Not yellow anymore

My dear Theo,

Coming back to my dwelling in Arles I realize that walls have seized to bend. The sense of suffocation that I felt is gone. Even colors seem to change from sunshine into clouds.

When I look at my paintings made before the incident I realize that what the doctor said might be true. Paul have sent me a painting from Tahiti and I realize how much we’ve changed.

The voices have ceased for now but I cannot seem to paint in yellow anymore. Could you send me money for some paint and canvas, please.

Ever Yours,


The picture immediately made me think of Van Gogh and his picture from Arles. In particular “The Bedroom”. I imagine this being a letter sent off to brother Theo sent after he cut of his ear. You can always speculate how his painting might look different because of his mental state.

At Friday Fictioneers we write different stories to the same image in 100 words every week. Rochelle selects the picture and we write. Join the fun if you want to exercise your writing skills.

July 12, 2017

79 responses to “Not yellow anymore

  1. Dear Björn,

    The letter form is an effective way of telling a story. It serves you well with this one. As soon as I saw Theo I knew it was from Vincent whom I love. Well done.



  2. The suffering artist — and Van Gogh was certainly one of them. Great story, Bjorn! I have always admired Van Gogh’s work. Looks like Rochelle’s influence is being felt among the fictioneers — we’re getting historical fiction out of a lot of people so far. Pretty nice. 😉

  3. Great story. There is a theory that Paul actually accidentally cut off the ear in a fight but they told everyone that Vincent did it so Gauguin wouldn’t go to jail.

  4. The letter format is a grand idea for short fiction and the voice is haunting. The final two sentences speak volumes; the voices, the color yellow, the need to continue painting in spite of it all.

  5. I do like where you took this prompt. I ‘ve read quite a bit about Van Gogh. What troubles he must have had running around in his mind. I also like the letter format. Well done.

  6. Great take. The ‘Dear Theo’ was a dead giveaway. But you’ve made us feel that the letter might have been written by van Gogh himself. Well done, Bjorn. Cheers, Varad

  7. I agree with all this was a very creative piece. Loved the voice in this.

  8. It’s the perfect blend of picture and story, and the format is also perfect for this.

  9. I love the prompt picture, and now I am trying to image it as Van Gogh might have painted it.

  10. when i was in amsterdam i went to the van gogh museum – and learned a bit about his story – so interesting – and so tough at times
    in paris i stood before his painting “starry night” and i just wanted to jump into it – that was mesmerizing

  11. Wonderful take on Van Gogh’s letters to his brother.
    Absolutely brilliant!
    Though I think that “seized to bend” should be “ceased to bend”.

  12. I wonder how many artists in history have asked for someone to give them money to buy paints and canvases, because they haven’t any money. If Van Gogh were to time-travel forward and see what price his paintings fetched now, imagine how gobsmacked he would be. But he would come across plenty of poor artists who couldn’t afford their painting equipment, too!

  13. Oh, my friend Vincent. I do hope there is something after this life and that I will get to have a long visit with me. Everything about his life touches me so deeply. As does this. Love the reference to Gaugin.

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