transcendent notes

(I don’t know whether these are pages from a notebook or part of a letter.  But since the person in question wrote endless letters to a certain other person and those letters constitute a very vividly detailed journal, the difference is technical at best.)

Regardless of form, nothing is more important (maybe even crucial) to a writer or artist than the notebook, sketchbook or journal.  Nothing is more personal, either.  So nothing is more interesting to a creative curiosity than someone else’s notes.  And some of them transcend any given definition of the word interesting, enough that looking at them is like looking at the Milky Way.  Like looking into the sun.

vangoghnotebookThis paper belonged to Vincent Van Gogh, and he wrote and drew in it as he wrote a letter, almost certainly to his brother Theo,  sometime during his stay in the city of Arles.  We know this because on the upper part of the left hand page is a sketch for one of the greatest paintings in the world: “The Bedroom”, sometimes known as “The Bedroom in Arles”. vangoghnotebook-sketch-crop Think about that.  A sketch for my favorite painting.  In what looks like a very soft black pencil, on graph paper.  Van Gogh kept his notes on graph paper.  I know people who do that.

That’s clearly the famous bedroom, and it was probably drawn in the room itself, in the presence of the two rush bottomed chairs and the window and the green floor and the pictures on the wall.

bedroominarles1-blog  Now one of the paintings he made of that room is hanging in the Art Institute, and this sketch is on the internet.  Keep track of your notebooks and sketchbooks, everyone.

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