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What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.” ― Vincent van Gogh
Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better. And it is true that in winter it is sometimes so bitingly cold that one is tempted to say, ‘What do I care if there is a summer; its warmth is no help to me now.’ Yes, evil often seems to surpass good. But then, in spite of us, and without our permission, there comes at last an end to the bitter frosts. One morning the wind turns, and there is a thaw. And so I must still have hope.”
Modern reality has got such a hold on us that... when we attempt to reconstruct the ancient days in our thoughts...the minor events of our lives tear us away from our meditations, and... thrust us back into our personal [problems].”
In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically.”
It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.
There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.
If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.
If one is the master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things.
At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.”
It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to. . . . The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.
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.
An artist needn't be a clergyman or a church warden, but he must have a warm heart for his fellow men.
If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.
It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And let us not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.”
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