When Kim Klassen announced Texture Tuesday's theme would be the color
I felt prompted to choose something unexpected.
I was clueless, what was waiting to be noticed.
I culled through hundreds upon hundreds of photographs for anything with a hint of orange.
And then I knew I had made a good decision.
Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh was living in Arles when the specter of his illness became more and more apparent. In January he suffered a delusional attack and suffered a self inflicted wound after painfully parting ways with Gauguin.
Burdened by abandonment, embarrassment, weak from his episodes and wounds he lived in fear of another attack.
The next episode came in mid February.
In May, he voluntarily entered the mental asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, fifteen miles from Arles in Saint-Remy-de-Provence.
This proved to be a very positive, empathetic choice. As he improved he was allowed to leave his room and paint about the grounds.
Some of his greatest paintings are from this short span of time.
A few years ago, my family and I went to the St. Remy hospital. Today there are placards showing where he stood to paint the fields, buildings and flowers.
All is as it once was one hundred years ago.
His tiny room and treatment rooms are open for visitors.
Standing on the exact ORANGE-RED tiles that he stood on day after day, I gazed at the view he saw every morning upon rising.
In the adjacent room stood coffin-like, peeling white-tin tubs that patients were forced to stay in for water therapy.
Feet stand upon the tiles next to Vincent's simple cot.
Awe and humility.
Turning to the left is the barred window,
of the fields
where he saw such beauty;
the wavering wheat fields, the gnarled olive trees
and the stone walls that contained his world.
One could smell the oil paint and linseed oil, feel the rough linen he painted on.
"The sun was pouring bright yellow rays on the bushes and the ground, a perfect shower of gold."
Vincent van Gogh