+ I knew neither
jealousy nor hate but was possessed by a rage to recreate a new world, the world
which my eyes perceived, a world all to myself. I was poor but I knew that life
is beautiful. And I had no other ambition than to discover with the help of new
means those deep inner ties that linked me to the very soil.
+ Good painting
is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.
I heightened all tones. I transposed into an orchestration of pure colors all
the feelings of which I was conscious. I was a barbarian, tender and full of violence.
I translated by instinct, without any method, not merely an artistic truth but
above all a human one. I crushed and botched the ultramarines and vermilions though
they were very expensive and I had to buy them on credit.
+ When I had
spent a few days without thinking, without doing anything, I would feel a sudden
urge to paint. Then I would set up my easel in full sunshine.. Vermilion alone
could render the brilliant red of the tiles on the opposite slope. The orange
of the soil, the harsh crude colors of the walls and greenery, the ultramarine
and cobalt of the sky achieved an extreme harmony that was sensually and musically
ordered. Only the series of colors on the canvas with all their power and vibrancy
could, in combination with each other, render the chromatic feeling of that landscape
What I could have done in real life only by throwing a bomb which would have led
to the scaffold I tried to achieve in painting by using color of maximum purity.
In this way I satisfied my urge to destroy old conventions, to disobey in order
to re-create a tangible, living, and liberated world.
I had no wish
for a change of scene. All these places that I knew so well, the Seine with its
strings of barges, the tugs with their plumes of smoke, the taverns in the suburbs,
the colors of the atmosphere, the sky with its great clouds and its patches of
sun, these were what I wanted to paint.