Dear Van Gogh

I wish so much that you were not always so sad. I’m sure being Bi-Polar isn’t easy to live with, but your work is so grand that I wish you would have stayed and continued. Some of my favorite paintings of yours are the dark mysterious types.  The Church at Auvers, Starry Night on the Rhone, and The Mulberry Tree. Although most of your works are well-known, these are a little less so, only because your works such as Sunflowers and Starry Night are taking the spotlight. These works, these dark mysteries, they show a bit more of what’s inside of you. The pain and anguish you went through, the depression you must have felt.

However, there is one thing to take note of in your works, and this is the light that comes through.  Brightness, despite the dark backdrop. In The Mulberry Tree for instance, the darkness comes mainly from the sky. A deep rich blue that makes you feel a storm is on its way. Yet the tree itself is more neutral in orange and deep yellows, and the ground below shines with bright yellows. A grand example of  the manic/depressive state that you constantly dealt with. This fascinating tree is my background for my phone at the moment. What a lovely thing to look at every time I make a call.

The Church at Auvers is a painting I have long been fascinated with. You weren’t really a religious man, but you painted the things around you, so the church received it’s place in your collection. I always wondered if the woman walking toward the church was planning on entering or if she was simply passing by on her way to do something else. The particular detail I love is the bright orange roof to the right. This to me is again, a sign of the manic in you. Orange evokes feelings of anger, and although the general theme of the painting is blue, which makes one feel comfortable and clam, the orange let’s you know that not everything is ok,  there is something amiss.

The final painting, Starry Night on the Rhone, is by far my favorite of your works. It’s also the darkest of the three I’ve chosen to examine. It often reminds people of Starry Night, which is understandable since it almost shares the same name and subject matter. However this painting is different. Different from Starry Night and different from the other two dark paintings. It’s deep blue sky and golden stars are calming, lovely even. The reflections of light guide the viewer’s eye up to the sky or down to the little couple leaving the bay. I find it interesting that this painting is the only one I’ve seen of your work, Van Gogh, that doesn’t seem to move. All is still in this scene. Everything is silent, the wind isn’t blowing, the town is about to go to bed, and the boats are all put away for the night. What were you doing painting at such an hour? Why did you chose to make this painting still?

I hope to write you again, your paintings top my charts, and I never grow tired of them.

From the art lover in me,


  1. #1 by DaveLoven on April 28, 2011 - 9:39 pm

    Let me be the first to comment.
    I think we need to take a trip to the DIA soon.

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