world's opinion as that man cared for what was right. To appear right was enough for him; what I think the most important is not to deceive or desert a woman.

 


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