Every school day throughout my childhood I was privileged to see a large reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s “A Wheatfield, with Cypress Trees” in its prominent position in the Narrowsburg school cafeteria. It wasn’t until last week, September 9, 2015, when I saw the original painting in the ‘Van Gogh and Nature’ exhibit at The Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts, that I realized the extent of influence this painting and artist have had in my life and career preferences.
Several of the paintings in this exhibition brought tears to my eyes and, after learning of Van Gogh’s lifelong fascination with nature and the recurring cycles of life, his precision drawings of insects and flora, and the following statement “…before such a nature, I feel powerless.” from his notes, I fully understand my overly emotional response to his work.
However, I disagree with Vincent Van Gogh
To me, nature is seductive, majestic, intelligent, beautiful and immensely powerful but, I would disagree with Vincent. He was not powerless, but empowered in his admiration and portrayal of nature. As a highly sensitive artist, he was an integral component of that very power by observing and painting the energetic patterns as he saw and felt them. He contributed his love of nature to humanity through his work which expanded the essence of the very power that intimidated him. His art visibly shares this powerful energy and whether or not a viewer understands it, they are energetically absorbing the movement and the patterns of nature as he experienced it.*
The Unexpected Math Behind Van Gogh’s Starry Night
An excerpt from a TED Ed video by Natalya St. Clair:
“… in a period of intense suffering, Van Gogh was somehow able to perceive and represent one of the most supremely difficult concepts nature has ever brought before mankind, and to unite his unique mind’s eye with the deepest mysteries of movement, fluid and light.”
I’d also like to recommend a beautifully descriptive and engaging review of Van Gogh and Nature
by Lance Esplund in the Wall Street Journal – click here.
*All visual art communicates on vibrational levels depending on the interests, preferences, and receptive alignments of the viewer.