Thursday, February 2, 2012

Van Gogh Up Close


...on a grey and almost-rainy Groundhog Day, unable to work in more than dribbles in drabs...under-stimulated by a mild winter, yet overwhelmed by matters I won’t go into, here...decided to take a chilly bike ride downtown, ending up stopping in at the turn-around point, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, surprised to find out tickets were available on an early Thursday afternoon for the new exhibit, Van Gogh Up Close...

...walking in, felt a smile opening somewhere inside on seeing Sunflowers...followed by a colorful intensity of old boots, clouds, lilies, wheat fields, raindrops, blades of grass, hay bales, tree trunks and muck....thankfully, security was lax enough I didn’t get in trouble for peering so closely at glorious gobs of paint sticking out from the canvases...receiving quiet lessons in the seemingly limitless possibilities of paying attention...of stopping for just a moment to take in just a smidgen of the full experience of whatever happens to be directly in front of oneself at any moment...of simply seeing...

But never mind, I think I am not going to urge you too much to read books or dramas, seeing that I myself, after reading them for some time, feel obliged to go out and look at a blade of grass, the branch of a fir tree, an ear of wheat, in order to calm down. So if you want to do, as the artists do, go look at the red and white poppies with their bluish leaves, their buds soaring on gracefully bent stems. The hours of trouble and strife will know how to find us without our going to look for them.
Vincent van Gogh (Letter to Wilhelmina van Gogh, Saint-Rémy, 2 July 1889)

6 comments:

Yogadawg said...

Can't wait to see it myself...Philly, here I come!

berenice said...

oh Dr. Jay, this post is beautiful! worth it of mister Vincent's art... i do understand the just seeing and the big brushes sticking out of canvases, love THEM!! and that selection of a letter you posted, YES! what staring a grass blades really means, thanks to you and Van Gogh, for sharing the beauty he created tonight, i do feel a bit like i have stared at some of those white poppies myself, and it's actually just black letters on a white screen, thank you!

Meredith LeBlanc said...

I love the movement in Van Gogh's work ~ it's kind of like this winter which has been more like a semi spring. Never really settling into that deep sleep that I yearn so much for in the season.

earthtoholly said...

Very cool. I followed the link and see that the featured painting on the front page is Rain...how fitting for your opening paragraph. Glad you've been able to get out on the bike...nothing like a ride to ease one's mind, at least temporarily, of weighty stuff. Ride on, drjay!

Lydia said...

I would love to see that exhibit. What a beautiful post this is.

The Offended Blogger said...

And to think LSD was invented AFTER Van Gogh!!

Imagine the possibilities.. ;)