Thursday, March 3


At the moment, I am busy with blossoming fruit trees; pink peach blossom, white and yellow pear blossom. I don't keep to any one technique. I dab the colour irregularly on the canvas and leave it at that. Here lumps of thick paint, there bits of canvas left uncovered, elsewhere portions left quite unfinished, new beginnings, coarsenesses: but anyway the result, it seems to me, is alarming and provocative enough to disturb those people who have fixed preconceived ideas about technique ... While working directly on the spot all the time, I try to secure the essential in the drawing -- then I go for the spaces, bounded by contours, either expressed or not, but felt at all events: these I fill with tones equally simplified, so that all that is going to be soil partakes of the same purplish tone, the whole of the sky has a blueish hue and the greens are either definitely blue-greens or yellow-greens, purposely exaggerating in this case the yellow or blue qualities.

Anyway, my dear old friend, there's no attempt at perspective.

-- Vincent Van Gogh Letter to Emile Bernard Early April 1888
Translated by Douglas Lord