Mad House Art: May 16, 2010

Eringer and I made our way to St. Remy Where Van Gogh was intered in the Insane Asylum St. Paul de Maison. We wanted the tour.

It was a timeless tour. It is still an active Asylum which houses only Women on the brink, or those women who have gone over the edge. Fortunately for the inmates they run an Art Therapy program to help them process and purge their inner demons, and if possible, give them tools to step back from the edge.

Nothing has changed regarding the 19th Century Architecture of the place. One could sense the Angels present in the hallways, gardens, and enclosed rooms, or was this my active imagination playing tricks on me? This was the place the Master chose to go to get his head clear, and contemplate his one-half an ear!

On the outside it looked stark, spooky, Gothic; a perfect place for looneys. All that is missing today are the infrequent sounds of screaming; mad laughter, cries of agony. etc. Oh, I am sure they still exist, but visitors are kept well away from their origins.

My mind was at play. My question was, how was I going to paint this place where the Starry Night was born. I needed to see where He created this Masterpiece. Get a feel for his presence; get inside his mind.

My thoughts were: could I paint from the same vantage point as he. Could I come back tonight and paint from inside the Asylum? (Eringer suggested that in his opinion I would fit right in, and I should be committed!)

Tonight was the Full Moon. This was a place of Antiquity. I would search for that star in the night. I was committed to do this.

This image is from the Asylum Gift shop; painted by Corinne M., Proceeds go to fund her Therapy and Asylum upkeep.

It is a good thing.