to brother theo
In the fullness of artistic life there is, and remains, and will always come back at times, that homesick longing for the truly ideal life that can never come true.
And sometimes you lack all desire to throw yourself heart and soul into art, and to get well for that. You know you are a cab horse and that it's the same old cab you'll be hitched up to again: that you'd rather live in a meadow with the sun, a river and other horses for company, likewise free . . . .
And perhaps, to get to the bottom of it, the disease of the heart is caused by this: it would not surprise me. One does not rebel against things, nor is one resigned to them; one's ill because of them, and one does not get better, and it's hard to be precise about the cure . . . .
We do not feel we are dying, but we do feel the truth that we are of small account, and that we are paying a hard price to be a link in a chain of artists, in health, in youth, in liberty, none of which we enjoy, any more than the cab horse which hauls a coachful of people out to enjoy the spring . . .
One night I went for a walk my the sea along the empty shore. It was not gay, but neither was it sad-- it was-- beautiful. The deep blue sky was flecked with clouds of a blue deeper than the fundamental blue of intense cobalt, and others of a clearer blue, like the blue whiteness of the Milky Way. In the blue depth the stars were sparkling, greenish, yellow, white, pink, more brilliant, more sparklingly gemlike than at home-- even in Paris: opals you might call them, emeralds, lapis lazuli, rubies, sapphires. The sea was very deep ultramarine-- the shore a sort of violet and faint russet as I saw it, and on the dunes (they are about seventeen feet high) some bushes Prussian blue . . . .
to sister wilhelmina
I am always very dusty, always more bristlingly loaded, like a porcupine, with sticks, painter's easel, canvases and further merchandise . . . .
I live in a little yellow house with a green door and green blinds, whitewashed inside-- on the white walls very brightly coloured Japanese prints, red tiles on the floor-- the house in full sunlight-- and over it an intensely blue sky, and-- the shadows in the middle of the day much shorter than in our country. Well-- can you understand that one may be able to paint something like this with only a few strokes of the brush? . . . .
to brother theo
So now when anyone says that such and such is done too quickly, you can reply that they have looked at it too quickly . . . .