Q: What art book are you reading for inspiration now?

Barbara's copy of "Dear Theo"

Barbara’s copy of “Dear Theo”

A:  I am re-reading “Dear Theo,” van Gogh’s autobiography as expressed in letters to his beloved brother, a book I read more than twenty-five years ago when I first started out as an artist.  My copy is beat up and yellowing, but still holding together.

It’s a source of pure solace.  Keeping and growing a studio practice in New York is  fraught with complexity, challenges, increasing demands on one’s time, etc.  So I sometimes need reminding about the joyful aspects of  being an artist, about why I decided to devote my time to this work in the first place, about what I love about this often difficult and frustrating life I chose.  And Van Gogh’s sensitive, soulful words always deliver! 

Comments are welcome!


About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara’s thoughts on art, the creative process, soft pastel, the inspiration she finds in travel, what it’s like to be an artist in New York City, and other wisdom for artists as we travel our solitary and sometimes lonely roads.

Posted on April 29, 2017, in 2017, An Artist's Life, Creative Process, Inspiration and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Oh Van Gogh ..Oh Rachko …..
    “always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” It is the inside job of art to give courage, to relieve or bring on grief, to embolden passion, to expand the vista and sky, to inexplicably remove borders, and to bring fierce brilliance and light to any dark corner. What a feat. I commend you and all atists as they are brave souls.. allowing the vulnerable parts to show through the act of creation. What more is there in living a full life?
    Ps I am now reading the War of Art…. and currently was shifted off my book ladened sofa by this…. from author Steve Pressfield …

    …“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.

    Do it or don’t do it.

    It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.

    You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God.

    Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”
    ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

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