— Vincent Van Gogh Dutch post-Impressionist painter (1853-1890) 1853 - 1890
Context: It constantly remains a source of disappointment to me that my drawings are not yet what I want them to be. The difficulties are indeed numerous and great, and cannot be overcome at once. To make progress is a kind of miner’s work; it doesn’t advance as quickly as one would like, and as others also expect, but as one stands before such a task, the basic necessities are patience and faithfulness. In fact, I do not think much about the difficulties, because if one thought of them too much one would get stunned or disturbed.
A weaver who has to direct and to interweave a great many little threads has no time to philosophize about it, but rather he is so absorbed in his work that he doesn’t think but acts, and he feels how things must go more than he can explain it. Even though neither you nor I, in talking together, would come to any definite plans, etc., perhaps we might mutually strengthen that feeling that something is ripening within us. And that is what I should like.
In his letter to Theo, The Hague, 11 March 1883, http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/letter/12/274.htm?qp=art.material,as translated by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, in The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh (1991)