Art is not a skill that you can develop with training; it is a state of feeling, a state of mind. It is not a matter of glamorous paintings, best-seller stories, and classical music. It is a matter of the truth, a quality of imagination, vigor of the emotions; it is a way people seek for themselves to answer the question “WHO I AM?”
I have been struggling for this since the very beginning of my teenage years. Great philosophers may tell you tons of theories about it and acted as they know it. I think there is another possibility, but this option needs honesty and gut.
Nobody ever finds the “real me.” Nobody knows his or her personalities. Everyone is wondering. Everyone, everywhere, we are performing different roles in front of different people. Thus, some people just simply ignore it because thinking is always tired. Some people, on the other hand, are trying hard to find their purpose in life. Hence, some of them have a normal boring life, some of them were sent to a mental institution, some of them become an artist. The reason I called them artist does not mean they find the answer. Nobody did. An artist is a person who is always seeking, but not necessarily, gaining the answer. I believe the meaning of art is opposite to “I know it! I have got it,” as a matter of fact, it means “I am still seeking for the answer, fighting for the truth, I want to dedicate myself to art. ”
Arts may not relate to the behavior of an artist. But they are a part of him. Personalities will never be enough when it comes to describing a person.
Vincent Van Gogh, one of my favorite artists, had always been seeking for the purpose of his life, trying to find what he good at. Before he started his journey in becoming an artist, he was a Junior Clerk for the art firm of Goupil and Co., a teacher at a poor boy’s school, a preacher in a coal mining district. Early paintings were most in shade hue. For instance The Potato Eaters, The Sowers?The Neumann South Chapel. He felt sorry for the people suffered from adversity, until then did he realize God may not always take care of his people, the misfortune that a broken heart feels will benefit a person lot more than happiness. When he returned to Paris and lived with his brother Theo, he eager to embrace love, life, and hope. Paintings in a bright color like Bridges Across the Seine at Asnieres, The Sower in 1888 were created. Most people know him because of the famous self-mutilation event. We don’t know what happened that time exactly, but we are aware after that event he lost one ear. People say that he was insane. Later many oil paintings he created were all in blue and yellow colors. For instance, the famous Starry Night, Sun Flower in 1887, and the Starry Night Over the Rhone. He only sold one painting during his whole lifetime. In his late ages, the wishes for success already leave Vincent. He painted because he has to: to avoid his mental pain, to relax his spirit. He could live without a wife, a son, even a family. He could live without love, friendship, and health. He could live without comfort material-life. He could even live without the God. But, he couldn’t live without something greater than himself----the strength of creation and talent, this is his whole life. Like the lyric in the song, Vincent goes ” And now I think I know /what you tried to say to me /and how you suffered for your sanity /and how you tried to set them free. “ His paintings were always full of passion, the sun, the wheat, the cypress?the motion, the spin, the glow, the strength, was the compact of Vincent’s life. Or you can say that they created Vincent Van Gogh.
The truth is often is somewhere distant. People admire them. We peruse them. The whole long lifetime people live to pursue the “true me.” But first of all, we have to accept, all the real things, no matter how they appear on the surface, are beautiful and need to be taken. We need to believe the horrible truth is prettier than perfect lies, the Hangzhou in the mud is more poetic than it is in the delicate postcard. The truth may not always be shiny and glittering on the surface. Truth can be bloody and pony?like Egon Schiele’s painting. Truth can be hidden in a mist like Claude Monet’s painting. Truth can be as fierce as a snowstorm like J. M.W.Turner’s painting.
As the saying goes:”you have an old soul.” Time may age your body; you may get wrinkles, lose all your tooth, start to forget important things. However, the “important things” you forget do not matter at all. The things that you remembered are a part of you, are what who are, are the answers to the question ”who I am?”. Maybe then you will start to figure out the contour of the real truth, the real you. But this possibility needs persistence. Every insists you can be closer to the bottom of your heart.