Monday Motivator: Van Gogh’s Brushwork System (or rather, the lack thereof)

“I follow no system of brushwork at all; I hit the canvas with irregular strokes which I leave as they are, impastos, uncovered spots of canvas — corners here and there left inevitably unfinished — reworkings, roughnesses; well, I’m inclined to think that the result is sufficiently worrying and annoying not to please people with preconceived ideas about technique.”

Vincent van Gogh, letter to Emile Bernard c.12 April 1888

Or put another way: don’t stress about your brushwork so much, do what you enjoy.

Van Gogh Olive Trees painting
“Olive Trees” by Vincent van Gogh, 1889. In National Galleries Scotland

2 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Van Gogh’s Brushwork System (or rather, the lack thereof)”

    1. And it’s distinctive from a Cézanne too… Maybe it’s the energy in the brushwork?

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