Did you know that some of the most famous artists never sold a painting until after they died?
In just over a decade, Van Gogh created around 2,100 pieces of art. The pieces included landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and were characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art.
Van Gogh only sold 1 painting until after his death. He was known as a madman in the community due to suffering from mental illness.
Picasso on the other hand, demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a naturalistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas.
The two men were both brilliant artists, but were different as night and day.
Van Gogh was socially awkward, insecure, whose idea of romance was loping off part of his ear to impress a girl some say she was a prostitute). And I recently learned he had originally wanted to be a priest, not an artist.
Picasso was from a wealthy family, he was completely confident and successful at all he did.
Van Gogh only sold 1 one painting in his entire lifetime. Picasso had people begging for his work.
What do the lives of these two amazing artists tell us? A few things.
- Picasso had a clear idea of what he wanted to be and do from the beginning. He set goals and achieved them – maybe even soared past them.
- Van Gogh struggled his entire life, but was continually seeking growth. He changed and grew as an artist throughout his entire life span.
- There are very few of us like Picasso. – clear ideas, successful, confident.
- There are many of us like Van Gogh. – growing, learning, changing.
I know as an artist, I fit in that Van Gogh category. I’m nervous about sharing my art. I’m never happy with it and continually seeking to grow and learn.
But I chose to focus on thankfulness rather than discontent.
I’m thankful for the support of friends and family. I’m thankful for other artists and their ability and willingness to provide guidance. And I’m thankful that the Lord gave me the talent and desire to create.