Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am not an artist. - Van Gogh

There is a saying of Gustave Dore's which I have always admired, “J'ai la patience d'un bœuf,” I find a certain goodness in it, a certain resolute honesty - in short, that saying has a deep meaning, it is the word of a real artist. When one thinks of the man from whose heart such a saying sprang, all those oft-repeated art dealer's arguments about “natural gifts” seem to become an abominably discordant raven's croaking. “J'ai la patience” - how quiet it sounds, how dignified; they wouldn't even say it except for that very raven's croaking. I am not an artist - how coarse it sounds - even to think so of oneself - oughtn't one to have patience, oughtn't one to learn patience from nature, learn patience from seeing the corn slowly ripen, seeing things grow - should one think oneself so absolutely dead as to imagine that one would not grow any more? Should one thwart one's own development on purpose? I say this to explain why I think it so foolish to speak about natural gifts and no natural gifts. But in order to grow, one must be rooted in the earth. - Vincent van Gogh

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