Text By Douglas Schwartz

Almond Blossom 1890

Irises 1889

Peach Tree in Blossom 1888

Flowering Orchard, Surrounded by Cypress 1888
It is reasonably safe to say that when most people think about Vincent van Gogh's creative accomplishments, they immediately
visualize his masterpiece, The Starry Night, or perhaps his moody self-portraits. While these works of art are indeed superb,
there are other paintings he created that deserve their moment in the spotlight as well. This is especially true, in my opinion,
when it comes to his light and airy scenes of spring.

The very nature of spring evokes feelings of promise. This seasonal attribute can be especially beneficial during a difficult time
in a person's life. When we consider that van Gogh had his share of problems (he painted The Starry Night while voluntarily
committed to an asylum), it is very likely that this positive emotion of the season is what inspired him to create his springtime

At the risk of sounding like a Gloomy Gus...any artist's life can be fraught, to one degree or another, with emotional difficulties.
Artists are very emotional beings, after all. We have to be! Creating art is a very emotional and challenging pursuit! Furthermore,
artists are often relegated to the bottom of the financial totem pole. Most other professions are more rewarding when it comes to
remuneration. In other!

Perhaps these unfortunate, but often true facts in many an artist's life is what makes Vincent's lighthearted impressions of
springtime so inviting to other artists...or, for that matter, to anyone who knows that life can be a tough row to hoe. Whereas
some of his other works possess less cheery, or even somber qualities, his paintings of spring blossoms bring to mind happy
days, filled with the promise of things to come.
While I have long admired van Gogh's artistic achievements, I have also respected his determination to be creative while
struggling with serious problems in his life. In spite of his tragic ending, Vincent's dedication to his art and resulting body of
work remains an excellent model for artists working in all disciplines today, and also serves as an example of other artists
from the past who devoted their lives as well to accomplishing something positive and truly meaningful. When all is said and
done, what better professional accomplishment can there be?!

By the case you don't know, Gloomy Gus was an early 20th century comic-strip character created by artist, Frederick
Burr Opper. While I can't say for certain, perhaps Gus wouldn't have been so gloomy if he had more promise of spring in his
life. Just a thought.

Orchard with Blooming Apricot Trees 1888
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