“Just now I am working on a landscape with cornfields which I think as well of as, say, the white orchard; it has solidity and style. The days when I bring home a study I say to myself, If it were like this every day we might be able to get on. But the days when you come back empty-handed, and eat and sleep and spend money all the time, you feel a fool and a good-for-nothing.”–Vincent van Gogh
“Just when I was going to start home in the morning, very early, I made a drawing of the boats. I have been here only a few months, but tell me this: Could I in Paris have done the drawing of the boats in an hour? And without the frame! [a drawing aid] I do it now without measuring, just letting my pen go.”–Vincent van Gogh
I am still reading the Van Gogh letters; our hero is only recently arrived in Arles. We all know how this story ends, but I have been surprised what a sharp, thoughtful firebrand he wa. These two passages especially caught my eye because I feel somewhere between them these days. I’ve improved somewhat over the last 3 months, and done some things I am pleased with, but I am not consistent. I long for that moment when my hand is firm and can go about tasks, now painstaking, rapidly and with assurance. There is still a great deal of work to go to get there. My trouble is finding the time with a full-time job and a bit of a life.