Monday, March 02, 2015

Scenes From A Lusty Life

March 2, 2015
   Had a very successful weekend painting. Raining like crazy right now. And when it gets like this I often paint clouds.

Daily Whip Outs: "Rain Clouds Galore"

   That led to an attempt to paint rain effects while in the middle of it (Remington attempted this just before he died with "Night Herder" 1908).

Daily Whip Out: "Gullywasher"

   Also tweaked another image out of my Potential Pile:

Daily Whip Out: "Bob Guess On Shamrock"

   I've been culling all of my notes from the two massive bios I've finished on Vincent van Gogh. For one thing, I have a new found appreciation for the Dutch:

Dutch Treat: Life In The Middle Lane
   "History teaches us that every triumph is followed by defeat, every plenty by want, every calm by upheaval, every golden age by apocalypse. Your heart's only protection is to seek the middle ground, whether in prosperity or adversity, elation or despair. In eating, in clothing, even in painting, the Dutch aim for the Golden Mean: the prudent, sustainable balance between sumptuousness and frugality."
—paraphrased from "Van Gogh, The Life"

Daily Whip Out: "Red Lake Rider"

 A Fanatic Heart
   "Vincent was the victim of his own fanatic heart." Theo remarked, "There's something in the way he talks that makes people either love him or hate him. He spares nothing and no one."

    Vincent devoured histories and novels set in previous eras, and like me and my friends, he always imagined these eras as better, purer than our own. He lamented the lost virtues of earlier times. His family banned the cowboy-and-Indian stories coming out of America, because they deemed them "too rousing" for a proper upbringing.

Daily Whip Out: "Patience, Por Favor" (an obvious reference to a famous van Gogh painting)

   As I studied all these van Gogh cullings, I naturally wondered what the mad Dutchman would paint if he was alive today.

Daily Whipout: "Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney Kicks Out The Jams."

The Kind of Painter Who Paints Every Single Bullet In The Gunbelt
   "The artist who must copy every small stone and each stroke of whitewash has missed his calling; he should have become a bricklayer."
—Constantin Huysmans, Vincent's first (?) art teacher

Daily Whip Out: "Gunfighter With Every Bullet Painted"

Free Love: "Girls who love so much." is what Vincent called dance hall girls. In those years (1882-1890) the age of consent was 12 and 80,000 prostitutes, many not even teenagers, plied their trade in London while he was there. A visitor remarked, "you cannot walk a hundred steps without knocking into twenty streetwalkers."

Daily Whip Out: "The Girl Who Loved Too Much"

The Road
   One of Vincent's favorite stanzas of poetry, pleaded with the voice of the weary traveler: "Does the road go uphill all the way?/ Yes, to the very end./ will the journey take the whole long day?/ From morn till night, my friend."

Daily Whip Out: "The Road to Purgatory"

    While the Earps and Doc Holliday are trading shots with cowboys in Tombstone, Vincent is putting the moves on his widowed cousin. Neither event goes well for the participants.

Daily Whip Out: "Wyatt Gets to Fighting"

    Tersteeg considered Vincent's artistic endeavors "fakery and laziness." He also said, "You started too late." And, "Of one thing I am sure, you are no artist." And, Tersteeg reminded van Gogh, "you failed before and now you will fail again. . .This painting of yours will be like all the other things you started, it will come to nothing."

   "I am in the hospital. . .I have what they call the 'clap.'"
—Vincent van Gogh

 The title "Lust for Life" the Kirk Douglas movie: where does that come from?
   "Brother, I think of you a very great deal these days, because everything that I have is really from you: my lust for life and my energy too."
—Vincent van Gogh, a July 1882 letter to his brother Theo

"Happy is the one who is taught by the truth."
—Vincent van Goigh