Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Texture Tuesdays: ORANGE

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,
his view
 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

  How did he feel in those cold tin tubs?
Did he lie complacently, or was he held in place with a heavy wooden lid complete with ominous lock.

Saint-de-Mausole is a holy place.
A cathedral.
One speaks in whispers.
One steps silently.
One gives gratitude for the life and talent of
Vincent van Gogh

"I don't care so much whether my color is exactly the same, as long as it looks beautiful on my canvas, as beautiful as it looks in nature."


  1. What a brilliant selection for orange. I love that POV looking down at your shoes. I liked reading this info on van Gogh. How fortunate, despite the bars and tubs that he could see beyond such a beautiful view. I wonder if later it was determined that he did suffer from mental illness, or was it something else? Thanks for todays art lesson and for sharing these beautiful textured images.

  2. Very creative post - I love the perspective of your first shot.


Thank you for taking your time to drop by and leave a note. Warmly, Sharon