Letter 08/15/1882 - by Vincent van Gogh

Letter 08/15/1882 - by Vincent van Gogh
Courtesy of www.VincentVanGogh.org

Last Saturday night I tackled something I have often dreamt about.

It is a view of flat, green fields with haycocks. A cinder track with a canal alongside it runs straight across it. And on the horizon, in the middle of the painting, the sun sets in a fiery red glow. I cannot possibly draw the effect in a hurry, but you can see the composition here. But it was altogether a question of color and tone, the hues of a spectrum of colors of the sky, first a violet haze - in which the red sun was half hidden by a dark purple cloud with a thin, brilliantly red border; near the sun were reflections of vermilion, but above it a band of yellow that turned into green, and higher up a shade of blue, the so-called cerulean blue, and then here and there lilac and gray clouds, catching reflections from the sun.

The ground was a kind of tapestry of green, gray, and brown, but full of patterning and bristling with movement - the water in the ditch sparkles in that multihued ground.

I have also painted a large piece of duneland-pasted on and painted thickly.

Of these two, of the small seascape and the potato field, I am convinced that no one would think that these were my first painted studies.

To tell you the truth, it surprises me a little; I thought my first efforts would look like nothing on earth and might improve later, but although I say so myself, they definitely look like something, and that surprises me a little.

I believe it is because I have spent so much time drawing and studying the perspective before I started painting that I was able to put what I saw together.

I have literally been unable to stop myself, I could not let go or take a rest.

There is some sense of color emerging in me that I never had before, something that is wide-ranging and powerful.