Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Ability to Create

"Yet the only time he felt alive was when he was slogging at his work. Of personal life, he had none. He was just a mechanism, a blind painting automaton that had food, liquid and paint poured into it each morning, and by nightfall, turned out a finished canvas. And for what purpose? For sale? Certainly not. He knew that no one wanted to buy his pictures. Then what was the hurry? Why did he drive and spur himself to paint dozens and dozens of canvases when the space under his miserable brass bed was piled nearly solid with paintings?

The desire to succeed had left Vincent; he worked because he had to -- because it kept him from suffering too much mentally, because it distracted his mind. He could do without a wife, a home, and children. He could without love and friendship and health. He could do without security, comfort and food. He could even do without God. But he could not do without something which was greater than himself, which was his life -- the power, and ability to create."

- Irving Stone, Lust for Life (the Van Gogh bio)

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