Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spiritual side of Van Gogh

Hi all,
I've been reading the book "The Shoes of Van Gogh"
a spiritual and artistic journey to the ordinary.
And let me tell you, it is fantastic!!!

The author of the book is Cliff Edwards who also wrote the book "Van Gogh and God"
and his connection to Vincent van Gogh is totally fierce and touching.
I too have always felt a connection (some say addiction, lol)
to van Gogh because of his spiritual search as well as his artistic journey
and to read the writings of someone who also has such
a passion for this tortured and genius of an artist is such a pleasure to read.

Also at the beginning of the book is a forward written by Henri Nouwen who
has taught several seminars on "The Ministry of Vincent van Gogh".
Here is an excerpt of that forward:
"After all these decades of van Gogh studies, finally someone opens up for us
Vincent's deepest quest and convincingly shows that the art of the "sorrowful, yet
always rejoicing" Dutch painter is of deep theological and spiritual significance.
Cliff Edwards radically dispels the view that Vincent was lost in religious fanaticism
until he found his true vocation as a painter.
He clearly demonstrates that the whole of Vincent's life and work is a rich
source for all those who search for a deeper knowledge of God".

Henri Nouwen later went on to write:
Few writers or painters have influenced me as much as Vincent.
This deeply wounded and immensely gifted Dutchman
brought me in touch with my own brokenness and talents in ways nobody else
could. He painted what I had not before dared to look at; he questioned what I
had not before dared to speak about; and he entered into spaces of the heart
that I had not before dared to come close to. By doing so he brought me in
touch with many of my fears and gave me the courage to go further and deeper
in my search for a God who loves.
And now here is the book: Van Gogh and God.
It almost seems that Cliff Edwards,
in his careful and sensitive study of Vincent's spiritual journey, is telling me that
I was not crazy after all when I spoke of Vincent as one of the main spiritual guides
in my life and when I invited students to discover him as a true source of
theological reflection".

Henri concludes his forward with these words:
"I am deeply grateful that Van Gogh and God has been written. and I am
convinced that those who read it will find in Vincent a lasting spiritual companion".

I too am deeply grateful to Cliff Edwards for writing this wonderful book, and if
you also are a fan of Vincent van Gogh then you will love it too. It has brought
tears to my eyes and touched my heart in so many ways and I have only read
half the book!
So, check it out this summer and you'll be glad you did.

talk to you soon,


soulgrowth said...

Interesting! I think his spirituality has so much influence to his being a great painter.

Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

I'm also a van of Van Gogh, and I will have to track down these books on your glowing recommendation! Kathy

P.S. I'm glad you like "Francais"; I thought of you while putting it together :-)

ArtSnark said...

will have to check it out. Highly recommend reading his letters if you haven't yet. Fascinating, especially if you cross reference with his images

disa said...