VINCENT VAN GOGH
At the time I was gaining an interest in Monet, I happened to come across a reproduction poster of Van Gogh's "Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum" (1888). Although I had always felt his beginning works, dark and depressing, I immediately fell in love with the colors and his cafe portrayal. The outdoor cafe reminded me so much of the cafe I was managing at the time in Greenwich Village NY. It also had the blues and yellows that I loved so much.
It wasn't until I started reading about Vincent's life, that I gained more of an interest in his work, and seemed to understand him better. I felt he was a tortured soul and this was expressed through his artwork hence; the dark and gloomy atmosphere of many of his paintings. I began to look more closely. As he continued on his colors became a bit more bright and cheery although the paintings still seemed to have that heaviness of depression. I looked at my Van Gogh poster, more and more and I began to get the urge to paint it. Did I dare? I didn't think I would be able to do it. It just seemed so overwhelming. I decided to give it a try and do my best to pay homage.
This painting was extraordinary for me, as I was painting it, believe it or not, I felt a presence. It was a very weird feeling, like there was someone looking over my shoulder with every stroke. It became somewhat like a spiritual presence guiding me along. Of course I had the poster print to copy from, but there was something else and I just couldn't put my finger on it.
At times when I couldn't get something right, there was that presence that said, " keep on, you'll get it" and sure enough I did.
I put away the poster print I had hanging in my home for 22 years and replaced it with the painting that, Vincent so lovingly helped me with.