The Rage of Inspiration

I just started this blog.   I knew that I wanted to write, but I didn’t quite know how to blog,  so I went to other blogs for inspiration.  The beautiful thoughts found here are amazing!  I feel very shy about writing now, but the exploration started me thinking.  Thinking about inspiring stories and inspiration in general.  The fiery furnace of life dissolves many creative spirits and re-casts them into molds of greatness.  Their stories flow with pain like molten gold to be cast into beautiful jewels!  Inspiration may come suddenly, like a gentle dream, but more often it is refined, and molded, pounded and polished in the rage of living!

I am often asked, who are your favorite artists, so I thought I would share.  I am not an art critic, I am not a scholar, but I do have my own thoughts. Like all artists, I have my own preferences and opinions. Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorites.

                                   “We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art

                                     of expressing our thoughts with the help of words.” – Vincent Van Gogh

I learned from Van Gogh that colors are also suitable “words” for the expression of our thoughts.  There is a magic in his use of color.  There are no other artists that I identify with so closely as I do Vincent.  He was born the son of a Dutch pastor, and Vincent himself went to preach the word of God to miners in Borinage, Belgium early in his life. Vincent was overly zealous and emotionally high-strung.  His ministry did not go well.  He began to paint.  He studied art in Antwerp, then Paris where he met Monet, Gauguin, and Pissarro. Then he left for Arles where he hoped to establish a school with the other artists he had met in Paris, only Gauguin joined him.
His life began a downward spiral with abuse of alcohol, and drugs. A social disease ravaged his mind. Arguments and strivings followed, finally, he went to a hospital in Saint-Remy. He was dead by the age of 37  at his own hand.

It was during a 3 year period that he painted his finest works. Vincent painted over 900 paintings in his lifetime. The scholars of art will puff out clouds of doublespeak, describing his wonderful paintings. The meaning and greatness of these works are lost in the babble. To understand Vincent’s work, place a small child before one of his paintings and watch! Remember Vincent’s own words…”the exercise of art expressing our thoughts”…his paintings are filled with his own thoughts. That is what makes them great!! They are interesting thoughts that every man can grasp easily, don’t let the critics confuse you! Look at “Starry Night”, look at the scene…it’s very interesting! Very charming! Look at the detail…he thought about each place that he painted. Do you have emotional reactions to the places you live and go? Do you find them beautiful? I think he did! Just look at any of his paintings and see his love of that scene. Open yourself to his thoughts, his moods!!! Can you hear his excited voice with a thick Dutch accent, “Did you notice the little chapel? …and the Cyprus tree” Perhaps, he would go on to explain his thoughts on the symbolic meanings attached to these, but it is the whole scene that expresses the love that he had for this painting. Just look at it as a little child would, perhaps something profound will occur, perhaps you will receive a gift of beauty.

I conclude with Vincent’s own words…

“A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.”

“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.”

Look beyond the style, beyond the scholars, and you will find the reality of his thoughts in the exercise of his art.  Thank you for reading.




Removing what does not Belong

I am blessed to have a wonderful young friend who reminds me that being happy is a choice.
There are so many oppressive forces unleashed upon our world, we are tormented by an endless
procession of irritants! Buonarrotti said he saw an angel within the stone, chipping away,
he set it free. Our lives are much the same way, the beautiful things in life
are often hidden within massive blocks of irritants, but if we drive our chisel with decisive
blows these will soon fall away!

I strike my mallet and the television gives way to beautiful music. Some small project
will be finished and the door no longer hangs up, life gets better! Some poor overworked employee
snaps at me, showing compassion brings a new friend.

Most folks do not think in these ways it seems, life is difficult for them. Though they find little
comfort in numbers, they follow the masses. Business gurus will tell you that the successful
are a tiny percentage, those who follow their own dreams often seem to find their way better. Perhaps it
is good to apply this idea in broader form. Perhaps nonconformity can be a good thing!

We can live in a world of hatred and cynicism, or we can choose to expose the beauty of his world
by chipping away at what does not belong. Not from groups, or by groups…but as individuals. Do not
expect anyone else to change if you are not willing to change yourself. If we are the “Me” or “Me
First” generation, then let us each strive to create worlds of beauty for ourselves. I don’t think
the other generations will mind!