Monday, May 4, 2009


"And if you should conclude from these remarks that I meant to suggest your advice was worthy of a quack, then you have completely misunderstood me, as I have no such thoughts or opinions about you. If, on the other hand, you believe that I would do well to follow your advice literally to become an engraver of invoice headings & visiting cards or a bookkeeper or factotum -- or the advice of my very dear sister Anna to devote myself to the baker's trade or many other suchlike things, curiously at odds and hardly compatible -- you would be making another mistake."

(page 63, from THE LETTERS OF VINCENT VAN GOGH, translated by Arnold Pomerans. This is from a letter of August 1879, written to his brother, Theo. Vincent did his first painting in November of 1881, after spending several years learning to draw rather than taking a job "at odds and hardly compatible."

Although I don't think of Vincent van Gogh as someone who walked in the woods or painted woodlands, I found this from 1882 when he was still living in the north. His woods look oppressive, unlike the vibrant paintings he did in the south of France.

Last night I dreamed that I saw an ad for a job as a medical transcriptionist in the hospital where I used to work. The ad had been placed in a comic strip. I jumped up in excitement at the thought of being employed again. Then I stopped and said to myself, "Hey, wait a minute. Why would I want that job again, much less in a comic strip world?"

"At odds and hardly compatible," as Vincent said to Theo.


R.L. Bourges said...

better to draw the comic strip than to live in one :-)
Love the light in the photo.

Zhoen said...


Anonymous said...

i think of bread baked by van gough, the butter-color dappled across the crust. r.l.b. says it about the light.kjm

Nancy said...

Hope you like your bulbs---more coming soon.


Nancy said...

Oh, and in addition, lovely photographs!