another post over at 'Journeying with those in exile'
I have been busy painting a copy of Van Gogh’s “Wheatfields with Crows,” for a ‘Forgery Art Exhibition’ I was invited to (aug 1 for any who are interested). It is a different experience than painting Coptic and Orthodox Icons I have been focusing on for awhile. Some years ago I read through the 3 vol. set of Vincent’s letters, he was an extraordinary theologian and writer. I have been re-reading them a bit and came upon one of his last letters to Bernard. Bernard had sent him a poem:
“…for hope has pored its neurosis into my bosom—Winter having neither a sou or flowers—Come from the blue plains—Paled by the length of leagues—Twisted on his spiraled cross.”
Vincent writes to Bernard: “But is seems to me you do not say clearly enough what you want to make felt--the certainty that one seems to have, and which one can in any case prove of the nothingness, the betrayal of the desirable good and beautiful things; and that, despite the knowledge, one lets oneself be eternally fooled by the charm which external life, the things outside ourselves, exercises on our 6 senses, as if one did not know anything, and especially not the difference between objectivity and subjectivity. Fortunately for us we remain stupid and hopeful in this way. ‘Twisted on his spiral cross,’ conveys very well the exaggerated leanness of the mystic Christ. But why not add that the anguished look of the martyr is, like the eye of a cab horse, infinitely sad; that would make it more Parisian where one sees such looks in the eyes of the superannuated nags of the little carriages as well as in those of the poets and artists.” Looking at Vincent’s self-portraits I think I see that look in his eyes; my wife says she sees it my eyes sometimes and it worries her. “Wheatfields” was Vincent’s last painting, he put down the brush, got his gun, walked out into the field and shot himself. After the show I am going to paint him into the picture, fallen, clutching his wound, praying, and surrounded by angels.