Van Gogh at the Royal Academy

I am seeking

I am strong

I am in it with all my heart

--Vincent van Gogh

One can really feel that passionate soul at the current van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. It is called "The Real Van Gogh: The artist and his letters" and traces his development as an artist through displays of his letters to his brother Theo, sketches, and finished paintings.

It struck me that the letters, with their sketches in the margins, were rather like modern day blog posts. Van Gogh was trying to share his studio work with his brother, but couldn't take photographs (or send emails) so he posted his musings and sketches in the mail.

Every artist feels very alone in the studio (I know I sometimes do). Sharing things online and receiving comments and encouraging words helps to fill the void.

If you have a chance, take a trip to the Royal Academy. You will leave absolutely inspired. If you don't live anywhere near London, go to your local library and pick up a book about Van Gogh. The best is to get a compilation of his letters (this is often available via inter library loan). Or, better yet, go to this WEBSITE which has all 902 letters online! For each letter that includes a sketch you can click on a little link called "sketch" and it will show you a zoomable image of the letter. They are so fascinating, and well worth browsing for a little inspiration.