i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Be like Vincent Van Gogh and don’t listen to the critics

The book Lust For Life, a biographical novel about Vincent Van Gogh, is 488 pages. I am on page 312. Vincent has just moved to Paris and is living with his brother Theo. On page 312 he is looking at a painting by Georges Seurat, in Seurat’s studio. Van Gogh hasn’t cut off his ear yet, or shot himself in the abdomen.  He is still alive.

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On page 194, Johan Tersteeg of the Goupil Galleries in The Hague, said to Vincent, “I am really disappointed, Vincent; your work remains uncouth and amateurish. Of one thing I am sure, you are no artist.” 

Vincent didn’t quit creating.


“I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”
―Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent is still alive on page 312. The novel is based on letters Vincent wrote his brother Theo.

Who is this man whose work was ignored during his lifetime, but was seen as brilliant after his death?


Vincent Van Gogh is dead at the end of the book. I don’t want to read that yet. I am reading slowly so he is still alive.

Create what is inside of you. Don’t care what others say about your work.

“If you hear a voice within you saying, ”You are not a painter,” then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh

Keep your ear and your life. Paint. 



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • Talia

    this is good Pamela. thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Talia,
      Thank you.
      I hope you are well.

  • EmFairley

    Pamela, thank you for this. It is SO important to be ourselves in all we do, whether we choose to do it under our own name or a pseudonym. To that end I’ve given myself a birthday gift today and ordered the proof copy of the book I’ve been working on for over 2 years. Thank you for being so inspirational

    • Hi Em,
      So nice to hear from you.
      Right, be ourselves always.
      So excited for your book to come out. Two years of work and now it is almost finished.

      • EmFairley

        Thanks Pamela and thanks for all your support! The cover reveal post will go out a week on Monday. Have 2 other exciting posts to go out this coming Monday. Yep, don’t post anything for a while then 2 come along at once 🙂

        Em xoxox

  • Susan W A

    Each time I read what you have to say, I am filled with awe and a deep feeling of calm. You have a remarkable sense of expanding the small details of a moment in every-day life into a profound lesson in life. I love your perspective in both aspects … the details you select to include (bringing me right to your side to observe) and the connection to broader issues (filling me with opportunities for reflective thought).
    Thanks for the work you do and the beauty you bring, in many forms.
    – Susan [swa]

    • Hello Susan,
      Thank you for your kind words. Your thoughts are like a sunbeam in the middle of a rainy day.

    • EmFairley

      I totally agree, Susan. Well said!