Chapter 2. Impressions

Claude worked stubbornly

Claude worked stubbornly every day to show the spread of sunlight in an instant over everything.

Claude understood the difference

A haystack is not a linen canvas. Light is not a brush stoke. Water under a lily pad gives the leaf its uncertainty, which to paint is to kill like sticking in the pin to mount a butterfly.

Vincent appreciated cartoons

A painting started with a cartoon. Sometimes he kept the dark outlines in the painting to outline a table, a face, a branch of the apple tree. We see each thing in its milieu, but it has its hard-earned identity.

A storm raged in Vincent’s eyes

A brush stroke on a cypress branch needed to serve as a cold wind. Stars in the sky aren’t fixed in place, so he put each in an eddy of color. The sky wasn’t real unless it became the storm that raged in his eyes.

Paul appreciated the natural

You can tell in a painting of a girl if the model was forced or afraid. The painting should flow from life like good red wine from a bottle. This bottle must be freely offered; it must be given in friendship. A glow must appear from her heart.