Oh wow. My first post on Open Our Eyes. How intimidating.
Allow me to introduce myself:
My name is Samantha and my favorite color is Yellow.
An odd way to introduce myself considering the circumstances, I know, but then again my introductions and first impressions are infamous for their awkwardness and tendency to suck.
My name is Samantha and my favorite color is yellow. Many of my close friends and family have this fact known by heart; my love for yellow seems childish to those who don’t know my story. In order for you to know why the color yellow is so important to me, we have to go back to 2008.
It was spring, just after my 8th birthday, I was sitting in my school’s dusty art room, while my tie-dye wearing art teacher clicked through Vincent Van Gogh’s work on a slide projector. Images of Starry Night, Wheatfield with Crows, the Sunflower series, and my personal favorite, Starry Night Over the Rhone flashed on the board and I immediately fell in love. I became infatuated with his work and was very disappointed when I attempted to do an “artist’s rendition” of it in my art class (It wasn’t nearly as good as Van Gogh’s). I was obsessed with him; Van Gogh was my idol. I even went on to travel to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to see the Starry Night in person, which I admired while crying out of happiness and awe that I was in the same room as such a masterpiece.
While reading books and articles about the great Van Gogh, I discovered that he painted the Starry Night from an insane asylum in South France. Using rich blues, yellows, and greens, he single-handedly created one of the most renowned and beautiful pieces of art ever, while being treated for multiple illnesses of the mind and body. While painting in the asylum, Van Gogh would have seizures and waves of emotional imbalance, many of these episodes ended with him eating the yellow paint off his palette. People perceived him as insane, but Van Gogh’s reasoning behind it was to try and “put the happiness inside him”.
Van Gogh was suffering from epilepsy and bipolar disorder, among other things, and being someone who struggles with a myriad of mental illnesses (including a form of bipolar), it was reassuring to see such beautiful artwork created by someone with a mental illness. Vincent Van Gogh holds a special place in my heart and has shaped my life in ways that I didn’t even realize until fairly recently.
I am currently in intensive therapy and I am working towards a brighter future where I am in more control of my emotions.
But now I see a life after treatment- it is full of happiness, full of yellow.