How Van Gogh Lost His Artistic Vision

Why do art? For the immense intrinsic reward and the hope of touching others as the artist himself has undoubtedly been touched. The artist hopes to share his own attempt to make sense of his experience, with the aim of adding meaning to the lives of others. Vincent van Gogh was a perfect example of this artistic vision. He is also an example of how it can all go wrong. His early works depict toiling peasants and nature, but as he developed as an artist, he became obsessed with bright colour. He ended his tormented life by shooting himself with a revolver in a field filled with ripe golden wheat, the colour of which must surely have reminded him of the huge yellow sunflowers he loved so much and is so famous for painting.

Vincent van Gogh - Self Portrait

Vincent van Gogh is a sobering example of how artistic vision can lead a creative person into difficulties. (Image: WPClipart)

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The Creative Magic of Absorption

The way to get creative projects rolling is to get enthusiastic about them. We must keep thinking about what we propose to do long enough for the priming effect of absorption to begin drawing forth the relevant ideas and information from our inner and outer lives. Isaac Newton believed that to solve a problem required “thinking on it continually.”

Archimedes by Domenico Fetti (1620)

We are at our creative best when completely absorbed in what we are doing. (Photo: Wikipedia)

By continually thinking about our project, we get into the creative mood specific to that project. A cocoon or atmosphere of feeling surrounds what we are doing. We have enveloped ourselves in a creative possibility cloud. As our mood-focussed attention gathers the relevant ideas, images, and bits of information around the emotional nucleus, the proposed project will take shape and the momentum will steadily increase. American sculptor Louise Nevelson said of the artist’s work, “It absorbs you totally, and you absorb it totally, everything must fall by the wayside by comparison.”

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Writing Gives Thoughts Value

A few useful thoughts and inspiring insights on creativity and the writing process.

 An Illustrated Version of William Blake's Poem, The Tyger

Do your thoughts have any value if you keep them to yourself? (Image: public domain.)

Writing Begins Things

Writing is about making beginnings. It is about bringing something into existence that did not exist before. All true art works in this way.

Finding a Way In

The hardest part of any task is getting started, finding a way in. This can be especially true with writing where one must establish so much early on.

Plan Writing Ahead

It is easier to get out of bed in the morning if one has a clear and precise knowledge of the work one will be doing that day. I think it a wise thing to plan the next day’s work the evening before.

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