Here it is…another post. Yay! I recently did a fun project for my Aesthetics class where I had to write a letter to Vincent van Gogh. I felt like it was appropriate to share it on my website so here it is:
Mr. van Gogh,
It is a pleasure to be writing this letter to you, though it would be even more favorable to be conversing in person. My name is Lauren Stewart, and I am currently an art student, a photographer to be exact. I recently came upon a quote of yours that really spoke to me and reminded me of my personal, artistic approach at this point in time.
“I hit the canvas with irregular touches of the brush, which I leave as they are. Patches of thickly laid-on colour, spots of canvas left uncovered, here or there portions that are left absolutely unfinished, repetitions, savageries; in short, I am inclined to think that the result is so disquieting and irritating as to be a godsend to those people who have preconceived ideas about technique.”
I must be honest and admit that school is not, by any means, enjoyable, and I find myself lacking inspiration most of the time. A couple of months ago, I found an interest in abstract photography. I suddenly wanted to compose photographs using nothing but shapes, lines, and color. Reading your quote gave me a revelation. Maybe my sudden need to be abstract is my way of subtly rebelling against school, without being disrespectful. I am an artist, therefore, I wont be truly happy until I am on my own, creating art for myself and the people who want to pay me for my work. Technique is strictly enforced in school to ensure that the students give the school a good reputation when they are out in the art/business world. I know it is good to learn technique because that is what builds a good foundation. But, there comes a time when the student becomes the teacher and learns more from personal experience. I believe that I could make something of my abstract work. The best work is almost always inspired by personal emotion and experience. I am in school for two more years, two more years of inspiration and growth in all things abstract. I hope my words make sense. In the end, I am just trying to elaborate that I agree and relate wholeheartedly with your statement. To end my long letter, I confess that I really love to paint. I have always loved it, though I am nowhere near talented. I find that stroking paint onto a canvas is therapeutic; the color of the paint and the pressure of the stroke depend on my mood. I admire great artists like you who can make a scene come alive using paint. Thank you for your passion and desire to paint; it is truly a gift and inspiration to aspiring artists like myself.
P.s. Mr. van Gogh, I must bring up one more comment on the subject from my letter. I recently received a comment that while artistry is most important, technique is needed to get to the point where artistry can be the main focus. This is a very good point. I believe there is a way to find a balance between using and appreciating the basic principles and techniques while still maintaining an individual passion and personality in the art itself; this will come with experience. With these last thoughts, I end my letter.
This letter is all about artistry. As an artist, school can sometimes feel like prison. The assignments have strict guidelines, something that is not always easily accepted by an artist. An artist is someone who expresses their individuality through some form of art. That individuality tends to be rebellious when it comes to any restriction. But, even though rules are sometimes hard to deal with, especially when they feel like they are stifling one’s creativity, they build discipline. When I am out of school and on my own, I will be able to take photographs for myself, photos that I want to take. I will also need to know how to deal with customers and meet their needs; restrictions will be enforced by the paying customer, something that school will have taught me to work with. After I have my degree, I will be able to learn even more through my personal experiences. My exploration of the photography world will help me achieve a balance between discipline and artistry. I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to look around the rest of my website and continue to check back for updates. God bless!
– Lauren Michele 🙂