I remember taking out a stack of art books. I have always loved to draw, and to read about artists. Looking at Vincent's work, really looking at it, I fell in love with his passion. You could see it in his brush strokes, his colors, and the amazing amount of art he produced in his life.
These were reasons enough to be friends with Vincent, but then I read about his life. For me, struggling as I was to fit in, to find myself, and to make sense of the things going on around me, it was as if Vincent reached through time and put a finger on my heart. I felt his pain, and a connection was made. This has only happened to me one other time, and that was later, in college, with Frida Kahlo.
I am grateful to Vincent. He was my first teacher of color. He taught me to break the rules with art. Most of all, he was a friend when I needed one. I wish I could have returned the favor.
Happy birthday, Vincent, and thank you.