Going to Paris. What Van Gogh’s arrival in Paris can teach us about timing.

Life, growth, art, and creativity.

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“It was just as Pietersen had told him in Brussels; he had been too close to his models. He had not been able to get a perspective. He had been pouring himself into the mould of nature; now he poured into the mould of himself” (Stone, 1934).

After six long years Vincent had finally captured what he had been longing for. Something about this painting was different than all the others that had come before. He captured the colors that he wanted to. He captured the scene as he saw it. He captured “that which does not pass in that which passes” (Stone, 1934). He finished the painting feeling calm and peaceful. Not his usual manner. His painting had a smell and taste to it that captured what he experienced. He was pleased and this propelled him into the next phase of his artistic development and life. He was ready for Paris.

“You were an impressionist from the day you picked up a pencil in the Boringe. Look at your drawing! Look at your brushwork! Look at your lines! They are your impressions” (Stone, 1934).

What a beautiful moment. The moment when Theo helps Vincent put together the missing pieces. Vincent is immediately thrown into despair concerned that all his years of practicing and learning his art were for nothing. Theo says, NO! “You’ve worked out your craft for yourself. You paint like Vincent Van Gogh and nobody else in the world. If you had come here before you crystallized your own particular expression, Paris would have moulded you to suit yourself” (Stone, 1934).

“One starts with a hopeless struggle to follow nature, and everything goes wrong; one ends by calmly creating from one’s palette, and nature agrees with it and follows” (Stone, 1934).

Vincent got to the end of himself. When he threw down that canvas he picked up another and started painting according to his palette and it was at that moment he was ready for Paris. The moment when he stopped following nature, the ideas of others, and started following his own way. When he poured his vision into his way of doing things. It was then he would be ready to train, would develop pieces that he could sell, and embrace an artistic community. He couldn’t embrace an artistic community until he was sure who he was as an artist. They would have moulded and shaped him into something he wasn’t. Thanks to Theo he went at the right time and became the artist he was always meant to be.

Writer, analyst, life-long learner, and obsessed about improving life and work processes. Connect at marcypedersen@icloud.com

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