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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