An Imaginary Conversation Between Vincent and Pablo

An imaginary discussion between Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso

Pablo:  Vinnie, how have you been?  Wonderful new piece, what do you call it?

Vincent:  I’m not sure, maybe “Big Moon in Sky” or something like that.  My friend Don suggests I call it “Starry Night.”  He wants to write a song about it!

Pablo:  Question for you, what paint did you use on this?  Is this the 3000 series of paints?

Vincent:  No!  It’s the new 5000, I wouldn’t be caught dead using the 3000, have you seen the tonal range on those paints?  Appalling!

Pablo:  I agree, personally I wouldn’t ever purchase a painting if it used those paints.

Vincent: Agreed, what are those other painters thinking?

Pablo:  This canvas is nice, what is it?

Vincent:  It’s a new canvas, out of Germany and I like the texture on it but it’s still not exactly what I’m looking for.  I’ve been searching and searching for the right canvas and I’m just not happy with anything yet.

Pablo:  I know what you mean, I’ve been searching for years for the perfect canvas and will not rest until I do.  Hey, I’ve been noticing the perspective on this piece and it leads me to believe that you’re using a 54″ easel?  Placing your canvas a little higher are you?

Vincent:  Yes but not a 54, it’s a 57 and combined with those new Hartford stools (they have a great padded cushion) I sit so much higher and really like the feeling when I’m working.  Plus, they adjust so easily.

Pablo:  Wow, I’ll have to check those out, I think Al’s apothecary is carrying them.

Vincent:  I heard a rumor that you’re trying some of those new camel hair brushes?  Tell me it isn’t so Pablo!

Pablo:  Where did you hear that?  It’s true, but I’m not telling anyone.  They are so much better than the cat hair brushes that I normally use.  Have you tried them?

Vincent:  I wouldn’t be caught dead with one of those, do you know what would happen people found out that I was using Camel hair!  I don’t have to tell the scandal…

Pablo:  I see you’re using those new frames from Friar Wilson, how do you like them?

Vincent:  Pretty good, they’re a lot cheaper so my margins go way up.  I need a little extra “ching” so that I can purchase that new satchel from Mary the Seamstress.  Have you seen it, it matches my frock and is really nice for carrying around my art supplies.

Pablo:  Yes, those are nice, but not as nice as those wild colored ones made by the Maid Vivian!

Vincent:  You’re nuts, those look horrible!  You’ve got a poor sense of color Pablo.

Pablo:  Me???  You’re the one stuck in the past man, wake up!

Vincent:  Look at us, talking about paints, easels and brushes.  Does any of this really matter?  I mean, do you think photographers sit around and talk like this?  I suspect not.

Pablo:  Good point.  Maybe there’s more to painting than equipment and tools?

Vincent:  Perhaps it ought to be more about the art?

 


15 Responses to “An Imaginary Conversation Between Vincent and Pablo”

  • Sugoto Says:

    Uh -oh, and here I was going to ask you about the Wacom tablet(Do I really need it?).

    Hilarious!

    sugoto

  • MariAnne Says:

    Bravo! Made me laugh!

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Sugoto, I believe in using any equipment that helps me transform the image my eye sees into the image I envision. As long as I’m focused on the image and not the equipment, then I know I’ll strike the right balance.

  • Benoit Jansen-Reynaud Says:

    This is priceless Cole…. Wonderful

  • Chris Maskell Says:

    I like this, by the way I have a 8MP camera, 2 lenses and a 20 yr old tripod am I a Luddite?

  • Lizz Says:

    This made me chuckle. Thanks!

    A few years back I read Yvon Chouinard’s book “Let My People Go Surfing”, the story of Patagonia. (One of the best books of any genre I have ever read). There was a passage in there about Audrey Sutherland, an 80+ year old grandmother who was still paddling her little inflatable kayak around Alaskan waters. By herself! I took to heart her advice”Don’t spend money on gear. Spend it on airplane tickets.”.

  • Juliet Says:

    The crazy thing is….I have sat around a room with painters, and heard them talking just like this. So who knows….And as you know, I am wayyyy old school. So of course, this made me giggle.

  • Mark Matheny Says:

    OK that’s funny.
    It’s nice to see this conversation has been going on for over a hundred years.
    It’s funny though my book “Van Gogh and Gauguin the Studio of the South” doesn’t mention Vincent having that conversation. 🙂

  • Jan Armor Says:

    I believe I read somewhere Ansel and Edward Weston had a similar conversation while discussing 8×10 and 11 x 14 view cameras.

  • Anna Capaldi Says:

    I find a good exercise is to grab the lowest tech thing you can find – a Holga, a Quaker Oats box pinhole – and practice composition!

  • Cole Thompson Says:

    Anna, this is a great way to focus on the composition with no emphasis on the tech!

    A great image is all about composition and then can be enhanced with good technique. But an image lacking composition can never be made great through technique.

  • Laird Says:

    This should be required reading for all artists… humorous & poignant!

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