I came across a book last week that stunned me. It was so simple in its format but so complex and passionate in its content. For the past year, my husband and I have been downsizing. I’ve sold, donated and given away my books to make space for our new life. I’m into electronic versions of books now. That is until I came across a book that reminded me that all we need is creative inspiration.
Vincent Van Gogh ∼ Creative Inspiration
How can I not love this book? The title has my favorite subject paired with my favorite artist. After reading Vincent Van Gogh ∼ Creative Inspiration on my Kindle, I then ordered the hardcover version. This is a book I want to smell, touch and hold close. And I want to be able to flip a page at any time and gain some inspiration.
I cried when I read this book. To know that this tortured soul “got it.” He understood that practice and repeat were such an important part of his life’s work. Although he didn’t consider it work, he considered it his passion. In one quote, he writes of only painting flowers for a year so that he could get used to colors.
The book is a beautiful concept. It juxtaposes an excerpt from one of his letters against one of the sketches or preliminary paintings that he did. You will not find his famous work here except in sketch form. This book shows you the practice and preparation that he put in. The quotes show you that he understood practice was necessary. There are several sketches that show only hands. And in each one, you can see subtle changes. Practice.
And Van Gogh not only understood that there would be self-doubt but what should be done about it, ‘If something in you yourself says “you aren’t a painter” –IT’S THEN THAT YOU SHOULD PAINT…’
Kelly Shetron is the editor who chose all the quotes. In the Introduction, she states, “Each pencil mark is testimony to Van Gogh’s commitment to practice — reminders that we shouldn’t fear the blank page. We must begin, forever breaking the spell of ‘I can’t.'” This book is a reminder that practice brings us creative inspiration.
**Update** I got my copy of the book in the mail today and I’m thrilled with it. The size is just perfect for my pocketbook so I can carry it with me if I’m in need of some inspiration. While it’s a hardcover, it’s actually a bit more flexible than what I would normally consider hardcover. I like it. I’ve already reread the book.