Starry night

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Feeling a tad discouraged recently, I stumbled across this quotation:

“In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” Vincent Van Gogh

“In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.” Vincent Van Gogh


It reminded me of two things. Firstly, a mixed media piece I did a couple of years ago in which I tried to echo Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ through the trees in the foreground. Using rope and string for the trunks and branches, my fingers were rubbed raw as I sewed the strands onto the canvas before working on top of them. Finding myself wishing I’d never started the picture, it was only because I loathe not finishing something that I saw the project through. But I came so close to abandoning the whole thing.

“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”  Enid Blyton, Mr Galliano's Circus

“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.” Enid Blyton, Mr Galliano’s Circus

The second thing that came to mind was a quote I read some time ago, and which I’d evidently filed away in the eclectic junk room that is my brain. It’s from my favourite author growing up (it was usually one of her books I read by the illicit light of my little yellow torch when I was supposed to be fast asleep).

I’ve been stumbling against one or two obstacles lately, and Enid’s words, along with Vincent’s decision to forsake discouragement, collided to stop me short and re-think my mindset.

There is little we can do to prevent obstacles and disappointments, but to remain discouraged is a choice I make. Or not. I choose not. And when I forget, I will remind myself. And when my studio is operational once more (long story), I shall hang my own starry night on the wall where it will serve to remind me of what I have decided.

Mixed media on canvas by Julia Lund

Mixed media on canvas by Julia Lund

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21 thoughts on “Starry night

  1. Oh I simply love this piece Julia! It is magical. I am glad you did not abandon it. You know, a thought struck me as Ir ead your pist and identified so strongly with your perceptions. I believe disappointment as an artist or creative person is inherent in our natures. It is because nothing is so perfect as what we create within our mind’s eye. But no matter what I think of something I have done, there is always so eone whose soul it touches. For reasons difficult to explain briefly here, Van Gogh’s Starry Night has special significance for me. And I thank you for this post today. There is beauty in all of creation. Keep going. Your studio is wherever you create something. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much; I’m glad my efforts ended up stirring some magic in your response. I have, up until now, shown my art to very few people. I guess posting it on the internet means anyone could stumble across it. And the same with my writing. Before I published my book on Amazon, only a handful of people had ever read my words. I know exactly what you allude to in that quest for perfection. That road is piled with the stumbling blocks of disappointment. We may disappoint ourselves with the results of our creativity, but when someone responds to our efforts, the whole world suddenly looks different. Of course, it isn’t; it’s just the way we feel that has changed. As for my studio, you’re right again! But at least I won’t keep losing stuff when I can put it all in one place!

      Liked by 2 people

      • And you are right about having your stuff in one place. At least mine is no longer packed away in storage. I just have to choose between writing and drawing these days. And now photography brings so much joy….so etimes I feel there is so much to create and so little time to do it in! I hope you will feel like sharing more of your work sometime. I, for one, would be honored to see it.

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  2. I love your own version of Starry Night. It’s really beautiful. I get so many obstacles with life the universe and everything always seeming to get in the way of what I want to do; but I plug away and I usually manage to get what I want to do, done. Back in the mid ’80’s I got season tickets to a guitar series at the Kimo Theater in downtown Albuquerque. The Kimo is an old, historic movie theater restored and turned into a performing space/movie theater. One of the performers on our season pass was Don Mclean. He gave the small audience one of the best performances I have ever experienced. I never cared much for his song “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” until he performed it at that concert. It was magic in the space.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. And you are right, life is full of obstacles, but if we concentrate onl yon them, we end up never getting anywhere. And I’m so glad my painting triggered such a great memory.

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  3. Ooh! I LOVE your Starry Night. Beautiful, and the dimensions to it, just lovely! If I had money to throw at art, I’d be asking your price. Never let discouragement get you down. You know what one of my favorite quotes is?

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson

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  4. What a marvellous ethos for a writer, and for anyone for that matter; and what a vibrant and inspiring post, your blog is becoming a real treasure as it grows. Off now to delve a little further into it… apologies for leaving it for so long when you’ve been so supportive of mine…

    Paul…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your picture, Julia and how you’ve used the inspiration of the Van Gogh to create something that’s entirely yours. It’s really tough and painful carrying on in the face of discouragement and rejection, but it’s also the only real option if you really want to be a writer. On the plus side, I’ve had a huge amount of support and encouragement from other writers on WordPress like yourself and that’s one of the main things that’s keeping me going!

    Liked by 1 person

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