120 Vincent van Gogh Quotes on Creativity & Inspiration

Read these Vincent van Gogh quotes to help you deal with life’s challenges in new and powerful ways!

Vincent van Gogh is one of the most well-known and influential figures in Western art history. Even though he had no formal training and struggled with mental illness, Van Gogh contributed to the beginning of modern art.

If you’re struggling to find your purpose, talents, and skills, this collection will motivate you to push through it all! Check the entire list below.

Start reading here.

And don’t miss out these Frida Kahlo quotes and Pablo Picasso quotes.

Best Vincent van Gogh Quotes

Five Quotes That Could Change Every...
Five Quotes That Could Change Everything

1. “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

2. “For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”

3. “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”

4. “Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”

5. “It is difficult to know oneself, but it isn’t easy to paint oneself either.”

6. “I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.”

7. “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

8. “An artist needn’t be a clergyman or a churchwarden, but he certainly must have a warm heart for his fellow men.”

9. “I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”

10. “Art is to console those who are broken by life.”

11. “Conscience is a man’s compass.”

12. “Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion.”

13. “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”

14. “I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”

15. “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”

Related: Salvador Dalí Quotes, Jean-Michel Basquiat Quotes

Inspirational Vincent van Gogh Quotes

16. “It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

17. “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

18. “It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.”

19. “I’ll start with small things.”

20. “The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out all right.”

21. “I now consider myself to be at the beginning of the beginning of making something serious.”

22. “The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides, and in its depths, it has its pearls too.”

23. “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

24. “But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.”

25. “You can’t be at the Pole and at the Equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be color.”

26. “Exaggerate the essential, leave the obvious vague.”

27. “As a suffering creature, I cannot do without something greater than I—something that is my life—the power to create.”

28. “As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”

29. “I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.”

30. “So let us go forward, quietly, each on his own path, forever making for the light.”

Also read: Bob Ross Quotes

Interesting Vincent van Gogh Quotes That Will Broaden Your Mind

31. “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”

32. “A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke.”

33. “Ideas for work are coming to me in abundance. I’m going like a painting-locomotive.”

34. “I’m drawing a great deal and think it’s getting better.”

35. “One may have a blazing heart in one’s soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it.”

36. “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

37. “To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one’s fling from time to time, smoke one’s pipe, and drink one’s coffee in peace.”

38. “There is peace even in the storm.”

39. “To suffer without complaint is the only lesson we have to learn in this life.”

40. “I take great care of myself by carefully shutting myself away.”

41. “I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.”

42. “Don’t lose heart if it’s very difficult at times, everything will come out all right and nobody can, in the beginning, do as he wishes.”

43. “Seek only light and freedom and do not immerse yourself too deeply in the worldly mire.”

44. “And the memories of all we have loved stay and come back to us in the evening of our life. They are not dead but sleep, and it is well to gather a treasure of them.”

45. “A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.”

Thought-Provoking Vincent van Gogh Quotes 

46. “And then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

47. “As you can see, I am immersing myself in color—I’ve held back from that until now, and I don’t regret it.”

48. “For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.”

49. “I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.”

50. “If boyhood and youth are but vanity, must it not be our ambition to become men?”

51. “Sometimes I long so much to do landscape, just as one would go for a long walk to refresh oneself, and in all of nature, in trees, for instance, I see expression and a soul.”

52. “I am an artist. It’s self-evident that what that word implies is looking for something all the time without ever finding it in full. It is the opposite of saying, ‘I know all about it. I’ve already found it.’ As far as I’m concerned, the word means, ‘I am looking. I am hunting for it. I am deeply involved.’”

53. “Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.”

54. “What preys on my mind is simply this one question—what am I good for, could I not be of service or use in some way?”

55. “If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now. For wheat is wheat, even if people think it is a grass in the beginning.”

56. “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.”

57. “I think that I still have it in my heart someday to paint a bookshop with the front yellow and pink in the evening—like a light in the midst of the darkness.”

58. “Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.”

59. “How can I be useful, of what service can I be? There is something inside me, what can it be?”

60. “I see drawings and pictures in the poorest of huts and the dirtiest of corners.”

Beautiful Vincent van Gogh Quotes on Art, Love, and Painting

61. “Drawing is the root of everything, and the time spent on that is actually all profit.”

62. “Suffice it to say that black and white are also colors—for their simultaneous contrast is as striking as that of green and red, for instance.”

63. “I do not know myself how I paint it. I sit down with a whiteboard before the spot that strikes me. I look at what is before my eyes, and say to myself, that whiteboard must become something.”

64. “I’ve just kept on ceaselessly painting in order to learn painting.”

65. “I am crazy about two colors—carmine and cobalt. Cobalt is a divine color and there is nothing so beautiful for creating atmosphere. Carmine is as warm and lively as wine—the same with emerald green.”

66. “Still, there is a calm, pure harmony, and music inside of me.”

67. “I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

68. “Love always causes trouble, that’s true, but in its favor, it energizes.”

69. “Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.”

70. “I will not live without love.”

71. “I hope to depart in no other way than looking back with love and wistfulness and thinking, oh paintings that I would have made.”

72. “The more you love, the more you suffer.”

73. “But you must love with a high, serious intimate sympathy, with a will, with intelligence, and you must always seek to know more thoroughly, better, and more.”

74. “When I have a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.”

75. “If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things.”

Vincent van Gogh Quotes on His Principles and Realizations

76. “If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint—and that voice will be silenced.”

77. “Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter’s soul.”

78. “It is only too true that a lot of artists are mentally ill—it’s a life which, to put it mildly, makes one an outsider. I’m all right when I completely immerse myself in work, but I’ll always remain half crazy.”

79. “Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.”

80. “One can speak poetry just by arranging colors well, just as one can say comforting things in music.”

81. “In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.”

82. “It always strikes me, and it is very peculiar, that when we see the image of indescribable and unutterable desolation—of loneliness, of poverty and misery, the end of all things, or their extreme—then rises in our mind the thought of God.”

83. “I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I am, which is my life, the power to create.”

84. “It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.”

85. “Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.”

86. “Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.”

87. “It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality is more important than the feeling for pictures.”

88. “One must work and dare if one really wants to live.”

89. “I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, ‘He feels deeply, he feels tenderly.’”

90. “There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even-the French air clears up the brain and does good-a world of good.”

Heartfelt Vincent van Gogh Quotes

91. “I wish they would only take me as I am.”

92. “Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy.”

93. “You write in your letter something which I sometimes feel also: sometimes I do not know how I shall pull through.”

94. “It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.”

95. “Someday death will take us to another star.”

96. “Love is eternal—the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shed.”

97. “Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough.”

98. “The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.”

99. “The sadness will last forever.”

100. “I can’t change the fact that my paintings don’t sell. But, the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paints used in the picture.”

101. “I am doing my very best to make every effort because I am longing so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things mean painstaking work, disappointment, and perseverance.”

102. “But, for one’s health as you say, it is very necessary to work in the garden and see the flowers growing.”

103. “Let us keep courage and try to be patient and gentle. And let us not mind being eccentric, and make distinction between good and evil.”

104. “Many people seem to think it foolish, even superstitious, to believe that the world could still change for the better.”

105. “To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot.”

More Insightful Vincent van Gogh Quotes to Keep You Entertained

106. “Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.”

107. “One must spoil as many canvases as one succeeds with.”

108. “By working hard, old man, I hope to make something good one day. I haven’t yet, but I am pursuing it and fighting for it.”

109. “Occasionally, in times of worry, I’ve longed to be stylish, but on second thought I say no—just let me be myself—and express rough, yet true things with rough workmanship.”

110. “I assure you that there’s a lot involved in compositions with figures. It’s like weaving—you must control and keep an eye on several things at once.”

111. “The diseases that we civilized people labor under most are melancholy and pessimism.”

112. “In the end, we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism, and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically.”

113. “I haven’t got it yet, but I’m hunting it and fighting for it. I want something serious, something fresh—something with soul in it! Onward, onward.”

114. “Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”

115. “I believe that one thinks much more soundly if the thoughts arise from direct contact with things than if one looks at things with the aim of finding this or that in them.”

116. “We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words.”

117. “It is a pity that, as one gradually gains experience, one loses one’s youth.”

118. “The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can’t’ once and for all.”

119. “I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream.”

120. “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

What Did You Learn From This Famous Painter?

Vincent Van Gogh was born into an upper-middle-class family in Zundert, Netherlands. He worked as an art dealer and later became a Protestant missionary.

Over the next several decades, he achieved widespread critical and commercial success. Van Gogh’s works are now among the most expensive paintings ever sold in the world.

Starry Night was one of his best-known works. It has contoured forms that are used to express emotions. 

This great artist instilled some of the best lessons that we can all apply. Be determined, don’t be afraid of failure, and never give up on your dreams!

Have you seen some of his famous paintings? Which quotes are your favorites? Comment down below!