Episode #777

December 23, 2023

“The Starry Night” is one of the most beloved paintings of all time.


“The Starry Night,” by Vincent Van Gogh, is alive with the movement of the Universe.
The stars and planets move in the sky. The trees reach upward, longing to be a part of the sky. The church spire can only hope to reach the heavens. The village is a static linear thing, confining its residents to the earth.

The moon, Venus and the stars are not astronomically correct in Van Gogh’s painting. He saw the night sky through the lens of his imagination.

Van Gogh had entered a dark time in his life. The painting was what he saw from his bedroom window in the asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole where he was confined for diagnosed epilepsy.

He also suffered from hallucinations. An hallucination is a perception of something that appears real but is created by the mind. This is not to say that what the mind imagines is not true or real. It is said that everything we perceive is invented in our brain. Our brains unconsciously bend reality to meet our desires or expectations.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famous astrophysicist, believes that “The Starry Night” is an uncannily accurate depiction of the Universe. The Universe is a whirling vortex, some of it seen and some unseen. Perhaps Van Gogh saw more of the sky than we do.

I own an Hawaiian shirt with “The Starry Night” printed on it. Recently, I wore the shirt to an arts and crafts event in Idlewild. Many people pointed to my shirt and said, “I love that painting… Starry, Starry Night.” Of course they were thinking of the lyric from Don McLean’s song “Vincent.” It is amazing how music effects our cultural consciousness.

“Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand”
— Don McLean, “Vincent”

I attended “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” in Los Angeles.

The curation of the exhibition is informative. Van Gogh’s life is outlined clearly and succinctly. Vincent was a troubled man who saw the best and most beautiful of nature and the world. The use of quotes in the exhibition are from the 2000 letters that he wrote in his short, 37 year life. The story they tell is stunning.

“Making sketches is like planting seeds to grow paintings.”

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

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

The exhibit animated “The Starry Night” on the walls of an immersive room.
It brought to life Van Gogh’s abandonment of humanity and earthly nature in favor of his attraction to the heavens. It also set in motion Neil deGrasse Tyson’s view of the painting and the Universe.

There is a print of “The Starry Night” on the wall of my bedroom. I often fall asleep looking from the painting to the stars in my skylight. Sometimes I think that I can see the Universe.

Paintings have a life of their own, which originates in the painter’s soul.


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. Shari Pratt December 22, 2023
  2. Danielle L BARLOW December 22, 2023
  3. Victor Spindler December 22, 2023

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