Recently finished reading Lust for Life, Irving Stone's biography of Vincent Van Gogh (great book), which informed me, chapter after chapter, that for the majority of his life Van Gogh's art was deemed childish, crude, and amateur. His work never "matured" enough for the art dealers of the time, called the “Grand Messieurs”— not even his own brother, who ran an Impressionist gallery in Paris, ever exhibited his canvases! Looking over his pieces now with new eyes, I admit that those frustrating Messieurs may have had a point: his art is crude and certainly far from refined, but it’s exactly this muscular, dashed-off style, this Spartan approach to detail, that makes us positively swoon over his canvases today. Here I tried to honor Van Gogh in a portrait I painted last night. I may not have caught his signature (and stunning) brush work, but I had no trouble capturing the crudity!