Haibun Monday – Vincent van Gogh


November 3, 2015 by petrujviljoen

Over at DverseBjorn Rudberg has participants contemplating a painting by Vincent Van Gogh for inspiration.


Vincent – calling you by first name, knowing you so well. You, the painting – inseparable.  The directional pulling apart of sky, and earth. The architecture in middle ground: an airiness in light blue, cold, painted directly from the perspective of being there – outside. The unbearable hope (or wish) of the green foliage, middle left, leaning onto, embracing the structure … a light golden glow right there.

Ochre and green reflections rendering the sky a warm blue – Icarus wanted to live there too. The golden meadow at far right – life’s harvest. There’s a road – it leads away. The sense of transparency belies the viscosity of paint. The field of the foreground is not a field, it’s an ocean.

by then a painter –

Structures of faith proved


On the Dverse site is a link to other writers’ work. Explore as you wish.


26 thoughts on “Haibun Monday – Vincent van Gogh

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Yes, we do feel we know him, we do feel affection. Everything you say resonates.

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    Yours is probably the poem that most closely answers the prompt, i.e. it’s an ekphrastic haibun, and it describes the painting, the brushstroke, technique and colours in far more detail. (While we others tended to go off on a flight of fancy that was only very loosely linked to the picture.) I especially liked the starkness (perhaps utter hopelessness?) of ‘there is a road – it leads away’. Congratulations on your first haibun, hope you’ll write more!

  3. Bodhirose says:

    I liked how you took us through the view of the sky, buildings, road and grounds and the colors rendered. And it’s interesting that you mention the foreground looking like the ocean because that’s exactly what my first impression was…schools of fish running through it too.

    Gayle ~

    • I’m interested to read a lot of participants made reference to water and rivers from that painting. Fishes too? Why don’t you appropriate the painting and add what you saw?

      • Bodhirose says:

        Ha! Um, let’s see, I think it last sold for around 16 million dollars…yeah, I’ll snap it up and then deface it with my scribbles! :~)

        • You could also just copy the photo as posted and work over that? Lots of artists do that sort of thing these days … Looking forward to hearing you sold your version of the Van Gogh for a few thousand dollars …

        • Bodhirose says:

          I could make a copy and add my scribbles for sure. As for the thousands of dollars…um, thinking pretty slim chance of that. :~)

  4. Smiles.. the modern day version of the Van Gogh
    painting is the movie Avatar.. and the movie
    the Emerald Forest.. in the 80’s here in
    the states.. a call to nature..
    a call back
    from humans
    who become
    their tools..
    After Avatar some folks
    ended their lives.. for
    realizing a
    never been
    and can never go..
    deep deep
    just waiting
    in the backyard free
    for those with Nature’s
    eyes still free as well..:)

    Nature sings
    as human refrain..:)

  5. Cheryl-Lynn says:

    A connoisseur of art relives what that artist was thinking, very creatively and beautifully written.

    • Well! Wouldn’t consider myself a connoisseur (even have to make sure of the spelling of the word). He is one of the most famous painters in the world. During research for this I realized how incredibly hard he worked during his very short career (only 10 years) as an artist. Learnt a lot more about him in doing this after thinking there’s not much more to get to know. A controversial man/life.

      • Cheryl-Lynn says:

        Yes, who could tell in those lovely colours he was in a bad place mentally when he painted this. I think many artists at that time were living in conditions we could say marginal or eclectic. I must check back as I know he stayed with Gaugin for a while and he had painted a room for Van Gogh with bright colours.

        • Cheryl, the internet connection here can be very slow at times and I battle to load your site, so apologies for not having read your contribution yet. As to artists of that time being marginal – it’s true for a great very many artists today as well. The term eclectic refers to a style of painting (or lack thereof) so I think you meant eccentric. Gauguin shared a house (the Yellow House) with Van Gogh for a while but Gauguin moved out because he couldn’t stand Van Gogh any longer. That’s when Van Gogh cut of his ear. There’s a school of thought that they may have been lovers but it’s not very widely supported.

  6. thotpurge says:

    Love the Icarus reference…

  7. Grace says:

    I love how you painted this with perspective of the Vincent & seeing the golden meadow, a life’s harvest ~

    Specially admire this part:

    The field of the foreground is not a field, it’s an ocean.

    Amazing haibun, thanks for participating ~

  8. Mary says:

    I like the feeling of intimacy with van Gogh that you share in your haibun! Nice to see you for Haibun Monday.

  9. Victoria says:

    So well done…it’s clear to me that you see this from the mind of an artist–that was before I looked at your sidebar…you highlight so many of the principles of design: perspective, color. Nicely done.

  10. I love how you when into the mind of Vincent, and gave your view of this painting, how you placed the dream of Icarus in that sky made me particularly glad.

    Thank you for joining Haibun Monday.

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