Imagination vs Truthfulness

Getting a little carried away reading about dearest Vincent again. I was trying to recall the last movie I watched (a decade ago?) that featured his life as perceived from his extremely touching and insightful letters. Other than feeling awestruck (not sure in a good way or bad) by his reasoning behind cutting off his ear to give it to his girl, the other fact that got me was the number of paintings he worked on in a day.

For the lazy ass I am, I am happy to present this snippet of info:

In his lifetime, Van Gogh created 900 paintings and made 1,100 drawings and sketches, but only sold one painting during his career.

– Source:

I could not find the exact figure for his productivity rate, but it was something along the lines of simultaneously working on 72 paintings? Gosh. I tried working on four at the same time, and well, I guess they just end up incomplete. After the movie, Rinney and I curiously drafted a workplan in our minds about how one can do that. It is technically do-able, because with oil paintings, it traditionally takes a long while before the next layer can be worked on. How did he sustain his focus though? By the time I get to the sixth painting (assuming I get there), I don’t think I can remember what I want to do on the first. Passion, is that what it is? There must be something fiery driving him.

So many other components of his life story truly amaze me, the greatest one being Theo van Gogh. What drives him? How is it that one can have so much support for someone whom society has turned their backs on? Was it kinship? Was it trust? Was it a keen eye? Was it foresight? Something tells me it was just an extremely pure good heart caring for a blood brother.

The second element of awesomeness was … oh my, just look at all the names being dropped in the letters! Except that during his moment of time, we do not have any idea how well-known or unknown those names were. I seriously need to re-assess my life perspective and all the silly lack of confidence and feeling of smallness. Look at van Gogh, he sold nothing, but he could tell Émile Henri Bernard off and fight with Paul Gauguin. Hah, I got curious and found his friend’s list. I do wonder how did those people see his art work then. How did they feel about him? Were they wistful that such a talented artist landed himself in such a sad state? Or was it just a normalcy for them?

Heck. My initial intention was to blog about VvG’s enlightening position about navigating between imagination and truthfulness (in form), “I have such a fear of separating myself from what’s possible and what’s right”. I got carried away by my own imagination and decided to extract snippets of his truths, unsure whether I have taken them out of context. But then again, I am sure he would be proud of that I am at least exploring my imagination. 😀

Maybe another time, maybe on a more sombre day. My other tribute to dearest Vincent from the depth of my heart. ❤


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