“I catch hold of one thing and another; later things will arrange themselves and settle into shape of their own accord. But here I will not begin with a prearranged plan; on the contrary, I want my plan to result from my studies. As yet I do not know the real character of the country; now I draw everything that presents itself, but later on, after some experience, I shall try to reproduce it in its real character…” –Excerpt from a letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh -- Drenthe, 12 October 1883
I attribute this arrogant display of tints and hues to the truly unique light I have found here. Its balance of both temperature and clarity turns the sky into a specific shade of cerulean that causes the world beneath it to vibrate with a static charge that you can almost feel. Colors pop and hum with an intensity that leads one to believe that if you were to reach out and touch it, your hand would come away wet with paint. The scenery alone is staggeringly succulent but when you add in the neighboring architecture and loose, pastel linen attire of the locals reflecting a summer sunset and cut that against the deep sapphire hue of the Mediterranean, it’s no wonder why so many travelers become lost here.
Imagine being Van Gough, alone in a field fighting against time and the elements to capture not just the colors he saw but the way they felt. The way they moved in playful union with the wind, flickering and sparkling… every vista more gorgeous than the last… a deeply religious man experiencing rapture first hand for so long that he had no choice but surrender to it.
I’m an artist that prides himself on being a master of technique. True enough, my work is constantly mistaken for the less-than-romantic digital methods that I openly shun and actively avoid. To me, painting – brush in hand, the feel of raw pigment claiming a virgin board versus the disconnected, formulaic approach afforded me by contemporary design software, is like comparing the slick feel of unhinged passionate lovemaking to pathetically masturbating into an old gym sock. No thank you. But for all my skill at presenting the perfect beauty of imperfection, my desire to create the reddest Red or the bluest Blue – I worry that I may not be able to accurately capture the subtle impressionistic overload of this one-of-a-kind paradise… it’s a long overdue challenge that I willfully embrace: can I finally, utterly and completely submit to my senses?
Only time will tell.