Books to Read on Vincent van Gogh

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? If you hear a voice within saying ‘You are not a painter’ then by all means paint – and that voice will be silenced.
― Vincent van Gogh

His letters provide both a unique self-portrait and a vivid picture of the contemporary cultural scene. Van Gogh emerges as a complex but captivating personality, struggling with utter integrity to fulfil his artistic destiny. It’s a must read book on Van Gogh. See My Book Review

Continue reading “Books to Read on Vincent van Gogh”

February- Monthly Recap

This post is all about what was posted this month on Confessions of a Readaholic.

BOOK REVIEWS:

                    

GUEST POST:

The Joy of Discovery by Avinash Gupta

ESSAYS:

The Unknown Van Gogh

BOOK LISTS:

Seven Books Turning 10 in 2015

Five Objects I have used as Bookmarks

Books Betiding into Movies Part-1

Books Betiding into Movies Part-2

The Brunch Book Challenge Part-2

The Brunch Book Challenge Part -3: Halfway Through

The Unknown Van Gogh

Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough.
― Vincent van Gogh

I can’t stop admiring his art work. Sometimes I just want to drown myself in them. Anyone familiar with the drawings and paintings Van Gogh produced will certainly observe that he just not created any beauty with his art work, but the beauty that would give people something to think about. During his short, intense life, one will discover that The Letters of Vincent van Gogh highlight many facets of his personality that are suggested by his work as a visual artist.

These complete letters linked with brief passages of connecting narrative and showing all the pen-and-ink sketches provide both a unique self-portrait and a vivid picture of the contemporary cultural scene. Vincent van Gogh emerges as a complex but captivating personality, struggling with utter integrity to fulfil his artistic destiny. These letters illuminate his constant conflicts as a painter, torn between realism, symbolism and abstraction; between landscape and portraiture; between his desire to outline peasant life and the exciting diversions of the city though his work; between his uncanny versatility as a sketcher and his ideal of the full-scale finished paintings. Vincent van Gogh wrote at length to friends, fellow artists and his family, above all, to his brother Theo, the Parisian art dealer, who was his confidant.  Continue reading “The Unknown Van Gogh”

NEW BUYS!

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I bought four books a day back.

Wolf Hal by Hilary Mantel

Bringing up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Letters of Vincent van Gogh

I was quite excited to get my hands on them. Soon going to read them for the better!

Good day.

How I welcome the winter!

Ah, the month of November went pretty fast for me. The later half of the month, I still can’t believe it existed. It’s been over a month Imagesince I had read something or wrote something(Of Course, except in the examinations). “Examinations! Examinations! Examinations!”, right now it sounds like “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!” in the voice of Daleks. It was kind of a Dalek-phase I was passing through. I still hope that the time lord will come and will take me back in time, back to the mid of last month. But then I’ll be in the Dalek-phase all over again. And I’ll still be reading text books instead of ‘Real Books’  writing exams instead of poetry. Due to this phase, I feel I will not be able to complete my Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge of 100 books which till now I have read only 66.

As of now, I am quite relieved that along with winter that phase had passed like the west wind blows. Cruel mistress winter is to me, but I guess I am ready for some holidays. Football, reading books, and eat is all I am going to do for the next month.

My head, right now, is all in a fuzziness due to the side effects of the Daleks-phase. Any recommendations for the reading part?

THE YELLOW HOUSE

THE YELLOW HOUSE: an appreciation for an art
by Aman Mittal

STANDING beside the only lamppost on the corner of the street, I took a glance over with big Yellow House. It was as yellow as it could be but the surface looked as smooth as butter. Made in Victorian fashion, it was obvious the roof top would be either crimson red or dull red in colour but this one was crimson red. The windows were quite French, painted in green as was the interior. How could one see the interior, well the windows were always open at this time of the day. But I could never see any movement up there. Not a single soul. Neighboring that house, designed and structured in the similar fashion was another yellow house. The two only differ in their interior colours. This other one was lavenderish pink from inside. And there was a shop of some kind which I am not able to recall of what it was. If one look far, straight, where he would be dwelling currently, he would see a bridge on which a steam would pass exactly at noon. It was 11:58 a.m. by my watch so I had to wait for two more minutes to see elegant body. Though two minutes were still to be traveled, I could hear the distorting and disturbing sound of the engine and the general noise of the blowing horn. The steam would pass by as a black beauty would. There was some elegance in its blackness too, blowing out the contrasting white smoke. The smoke which came out gaps and one could see the blue sky in between the chunks and that blue sky would make those chunks of smoke appear as some white-gray clouds. There was some smoke in front of the yellow house too. An old man in his gray communist hat was puffing off his cigarette. His cigarette would never went off as his age would be someday. But if one concentrates on his face, it resembled a handsome man in past but now left with poverty, drip and dry skin, face swallowed by pain and his cigarette. As the soigne steam would continue to pass one can see to women coming in one’s direction and is able to judge they had been married quite along time. Carrying a basket each, one or the other, and talking gibberish. Maybe they are insulting each other’s husbands, but they would be bored by now. Or maybe they are just gossiping about one thing or the other. The sky is so blue that it makes want to follow it till I find a dark cloud but if the sky is this endlessly blue, I think I’ll never find a cloud.

The blue sky, the soigne steam, the French windows , the yellow house, whole image is so picturesque. It is captured in my mind so boldly that it would appear every morning I wake up and would tempt me to go out and have a look of this yellow house. But I wish I could, if it was real.

AN ILLUSION: a story of a Painter

An Illusion: A Story of a Painter

By Aman Mittal

The gloom of the darkness and the heaviness of the rainfall had added another load of misery as he already had one.’People are always happy,’ he thought, carrying the overweight of misery on his shoulders, ‘And they become happier, day by day. And me. My load of miser is only getting more and no less. Even the single droplet of rain is incrementing the load by a ton. And this darkness makes the road hard and uncomfortable to travel. What am I to do? What wrong have I done? Whose fault is this?’

And with a long sigh he took a half crumbled cigarette out of his wet pocket which was half moist due to rain. He observed he had two matchsticks left in the matchbox. No shed and shrewd rain, how in the name of god is he going to light that cigarette? But what you seek is what you get, only you have to make your own way to it. And he stood in front of a glass of a shop where some mannequins were on display inside, wearing wicked hats and fancy dresses. He holds his hands in an oval covering the strike which he was going to make and managed to light the cigarette with both of the matchsticks in one strike. As he took his first puff, he sees a reflection in the glass and then he looked carefully. It was more than the reflection, it was his image with a blurred background of cause of mannequins as the matchsticks were still managing to emit enough light to see. He looked carefully and he saw a  man looking old, very old with unshaved facial hair, and the swollen and dry skin as it had been months since a drop of glycerin has been rubbed off his skin. He realized he wore a more wicked hat than those lifeless creatures which were never going to make to life. He said to himself, ‘Shall I go back?’

No was the answer in his ears, mechanically ringing like church bells.

‘But why?’

He already knew the answer: abandoned.

‘Abandoned from what?’

Abandoned from love, shelter, and food. The three things a man needs to survive and live happily. But he had none and so unhappy was he.

He throwaway the illusion and those matchsticks on the road which caused a sound  ‘psss’ as hot, on fire, as matchsticks made contact with water. He knew the sound was not only the matchsticks but also the illusion which made him see the three different keys of happiness.

‘It must be my fault as I have always avoided consequences and situations in ignorance, and for my own little pleasures which I have been too fond of. I always wanted to paint, but I never paint one. I had canvas, I had colours, I had the idea. But now it’s all gone and I am lost on this road which seems less traveled. Misery is my slut or I am hers’. Which is true, it might be both. And add to the misery, I can’t even make myself lifeless by a monotonous colour as my life is already faded in a single colour. But it’s time to change. Its time to leave this harlot here and go with the wind. Through these black clouds soon there will be a beam of sunlight on my face which will bring back all the glycerin on my skin and make it soft as it was soft in my offspring, and take away all the dryness. With morning light I’ll follow till my destination arrives and my departure from this world of Hades’ be confirmed. My life would be my canvas as I’ll paint it and fill each and every colour that is in existence of nature. Thus, now I shall dream of paint and then I’ll paint my dream.’

Paul Gauguin, The Painter of Sunflowers: Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Paul Gauguin, The Painter of Sunflowers: Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1888