Van Gogh and Yellow Paint
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Van Gogh and Yellow Paint

“Everyone has their yellow paint.” The story goes that Vincent Van Gogh ate yellow paint thinking that consuming it would paint his insides bright and yellow and therefore make him happy.

40665
Van Gogh and Yellow Paint
Tumblr.com

“Everyone has their yellow paint.” The story goes that Vincent Van Gogh (the poster person for tortured artists, right beside Edgar Allen Poe) ate yellow paint thinking that consuming it would paint his insides bright and yellow and therefore make him happy. All too often this story is painted in an inspiring light as if the yellow paint wasn’t toxic. People romanticize this as something inspiring or beautiful as if the yellow paint wasn’t slowly killing him. After reading enough about how beautiful the yellow paint story was to some people, I wrote a poem of sorts to describe my feelings towards it.

The yellow paint symbolizes something lovely,

poetic and metaphorical,

anything that ‘makes them feel happy’.

But Van Gogh didn’t consume yellow paint for happiness or for beauty,

it was for numbness and killing the pain.

Less flowers and coffee, more cyanide and cigarettes.

Less happiness, more bone-throbbing pain.

Less feel good self-love, more lethal self-destruction.

It’s easy to view pain as beautiful.

How else are we to deal with something so ugly besides painting it into something that’s easier to look at,

nicer to view, something to inspire us rather than hurt us.

While institutionalized in Saint-Remy, his physician wrote that Van Gogh wanted to poison himself by eating paint and drinking turpentine, which was why he was not allowed in his studio while suffering from his attacks. Van Gogh’s yellow paint didn’t pave the way to his happiness and mental recovery, it threw him down a spiraling path of self-destruction and suicidal tendencies. The symbolic yellow paint took him away from his art and nearly drove him mad. Yellow paint is something that should be vilified rather than glorified. Suicide isn’t romantic and self-destruction isn’t pretty. Rather than painting over the ugliness, look at it and learn from it.

From Your Site Articles
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.

1768
http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2015/10/09/635800144722553570-908383045_993037_10201471592537019_550485816_n.jpg

You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

4755
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

4440
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

42339
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

11712
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments