​​Art Quotes

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Art Quotes by Author - A


Art does not solve problems but makes us aware of their existence. It opens our eyes to see and our brain to imagine.
Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.
-Magdalena Abakanowicz

-Magdalena Abakanowicz

No matter how sophisticated you may be, a huge granite mountain cannot be denied--it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.
-Ansel Adams

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
-Ansel Adams

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
-Ansel Adams

The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.
-Ansel Adams

Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.
-Ansel Adams

You don't take a photograph, you make it.
-Ansel Adams

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
-Scott Adams

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
-John Adams

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
~Stella Adler

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
-Theodor Adorno

A successful work of art is not one which resolves contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.
-Theodore Adorno

The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
-Theodor Adorno

Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us.
- Roy Adzak

I do not like to be a prophet. I like better to paint than to predict what the next painters will do. Though I have a feeling that consideration of order is very much in the air.
-Josef Albers

I have always been very much involved in the pseudo biological cycle of production, consumption and destruction. And for a long time, I have been anguished by the fact that one of its most conspicuous material results is the flooding of our world with junk and rejected odd objects.
- Josef Albers

The greatest work of an artist is the history of a painting.
-Alberti

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
- Woody Allen

Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild.
~Dante Alighieri

A man and his art are like a fool and his king.
~Corri Alius

My hand is the extension of the thinking process - the creative process.
-Tadao Ando

Things are beautiful if you love them.
-Jean Anouilh

Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish
-Aristotle

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
-Aristotle

Since mechanically obtained randomness contains all kinds of possible permutations, including the most regular ones, it cannot be relied upon always to exhibit a pervasive irregularity.
-Rudolf Arnheim

Now the work of art also represents a state of final equilibrium, of accomplished order and maximum relative entropy, and there are those who resent it. But art is not meant to stop the stream of life. Within a narrow span of duration and space the work of art concentrates a view of the human condition; and sometimes it marks the steps of progression, just as a man climbing the dark stairs of a medieval tower assures himself by the changing sights glimpsed through its narrow windows that he is getting somewhere after all.
-Rudolph Arnheim

Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb.
- Jean Arp

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.
W. H. Auden

I think that the very earliest influence was a horror of having to work in a bank or an office, a desire for a free and creative life.
- Frank Auerbach

If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.
-Richard Avedon



Art Quotes by Author - B


The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
-Sir Francis Bacon

Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.
-Francis Bacon

Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint.
Francis Bacon

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
-Francis Bacon

If you can talk about it, why paint it?
-Francis Bacon

I enjoy life but I have absolutely no belief In anything, I don't say that anguish doesn't play a part in my work. The very fact that you exist, that you see what's going on around you, that must create anguish in anybody. I have a feeling of mortality all the time because if life excites you, its opposite, death, like a shadow, must excite you.
-Francis Bacon

Great art is always a way of concentrating, reinventing what is called fact, what we know of our existence - a reconcentration... tearing away the veils that fact acquires through time. Ideas always acquire appearance veils, the attitudes people acquire of their time and earlier time. Really good artists tear down those veils.
-Francis Bacon

It's always hopeless talking about painting - one never does anything but talk around it - because, if you could explain you painting, you would be explaining you instincts.
-Francis Bacon

Everybody has his own interpretation of a painting he sees. I don't mind if people have different interpretations of what I have painted ... A picture should be a re-creation of an event rather than an illustration of an object; but there is no tension in the picture unless there is the struggle with the object.
-Francis Bacon

I think that great art is deeply ordered. Even if within the order there may be enormously instinctive and accidental things, nevertheless I think that they come out of a desire for ordering and for returning fact onto the nervous system in a more violent way. Why, after the great artists, do people ever try to do anything again? Only because, from generation to generation, through what the great artists have done, the instincts change.
-Francis Bacon

One of the reasons why I don't like abstract painting, or why it doesn't interest me, is that I think painting is a duality, and that abstract painting is an entirely aesthetic thing... There's never any tension in it. -Francis Bacon The moment there are several figures - at any rate several figures on the same canvas - the story begins to be elaborated. And the moment the story is elaborated, the boredom sets in; the story talks louder than the paint... I don't want to avoid telling a story, but I want very, very much to do the thing that Valéry said - to give the sensation without the boredom of it's conveyance. And the moment the story enters, the boredom comes upon you.
-Francis Bacon

Technique! The very word is like a shriek of outraged Art. It is the idiot name given to effort by those who are too weak, too weary, or too dull to play the game. The mighty have no theory of technique.
-Leonard Bacon

Art is Man's nature. Nature is god's art.
~James Bailey

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.
-James Baldwin

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.
-James Baldwin

Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don’t know what to say about what I paint, really.
-Balthus

If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye.
-Honore de Balzac

The man who can but sketch his purpose beforehand in words is regarded as a wonder, and every artist and writer possesses that faculty. But gestation, fruition, the laborious rearing of the offspring, putting it to bed every night full fed with milk, embracing it anew every morning with the inexhaustible affection of a mother's heart, licking it clean, dressing it a hundred times in the richest garb only to be instantly destroyed; then never to be cast down at the convulsions of this headlong life till the living masterpiece is perfected which in sculpture speaks to every eye, in literature to every intellect, in painting to every memory, in music to every heart! --this is the task of execution. The hand must be ready at every moment to work in obedience to the mind.
-Honore de Balzac

The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it.
-Banksy

The difference between mediocrity and excellence is attention to detail.
-Sebastian J. Barbarito

Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.
Daniel Barenboim

Do not imagine that Art is something which is designed to give gentle uplift and self-confidence. Art is not a brassiere. At least, not in the English sense. But do not forget that brassiere is the French word for life-jacket.
-Julian Barnes

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.
-Mikhail Baryshnikov

"...I paint German artists whom I admire. I paint their pictures, their work as painters, and their portraits too. But oddly enough, each of these portraits ends up as a picture of a woman with blonde hair. I myself have never been able to work out why this happens."
Georg Baselitz

I feel there are two people inside me -- me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.
Kim Basinger

I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.
Jean Michel Basquiat

Genius is childhood recalled at will.
- Charles Baudelaire

If you want to have a million dollars and be an artist, start with two.
-James Bauerle

My heart beats more for a raw, average vulgar art, which doesn't live between sleepy fairy-tale moods and poetry but rather concedes a direct entrance to the fearful, commonplace, splendid and the average grotesque banality in life.
-Max Beckmann

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
-Henry Ward Beecher

I can't tell you what art does and how it does it, but I know that often art has judged the judges, pleaded revenge to the innocent and shown to the future what the past suffered, so that it has never been forgotten....
-John Berger

Any great work of art... revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world - the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.
~Leonard Bernstein

Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess.
- Ludwig van Beethoven

Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match.
- Ingrid Bengis

Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.
-Ambrose Bierce

Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
-Ambrose Bierce

No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language.
-Theodore Bikel

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
William Blake

A picture is worth a thousand words.
-Napoleon Bonaparte

The artist who paints the emotions creates an enclosed world.. the picture.. which, like a book, has the same interest no matter where it happens to be. Such an artist, we may imagine, spends a great deal of time doing nothing but looking, both around him and inside him.
-Pierre Bonnard

By art he gladly found what he did seek,
A full requital of his striving pain.
Art can do much, but this maxim's most sure:
A weak or wounded brain admits no cure.
-Anne Dudley Bradstreet

"What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things . . . it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface."
Constantin Brancusi

Don't look for obscure formulas or mystery in my work. It is pure joy that I offer you. Look at my sculptures until you see them. Those closest to God have seen them.
Constantin Brancusi

Architecture is inhabited sculpture.
- Constantin Brancusi

Art is made to disturb. Science reassures. There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.
-Georges Braque

Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.
-Constantin Brancusi

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

The mind which plunges into Surrealism, relives with burning excitement the best part of childhood.
-Andre Breton

Art is moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.
Rita Mae Brown

Now nature is not at variance with art, nor art with nature; they being both the servants of his providence. Art is the perfection of nature. Were the world now as it was the sixth day, there were yet a chaos. Nature hath made one world, and art another. In brief, all things are artificial; for nature is the art of God.
-Sir Thomas Browne

No sketches first, no studies, that’s long past:
I do what many dream of all their lives,
Dream? strive to do, and agonize to do,
And fail in doing. I could count twenty such
On twice your fingers, and not leave this town,
Who strive - you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat, -
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.
“Less is more” is said to have been one of the favorite maxims of architect Mies Van der Rohe.
-Robert Browning

An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way.
-Charles Bukowski

In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.
- Bulwer-Lytton

The stone unhewn and cold
Becomes a living mould,
The more the marble wastes
The more the statue grows.
-Michelangelo Buonarroti

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
-Michelangelo Buonarroti

Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it "creative observation." Creative viewing.
William S. Burroughs

The history of art is the history of revivals.
-Samuel Butler

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Art Quotes by Author - C


To an engineer, good enough means perfect. With an artist, there's no such thing as perfect.
Alexander Calder

Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite -- getting something down.
Julia Cameron

The function of the artist is the mythologization of the culture and the world. In the visual arts there were two men whose work handled mythological themes in a marvelous way: Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso.
Joseph Campbell

The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.
Joseph Campbell

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
-Albert Camus

Abstract Art: A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
-Albert Camus

Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.
Albert Camus

We have art in order not to die of life.
- Albert Camus

A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
~Albert Camus

The aim of art, the aim of a life can only be to increase the sum of freedom and responsibility to be found in every man and in the world. It cannot, under any circumstances, be to reduce or suppress that freedom, even temporarily. No great work has ever been based on hatred and contempt. On the contrary, there is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.
-Albert Camus

Abstract art is a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
-Al Capp

The fine arts once divorcing themselves from truth are quite certain to fall mad, if they do not die.
~Thomas Carlyle

The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.
-Dale Carnegie

Learning is an active process. We learn by doing.
- Dale Carnegie

Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
-Lewis Carroll

What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
~Willa Cather

Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.
~Willa Cather

The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.
-Paul Cezanne

When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.
Paul Cezanne

The awareness of our own strength makes us modest.
-Paul Cezanne

Don't be an art critic, but paint, there lies salvation.
Paul Cezanne

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne

What is one to think of those fools who tell one that the artist is always subordinate to nature? Art is in harmony parallel with nature.
Paul Cezanne

May I repeat what I told you here: treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone, everything brought into proper perspective so that each side of an object or a plane is directed towards a central point. Lines parallel to the horizon give breadth... lines perpendicular to this horizon give depth. But nature for us men is more depth than surface, whence the need to introduce into our light vibrations, represented by the reds and yellows, a sufficient amount of blueness to give the feel of air.
-Paul Cézanne

Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensations.
- Paul Cezanne

Great art picks up where nature ends.
-Marc Chagall

"When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it – a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand – as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it’s bad art."
-Marc Chagall

When I can no longer create anything, I'll be done for.
- Coco Chanel

There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books.
-Charlie Chaplin

Art is the triumph over chaos.
~John Cheever

To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams.
-Giorgio de Chirico

Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

Although the dream is a very strange phenomenon and an inexplicable mystery, far more inexplicable is the mystery and aspect our minds confer on certain objects and aspects of life. Psychologically speaking, to discover something mysterious in objects is a symptom of cerebral abnormality related to certain kinds of insanity. I believe, however, that such abnormal moments can be found in everyone, and it is all the more fortunate when they occur in individuals with creative talent or with clairvoyant powers. Art is the fatal net which catches these strange moments on the wing like mysterious butterflies, fleeing the innocence and distraction of common men.
-Giorgio de Chirico

This is the nature of genius, to be able to grasp the knowable even when no one else recognizes that it is present.
- Deepak Chopra

Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
-Winston Churchill

”Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day."
- Winston Churchill

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
-John Ciardi

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.
- Frank A. Clark

I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around.
-Chuck Close

All great art comes from a sense of outrage.
~Glenn Close

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping.
~Jean Cocteau

Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
-Jean Cocteau

An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.
~Jean Cocteau

There is no more somber enemy of good art than the pram in the hall
-Cyril Connolly

The artist one day falls through a hole in the brambles, and from that moment he is following the dark rapids of an underground river which may sometimes flow so near to the surface that the laughing picnic parties are heard above.
-Cyril Connolly

There is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, - light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.
-John Constable

Art for art's sake, with no purpose, for any purpose perverts art. But art achieves a purpose which is not its own.
Benjamin Constant

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.
-Charles Horton Cooley

The artist is not a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of artist.
- A.K. Coomaraswamy

I don't think there's any artist of any value who doesn't doubt what they're doing.
-Francis Ford Coppola

"When one buys some of my artwork I hope it is because they will wish to learn from it and not because they think it will match their drapes!"
-Christian Cardell Corbet

”Never leave a painting mediocre; it's better to take a chance with it.”
- Guy Corriero.

At some point we’ve got to stop asking ourselves what is the meaning of everything, maybe it’s not so very important what it means. It’s probably more important what the sense of it is.. they are two very basic and different things.
Tony Cragg


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Art Quotes by Author - D



The only difference between myself and a madman is that I am not mad
-Salvador Dali

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.
-Salvador Dali

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
-Salvador Dali

Painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality.
-Salvador Dali

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.
-Salvador Dali

The desire to survive and the fear of death are artistic sentiments.
- Salvador Dali
People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings.
- Salvador Dali
When I paint, the sea roars. The others splash about in the bath.
- Salvador Dali

People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings.
- Salvador Dali
You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free.
- Salvador Dali
Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
- Salvador Dali

To give body and perfect form to your thought, this alone is what it is to be an artist.
- Jacques-Louis David

Do not fear mistakes - there are none.
Miles Davis

Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.
-Leonardo da Vinci

Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.
-Leonardo da Vinci

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
~Leonardo da Vinci

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.
Leonardo da Vinci

"Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses - especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else."
-Leonardo da Vinci

The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color of that which illuminates it.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty.
-Edgar Degas

Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.
-Edgar Degas

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
-Edgar Degas

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.
- Edgar Degas

The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.
-Eugene Delacroix

What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
Eugene Delacroix

Art in Nature is rhythmic and has a horror of constraint.
-Robert Delaunay

He who knows how to appreciate color relationships, the influence of one color on another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery.
-Sonia Delaunay

In a successful painting everything is integral.. all the parts belong to the whole. If you remove an aspect or element you are removing its wholeness.
-Richard Diebenkorn

Art is why I get up in the morning but my definition ends there. You know I don't think it’s fair that I'm living for something I can't even define.
-Ani Difranco

My attitude towards drawing is not necessarily about drawing. It's about making the best kind of image I can make, it's about talking as clearly as I can.
-Jim Dine

When I was a kid, a book I read advised young artist to be themselves. That decided it for me. I was a corny kind of guy, so I went in for corn.
Walt Disney

It's all the same to me. I must keep the first impression fresh. If it is lost, I must find it again.
-Otto Dix

A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.
-William Dobell

I constantly have to negotiate with my doubts.
-Peter Doig

Art shouldn't be something that you go quietly into an art gallery and dip your forelock and say 'I have to be very quiet, I'm in here amongst the art.' It's here, art's everywhere. It's how you use your eyes. It's about the enjoyment of visual things. And it's certainly not for any one group of people.
-Ken Done

I've always thought that there shouldn't be any limit to the things that are well designed. And I think that people who consider that art should only be kept for art galleries and doesn't have a role in public life, I think that's too narrow.
Ken Done

Beauty will save the world.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
-Theodore Dreiser

What I expect from any work of art is that it surprises me, that it violates my customary valuations of things and offers me other, unexpected ones.
-Jean Dubuffet

I am interested in ideas, not merely in visual products.
-Marcel Duchamp

Society takes what it wants. The artist himself does not count, because there is no actual existence for the work of art. The work of art is always based on the two poles of the onlooker and the maker, and the spark that comes from the bipolar action gives birth to something - like electricity. But the onlooker has the last word, and it is always posterity that makes the masterpiece. The artist should not concern himself with this, because it has nothing to do with him.
-Marcel Duchamp

Art is a habit-forming drug. That's all it is for the artist, for the collector, for anybody connected with it. Art has absolutely no existence as veracity, as truth. People speak of it with great, religious reverence, but I don't see why it is to be so much revered. I'm afraid I'm an agnostic when it comes to art. I don't believe in it with all the mystical trimmings. As a drug it's probably very useful for many people, very sedative, but as a religion it's not even as good as God.
-Marcel Duchamp

Art is like a shipwreck... it's everyman for himself.
-Marcel Duchamp

I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.
-Marcel Duchamp

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Art Quotes by Author - E


True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
-Albert Einstein

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious, the source of all art and science.
- Albert Einstein

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
- Albert Einstein

It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man.
~Loren Eiseley

Great art can communicate before it is understood.
-T. S. Eliot

The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.
~T.S. Eliot

Every artist writes his own autobiography.
-Henry Ellis

Art is a jealous mistress and if a man has a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every artist was first an amateur.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Pictures must not be too picturesque.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've worked really hard. I've made three pieces of seminal art in my life. If I died tomorrow, I'd be remembered for making them. There are a lot of artists who, no matter how hard they work in their lives, will never make anything seminal.
Tracey Emin

I’m a terrible cook, but if I could cook, I would see that as art as well, it’s how much creative energy you put into something.
Tracey Emin

Rationalism is the enemy of art, though necessary as a basis for architecture.
-Arthur Erickson

Vitality is radiated from exceptional art and architecture.
Arthur Erickson

Talent and all that are really for the most part just baloney. Any schoolboy with a little aptitude can perhaps draw better than I; but what he lacks in most cases is that tenacious desire to make it reality, that obstinate gnashing of teeth and saying, "Although I know it can't be done, I want to do it anyway
-Maurits Cornelius Escher

At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important.
M.C. Escher


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Art Quotes by Author - F


The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.
-William Faulkner

People need trouble -- a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don't mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.
-William Faulkner

Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.
~Jules Feiffer

Reflexes and instincts are not pretty. It is their decoration that initiates art.
~Martin H. Fischer

People whose understanding and taste in literature, painting, and music are beyond question are, for the most part, ignorant of what is good or bad art in the theater.
-Minnie Maddern Fiske

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
-Gustave Flaubert

Of all lies, art is the least untrue.
-Gustave Flaubert

By the work one knows the workman.
-Jean de La Fontaine

Art is the struggle to understand.
~Audrey Foris

To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art; men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.
-E. M. Forster

Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don't believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art's sake.
-E. M. Forster

I think an artist's responsibility is more complex than people realize.
-Jodie Foster

In art as in love, instinct is enough.
-Anatole France

To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything.
- Anatole France

Creative minds have been known to survive any sort of bad training.
-Anna Freud

The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.
-Lucian Freud

I don't want any color to be noticeable... I don't want it to operate in the modernist sense as color, something independent... Full, saturated colors have an emotional significance I want to avoid.
-Lucien Freud

I remember Francis Bacon would say that he felt he was giving art what he thought it previously lacked. With me, it's what Yeats called the fascination with what's difficult. I'm only trying to do what I can't do.
Lucian Freud

The aura given out by a person or object is as much a part of them as their flesh. The effect that they make in space is as bound up with them as might be their color or smell ... Therefore the painter must be as concerned with the air surrounding his subject as with the subject itself. It is through observation and perception of atmosphere that he can register the feeling that he wishes his painting to give out.
-Lucien Freud

If you are looking for something to be brave about consider fine arts.
- Robert Frost

Popular art is normally decried as vulgar by the cultivated people of its time; then it loses favor with its original audience as a new generation grows up; then it begins to merge into the softer lighting of “quaint,” and cultivated people become interested in it, and finally it begins to take on the archaic dignity of the primitive.
-Northrop Frye

Art among a religious race produces relics; among a military one, trophies; among a commercial one, articles of trade.
-Henry Fuseli

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Art Quotes by Author - G


 

A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places.
- Paul Gardner

Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.
Antoni Gaudi

Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?
-Paul Gauguin

Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
-Paul Gauguin

The history of modern art is also the history of the progressive loss of art's audience. Art has increasingly become the concern of the artist and the bafflement of the public.
Paul Gauguin

I shut my eyes in order to see.
- Paul Gauguin

A hint - don't paint too much direct from nature. Art is an abstraction! Study nature then brood on it and treasure the creation which will result, which is the only way to ascend towards God - to create like our Divine Master.
-Paul Gauguin

It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block.
-Paul Gauguin

The flat sound of my wooden clogs on the cobblestones, deep, hollow and powerful, is the note I seek in my painting.
- Paul Gauguin

"In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of revolutionary; and it is they alone who are masters."
-Paul Gauguin

We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves.
-Paul Gauguin

I think my best skill as an architect is the achievement of hand-to-eye coordination. I am able to transfer a sketch into a model into the building.
Frank Gehry

My love of fine art increased - the more of it I saw, the more of it I wanted to see.
-Paul Getty

The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.
-Alberto Giacometti

The head is what matters. The rest of the body plays the part of antennae making life possible for people and life itself is inside the skull.
Alberto Giacometti

Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.
-Kahlil Gibran

Art begins with resistance - at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.
-Andre Gide

Art is collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
-Andre Gide

Some people would say my paintings show a future world and maybe they do, but I paint from reality.
-H.R. Giger

A clergyman once said to us, "Jealousy is a bad thing. But I must confess that I am sometimes jealous of the artist because the artist is closer to creation".
-Gilbert and George (George)

Fortunately art is a community effort - a small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.
-Allen Ginsberg

All art is an individual's expression of a culture. Cultures differ, so art looks different.
-Henry Glassie

A great artist… must be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent, this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy.
-Goethe

Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality.
Goethe

In art the best is good enough.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Personality is everything in art and poetry.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Art is a part of the rebellion against the realities of its unfulfilled desire.
- Emma Goldman
The essence of drawing is the line exploring space.
- Andy Goldsworthy

Surely nothing has to listen to so many stupid remarks as a painting in a museum.
~Edmond & Jules de Goncourt

"I never finish a painting -- I just stop working on it for a while."
Arshile Gorky

Making beautiful things for everyday use is a wonderful thing to do.. making life flow more easily.. but art confronts life, allowing it to stop and perhaps change direction.. they are completely different.
Antony Gormley

Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.
Francisco Goya

No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time.
-Martha Graham

Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same.
- Gunther Grass

Art criticism, I would say, is about the most ungrateful form of "elevated" writing I know of. It may also be one of the most challenging.. if only because so few people have done it well enough to be remembered.. but I'm not sure the challenge is worth it.
Clement Greenberg

You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.
-Juan Gris

My life changed when I was able to not only get seated in nice restaurants, I was given free appetizers. That was like, "Oh, my God, I've arrived."
-Matt Groening

When painting, an artist must take care not to trap his soul in the canvas.
~Dena Groquet

An artist must be careful not to throw his ideas out with the trash.
~Dena Groquet

I am a night painter, so when I come into the studio the next morning the delirium is over. I come into the studio very fearfully, I creep in to see what happened the night before. And the feeling is one of, "My God, did I do that?"
Philip Guston

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Art Quotes by Author - H


When this girl at the museum asked me who I liked better, "Monet" or "Manet", I said, "I like mayonnaise." She just stared at me, so I said it again, louder. Then she left. I guess she went to try to find some mayonnaise for me.
-Jack Handey

A portrait has one advantage over its original: it is unconscious; and you may therefore admire without insulting it. I have seen portraits which have more.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

My contribution to the world is my ability to draw. I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can. Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.
Keith Haring

Red is one of the strongest colors, its blood, it has a power with the eye.
- Keith HaringThe greatest masterpieces were once only pigments on a palette.
- Henry S. Haskins
Only the poet can look beyond the detail and see the whole picture.
- Helen Hayes

I cry out for order and find it only in art.
-Helen Hayes

Rules and models destroy genius and art.
-William Hazlitt

The artist is the child in the popular fable, every one of whose tears was a pearl.
-Heinrich Heine

"Do not worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to."
- Robert Henri

To do what others cannot do is talent. To do what talent cannot do is genius.
- Will Henry

Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.
- Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Art is a half-effaced recollection of a higher state from which we have fallen since the time of Eden.
-Saint Hildegarde

Life is short, art is long...
- Hippocrates

People say to me that my work's sensational. And I go, "What's wrong with sensation? It's like touching skin." Sensation is an element of what I do, and why not? It's not sensational for the sake of being sensational, but it's sensational art.
Damien Hirst

I think art is good at looking back and looking forward. I don't think art is good at looking head-on. At the end of the day, people are more important than paintings.
Damien Hirst

The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you're an artist.
David Hockney

One of the things I'm doing in Yorkshire is finding out how difficult it is to learn not to see like cameras, which has had such an effect on us. The camera sees everything at once. We don't. There's a hierarchy. Why do I pick out that thing as opposed to that thing or that thing?
David Hockney

There comes a point where you see it all as completely empty being a popular artist to the extent that people who are not necessarily interested in art know about things or take some little interest. I think that now for me it's a burden. It's a bit hard to deal with and it wastes time as well.
David Hockney

Style is something you can use, and you can be like a magpie, just taking what you want.
- David Hockney

When I make art, I think about its ability to connect with others, to bring them into the process.
Jim Hodges

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
-Hans Hofmann

A work of art is a world in itself reflecting senses and emotions of the artist's world.
Hans Hofmann

The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.
- Hans Hofmann

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
- Hans Hofmann

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The most profound things are inexpressible.
Jenny Holzer

I prefer every time a picture composed and painted outdoors. The thing is done without your knowing it.
- Winslow Homer

Talent! What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way.
- Winslow Homer

If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.
-Edward Hopper

No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.
- Edward Hopper

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist.
-Edward Hopper

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist.
- Edward Hopper

A picture is a poem without words.
-Horace

While I know that the beautiful, the spiritual and the sublime are suspect today, I have begun to stop resisting the constant urge to deny that beauty has a valid right to exist in contemporary art.
-Ian Hornak

Art is... a question mark in the minds of those who want to know what's happening.
~Aaron Howard
Art is not a thing; it is a way.
-Elbert Hubbard

The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed - it is a process of elimination.
Elbert Hubbard

A fair price is the highest one a collector can be induced to pay.
- Robert Hughes

Great art is an instant arrested in eternity.
- James G. Huneker


Art Quotes by Author - I


When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"
-Howard Ikemoto

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Art Quotes by Author - J


It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance . . . and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.
-Henry James

Art hath an enemy called ignorance.
~Ben Jonson

Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.
-James Joyce

Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.
Carl Jung

All art intuitively apprehends coming changes in the collective unconsciousness.
- Carl Gustav Jung


Art Quotes by Author - K


 

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.
Frida Kahlo

I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.
- Frida Kahlo

Every time a student walks past a really urgent, expressive piece of architecture that belongs to his college, it can help reassure him that he does have that mind, does have that soul.
-Louis Kahn

An empty canvas, apparently really empty, that says nothing and is without significance. Almost dull, in fact. In reality, however, [it's] crammed with thousands of undertone tensions and [is] full of expectancy. Slightly apprehensive lest it should be outraged ... It can contain anything but cannot sustain everything ... An empty canvas is a living wonder -- far lovelier than certain pictures.
-Vasili Kandinsky

There is no must in art because art is free.
- Vasili Kandinsky

The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.
- Vasili Kandinsky

Artists don't make objects. Artists make mythologies.
-Anish Kapoor

We live in a fractured world. I've always seen it as my role as an artist to attempt to make wholeness.
Anish Kapoor

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.
- Danny Kaye

The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal.
Elia Kazan

Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom.
~Gilbert Keith

We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.
- John F. Kennedy

The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.
Ellen Key

I believe art has to take responsibility but it should not give up being art.
Anselm Kiefer

Life is not a support system for art. It is the other way around.
-Stephen King

Art is man's expression of his joy in labor.
-Henry A. Kissinger

There are some people who don't like museums because they think of them as tombs, or something negative. I've always loved them. They are to me lighthouses of utopianism and social well-being.
R.B. Kitaj

I paint in order not to cry.
- Paul Klee

The more horrifying the world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.
-Paul Klee

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.
-Paul Klee

A line is a dot that went for a walk.
-Paul Klee

Everything vanishes around me, and works are born as if out of the void. Ripe, graphic fruits fall off. My hand has become the obedient instrument of a remote will.
Paul Klee

As I lay stretched upon the beach of Nice, I began to feel hatred for birds which flew back and forth across my blue sky, cloudless sky, because they tried to bore holes in my greatest and most beautiful work.
Yves Klein

Whoever wants to know something about me (as an artist, the only notable thing) ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do.
Gustav Klimt

Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
-Donald Knuth

Generally I walk around and I see one object and it affects me. I can't just choose any object or any theme to work with. I can be confronted by an object and be interested in a specific thing about it, and then the context develops simultaneously. I never try to create a context artificially.
Jeff Koons

The principle of art is to pause, not bypass.
Jerzy Kosinski

The principles of true art are not to portray, but to evoke.
Jerzy Kosinski

We get used to a certain kind of color of form or format, and it's acceptable. And to puncture that is sticking your neck out a bit. And then pretty soon, that's very acceptable.
Lee Krasner

Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis.
- Karl Kraus

I always say that I'm an artist who works with pictures and words, so I think that the different aspects of my activity, whether it's writing criticism, or doing visual work that incorporates writing, or teaching, or curating, is all of a single cloth, and I don't make any separation in terms of those practices.
Barbara Kruger
I find working with glass meditative, almost therapeutic. I can leave the world behind, and focus... The simplicity of form, the drama of rich, intense color, the joy of challenge, and the challenge of endurance... The piece, when it is over, is not what is made, but how it is made.
Andrew Kuntz

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Art Quotes by Author - L


A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.
-Hedy Lamarr

Art is the objectification of feeling, and the subjectification of nature.
- Susanne K. Langer

Make sure you love art and don't do it if you don't, because you'll be found out. Don't listen to the teachers. And feel it. Do it because you can't do anything else. Once you've decided, don't do anything else, because as someone once said, "art is long".
David Larwill Quotes

Why should I paint dead fish, onions and beer glasses? Girls are so much prettier.
~Marie Laurencin

When the subject is strong, simplicity is the only way to treat it.
- Jacob Lawrence

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
-Timothy Leary

Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.
Fran Lebowitz

Picasso wouldn't have churned out the same number of documented works of art as the days he lived on earth if he hadn't been obsessed. If Beethoven hadn't been obsessed with music he probably would have given the game away when he realised he was deaf.
Bill Leak

Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it.
Fernand Leger

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Oscar Levant

I don't think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals.
Denise Levertov

Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money.
~Ernst Levy

All art is solitary and the studio is a torture area.
-Alexander Liberman

There must be something about art... almost all cultures have done art. It’s a refining of the senses, which are there to keep us alive. As far as we know, no other animals do that.
-Roy Lichtenstein

Art doesn't transform. It just plain forms.
-Roy Lichtenstein

I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me.
-Roy Lichtenstein

Color is crucial in painting, but it is very hard to talk about.
- Roy Lichtenstein

I'm not really sure what social message my art carries, if any. And I don't really want it to carry one. I'm not interested in the subject matter to try to teach society anything, or to try to better our world in any way.
Roy Lichtenstein

The highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout person.
-Abraham Lincoln

Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.
-Franz Liszt

That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and random is confusing. In between lies art.
-John A. Locke

Dying young is the easy way out. It's much harder to keep your edge and keep it going.
-Robert Longo on Jean-Michel Basquiat

The arts are an even better barometer of what is happening in our world than the stock market or the debates in congress.
-Hendrik Willem Van Loon

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.
-Amy Lowell

As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.
~John Lubbock

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Art Quotes by Author - M


Thing about animation is there are people who associate it more with being a visual art. I've actually always thought of animation as more closely related to the performing arts. So many of the same rules of acting apply. In a lot of cases you don't have to be a terrific artist.
Seth MacFarlane

The most important thing for me is the direct observation of nature in its light-filled existence.
August Macke

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
- Rene-Francois-Ghislain Magritte

Life obliges me to do something, so I paint.
Rene Magritte

The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world.
~André Malraux

When I work, and in my art, I hold hands with God.
Robert Mapplethorpe

I never liked photography. Not for the sake of photography. I like the object. I like the photographs when you hold them in your hand.
Robert Mapplethorpe

The relationship between my painting and my sculpture is intimately connected. I would never begin a sculpture without first experiencing color.
Marino Marini

We dont like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. Well, art is art, isnt it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know.
-Groucho Marx

It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else.
-Henri Matisse

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter.
Henri Matisse

It is only after years of preparation that the young artist should touch color - not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression.
-Henri Matisse

I have been no more than a medium, as it were.
-Henri Matisse

Creativity takes courage.
- Henri Matisse
All my efforts go into creating an art that can be understood by everyone.
- Henri Matisse
The portrait is one of the most curious art forms. It demands special qualities in the artist, almost total kinship with the model.
- Henri Matisse
After a half-century of hard work and reflection, the wall is still there.
- Henri Matisse
Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.
- Henri Matisse

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.
-Henri Matisse

I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things.
-Henri Matisse

It would be a mistake to ascribe this creative power to an inborn talent. In art, the genius creator is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of which the work is the outcome. The artist begins with a vision -- a creative operation requiring an effort. Creativity takes courage.
-Henri Matisse

Precision is not reality
-Henri Matisse

A picture must possess a real power to generate light and for a long time now I've been conscious of expressing myself through light or rather in light.
-Henri Matisse

Time extracts various values from a painter's work. When these values are exhausted the pictures are forgotten, and the more a picture has to give, the greater it is.
Henri Matisse

I want to reach that condensation of sensations that constitutes a picture.
~Henri Matisse

. . I have always sought to be understood and, while I was taken to task by critics or colleagues, I thought they were right, assuming I had not been clear enough to be understood. This assumption allowed me to work my whole life without hatred and even without bitterness toward criticism, regardless of its source. I counted solely on the clarity of expression of my work to gain my ends. Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so.
Henri Matisse

Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
-W. Somerset Maugham

Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.
Rollo May

Little kids draw pictures of the ground, the sky, and space in between. If you ask them what the in-between space is, they say 'that's where we are.'
-Ed McCullough

For the mystic what is how. For the craftsman how is what. For the artist what and how are one.
~William McElcheran

Trying to force creativity is never good.
Sarah McLachlan

Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.
-Marshall McLuhan

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
-Thomas Merton

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.
Michelangelo

Lord, let me always desire more then I think I can do.
-Michelangelo

Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
Michelangelo

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.
-Michelangelo

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
Michelangelo

A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.
- Michelangelo
A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking.
- Michelangelo
Genius is eternal patience.
- Michelangelo
I already have a wife who is too much for me.. she is my art, and my works are my children.
- Michelangelo

I always try to balance the light with the heavy - a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes.
-Bette Midler

Art teaches nothing except the significance of life.
- Arthur Miller

An artist is always alone - if he is an artist. No, what the artist needs is loneliness.
-Henry Miller

The waking mind is the least serviceable in the arts.
Henry Miller

The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist. The artist does not tinker with the universe; he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life.
~Henry Miller

"... He is a bright sage, a dancing seer who, with a sweep of the brush, removes the ugly scaffold to which the body of man is chained by the incontrovertible facts of life. He it is, if any man today possesses the gift, who knows where to dissolve the human figure, who has the courage to sacrifice an harmonious line in order to detect the rhythm and murmur of the blood, who takes the light that has been refracted inside him and lets it flood the keyboard of color. Behind the minutiae, the chaos, the mockery of life, he detects the invisible pattern; he announces his discoveries in the metaphysical pigment of space. No searching for formulae, no crucifixion of ideas, no compulsion other than to create. Even as the world goes to smash there is one man who remains at the core, who becomes more solidly fixed and anchored, more centrifugal as the process of dissolution quickens."
-Henry Miller (on Henri Matisse) Tropic of Cancer

I have made a silent compact with myself not to change a line of what I write. I am not interested in perfecting my thoughts, nor my actions. Beside the perfection of Turgenev I put the perfection of Dostoevsky (is there anything more perfect than "The Ethernal Husband"?). Here, then, in one and the same medium, we have two kinds of perfection. But in van Gogh's letters there is a perfection beyond either of these. It is the triumph of individual over art.
-Henry Miller, "The Tropic of Cancer"

I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.
-Joan Miro

I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means. It is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness.
Joan Miro

Art is science made clear.
-Wilson Mizner

What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.
-Amedeo Modigliani

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.
-Piet Mondrian

Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same time, for everybody.
Piet Mondrian
If the world really looks like that I will paint no more!
-Claude Monet, flinging away a pair of glasses for which he had been fitted to correct a severe astigmatism.

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
-Claude Monet

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
- Claude Monet

The only cats worth anything are the cats who take chances. Sometimes I play things that I never heard myself.
- Thelonius Monk

A great artist is always before his time or behind it.
-George Edward Moore

A sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things, a poet in words, a musician by sounds.
-Henry Moore

It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work.
-Henry Moore

There are universal shapes to which everyone is subconsciously conditioned and to which they can respond if their conscious control does not shut them off.
-Henry Moore

To be an artist is to believe in life.
Henry Moore

The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.
Thomas Moore

Painting is silent poetry.
~Plutarch, Moralia

I am essentially a painter of the kind of still life composition that communicates a sense of tranquillity and privacy, moods which I have always valued above all else.
Giorgio Morandi

"Real painters understand with a brush in their hand ... what does anyone do with rules? Nothing worthwhile."
Berthe Moriset

It is important to express oneself...provided the feelings are real and are taken from you own experience.
Berthe Morisot

History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; Art has remembered the people, because they created.
-William Morris

One might truthfully say that abstract art is stripped bare of other things in order to intensify it, its rhythms, spatial intervals, and color structure. Abstraction is a process of emphasis . . . Nothing as drastic an innovation as abstract art could have come into existence, save as the consequence of a most profound, relentless, unquenchable need. The need is for felt experience -- intense, immediate, direct, subtle, unified, warm, vivid, rhythmic.
-Robert Motherwell

In the brush doing what it's doing, it will stumble on what one couldn't do by oneself.
- Robert Motherwell
Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.
- Robert Motherwell

Most painting in the European tradition was painting the mask. Modern art rejected all that. Our subject matter was the person behind the mask.
Robert Motherwell

Art is subject to arbitrary fashion.
-Kary Mullis

No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.
Edvard Munch

I don't believe in an art that is not born out of man's need to open his heart.
- Edvard Munch

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.
Elizabeth Murray

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Art Quotes by Author - N


Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness.
~George Jean Nathan

Whether I'm painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity. Even if I'm not working, I'm still analyzing people.
Alice Neel

Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind.
- Louise Nevelson

The photographs don't arouse me. All I can think about is the hard work it took to make them.
-Helmut Newton

But that's what being an artist is - feeling crummy before everyone else feels crummy.
~The New Yorker

Art is the highest task and proper metaphysical activity of this life.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Art is the proper task of life.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

We have art in order not to die of the truth.
Friedrich Nietzsche

An artist chooses his subjects.. that is the way he praises.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I just feel that I'm in tune with the right vibrations in the universe when I'm in the process of working.
-Louise Nevelson

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
-Anais Nin

The art of stone in a Japanese garden is that of placement. Its ideal does not deviate from that of nature. But I am also a sculptor of the West. I place my mark and do not hide.
Isamu Noguchi

The artist belongs to his work, not the work to the artist.
-Novalis


Art Quotes by Author - O


Even a true artist does not always produce art.
-Carroll O'Connor

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.
-Georgia O'Keeffe

To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.
- Georgia O'Keeffe
Art is a technique of communication. The image is the most complete technique of all communication.
- Claus Oldenburg

I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.
~Claes Oldenburg

You're sitting there with your muse and your muse is telling you something and you’re following it, and you end up the next day looking at it and thinking "what the hell was the muse saying to me?"
Nathan Oliveira

Painting is a means of self-enlightenment.
John Olsen

I think a single sentence by Van Gogh is better than the whole work of all the art critics and art historians put together.
John Olsen

”Even at best talent remains a constant, and those who rely upon that gift alone, without developing further, peak quickly and soon fade to obscurity.”
David Bayles and Ted Orland.

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  Art Quotes by Author - P


 

If my aspirations are very high, my depressions are very deep, yet my opinions never loved the middle air.
Samuel Palmer

Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.
- Anna Pavlova

Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers... What we call art is a game.
-Octavio Paz

Imagination is the true magic carpet.
- Norman Vincent Peale

If you want to have clean ideas, change them as often as you change your shirts.
Francis Picabia

Art is lies that tell the truth.
- Picasso

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?
~Pablo Picasso

Give me a museum and I'll fill it.
-Pablo Picasso

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
-Pablo Picasso

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
~Pablo Picasso

Everyone wants to understand painting. Why is there no attempt to understand the song of the birds?
-Pablo Picasso

I do not seek. I find.
-Pablo Picasso

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
-Pablo Picasso

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth, at least the truth that is given to us to understand.
Pablo Picasso

Everyone wants to understand art. Why not try to understand the song of a bird? Why does one love the night, flowers, everything around one, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting people have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only a trifling bit of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world, though we can't explain them. People who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.
Pablo Picasso

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
-Pablo Picasso

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.
- Pablo Picasso
Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
- Pablo Picasso

For a long time I limited myself to one color.. as a form of discipline.
- Pablo Picasso

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.
-Pablo Picasso

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
-Pablo Picasso

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.
-Pablo Picasso

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web.
-Pablo Picasso

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.
~Pablo Picasso

”I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them.”
- Picasso.

”I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.”
- Picasso.

I don't say everything, but I paint everything.
Pablo Picasso

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
-Pablo Picasso

I believe it is impossible to make sense of life in this world except through art.
- Daniel Pinkwater

The beginning is the most important part of the work.
-Plato

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it 'the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.' The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of 'Artist.'
-Edgar Allan Poe

Art is coming face to face with yourself. That's what's wrong with Benton. He came face to face with Michelangelo-- and he lost
-Jackson Pollock

Every good painter paints what he is.
-Jackson Pollock

My painting does not come from the easel.
-Jackson Pollock
The pictures I contemplate painting would constitute a halfway state and an attempt to point out the direction of the future without arriving there completely.
-Jackson Pollock

On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.
Jackson Pollock

The painting has a life of its own.
Jackson Pollock

It’s all a big game of construction, some with a brush, some with a shovel, some choose a pen.
- Jackson Pollock

So vast is art, so narrow human wit.
-Alexander Pope

Good art cannot be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
Ezra Pound

Art is a way of saying what it means to be alive, and the most salient feature of existence is the unthinkable odds against it. For every way that there is of being here, there are an infinity of ways of not being here. Historical accident snuffs out whole universes with every clock tick. Statistics declare us ridiculous. Thermodynamics prohibits us. Life, by any reasonable measure, is impossible, and my life—this, here, now—infinitely more so. Art is a way of saying, in the face of all that impossibility, just how worth celebrating it is to be able to say anything at all.
-Richard Powers

Art is the only thing you cannot punch a button for. You must do it the old-fashioned way. Stay up and really burn the midnight oil. There are no compromises.
Leonytne Price

A lot of its experimental, spontaneous. It's about knocking about in the studio and bumping into things.
Richard Prince

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
- Marcel Proust

Art is a kind of illness.
~Giacomo Puccini

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Art Quotes by Author - Q


The perfection of art is to conceal art.
Marcus Fabius Quintilian


Art Quotes by Author - R


I think that in the last twenty years or so, there's been a new kind of honesty in painting where painters have been very proud of paint and have let it behave openly.
Robert Rauschenberg

The artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history.
- Robert Rauschenberg

If one looks closely enough, one can see angels in every piece of art.
~Adeline Cullen Ray

While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality... true art lies in a reality that is felt.
~Odilon Redon

Every change is a form of liberation. My mother used to say a change is always good even if it's for the worse.
Paula Rego

Art is art. Everything else is everything else.
-Ad Reinhardt

Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.
Rembrandt

Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.
Rembrandt

Shall I tell you what I think are the two qualities of a work of art? First, it must be the indescribable, and second, it must be inimitable.
-Pierre Auguste Renoir

You come to nature with all her theories, and she knocks them all flat.
Pierre Auguste Renoir

Art... does not take kindly to facts, is helpless to grapple with theories, and is killed outright by a sermon.
~Agnes Repplier

A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds

Anyone who says you can't see a thought simply doesn't know art.
~Wynetka Ann Reynolds

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul - and you answer.
~Star Richés

Nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an asshole
-Jonathan Richman

I can't always reach the image in my mind.. almost never, in fact.. so that the abstract image I create is not quite there, but it gets to the point where I can leave it.
Gerhard Richter

Art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life.
~Jean Paul Richter

”An artist's early work is inevitably made up of a mixture of tendencies and interests, some of which are compatible and some of which are in conflict. As the artist picks his way along, rejecting and accepting as he goes, certain patterns of enquiry emerge. His failures are as valuable as his successes: by misjudging one thing he conforms something else, even if at the time he does not know what that something else is.”
- Bridget Riley

For me nature is not landscape, but the dynamism of visual forces.. an event rather than an appearance. These forces can only be tackled by treating color and form as ultimate identities, freeing them from all descriptive or functional roles.
Bridget Riley

Surely all art is the result of one's having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, where no one can go any further.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

With nothing can one approach a work of art so little as with critical words: they always come down to more or less happy misunderstandings.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

An artist's instinct is more refined than the typical mortal's.
~Holden Rinehart

I've never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso.
Diego Rivera

Our natures are a lot like oil, mix us with anything else, and we strive to swim on top.
-Joan Rivers

In the staircase of life, Art is the only stair that doesn't creak.
-Tom Robbins

Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which Nature herself is animated.
-Auguste Rodin

I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need.
-Auguste Rodin

The sculptor represents the transition from one pose to another.. he indicates how insensibly the first glides into the second. In his work we still see a part of what was and we discover a part of what is to be.
Auguste Rodin

The very essence of the creative is its novelty, and hence we have no standard by which to judge it.
Carl Rogers

I don't want to be interesting. I want to be good.
-Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Artists, by definition innocent, don't steal. But they do borrow without giving back.
-Ned Rorem

I tell young people that the greatest paintings in museums are made with minerals mixed in oil smeared on cloth with the hair from the back of a pig's ear. It's that simple.
James Rosenquist

I was probably born with the ability to draw, but that does not make you an artist.
- James Rosenquist
Collecting art is like a drug. It is both intensely pleasurable and highly addictive.
- Norman Rosenthal

Conception, my boy, fundamental brain work, is what makes all the difference in art.
-Dante Gabriel Rosetti

Beauty in art is often nothing but ugliness subdued.
Jean Rostand

Sometimes the painting starts to relate very directly to either sights seen or experiences felt, other times it just goes off on a tangent that you really can’t articulate.
Susan Rothenberg

Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can only be explored by those willing to take the risks. -Mark Rothko

The most important tool the artist fashions through constant practice is faith in his ability to produce miracles when they are needed. Pictures must be miraculous: the instant one is completed; the intimacy between the creation and the creator is ended. He is an outsider.
-Mark Rothko

It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.
Mark Rothko

For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh.
~Georges Rouault

Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.
-John Ruskin

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.
-John Ruskin

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
- John Ruskin

”What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.”
- John Ruskin.

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Art Quotes by Author - S



One might say that science itself, and civilization and art, are all about different orderings of the world -- to contain it, and to make it in some sense intelligible, communicable. And bearable.
- Oliver Sacks

What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.
~Augustus Saint-Gaudens

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
St Fancis of Assisi

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.
- Carl Sagan

Ever since I started painting, I have tried to get the fluidity and surprise of image connection, the simultaneity of film montage, into painting.
David Salle

Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.
- George Sand
Simplicity is the essence of the great, the true, and the beautiful in art.
- George Sand

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
-George Santayana

Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking... a small glimpse of what they hold inside. Little secrets, regrets, joys... every line has its own meaning.
-Sarah, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

Everytime I paint a portrait I lose a friend.
John Singer Sargent

I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds.
Egon Schiele

Art is the right hand of Nature. The latter has only given us being, the former has made us men.
-Friedrich Schiller

I do dream about art, and images come to me in dreams. I am definitely hoping to be in touch with my subconscious. I expect a call any minute.
Julian Schnabel

Treat a work of art like a prince. Let it speak to you first.
Arthur Schopenhauer

If I were a better artist, I'd be a painter, and if I were a better writer, I'd write books.. but I'm not, so I draw cartoons!
Charles M. Schulz

My imagination can picture no fairer happiness than to continue living for art.
-Clara Schumann

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist.
Robert Schumann

All art is but imitation of nature.
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca

I'm not precious about my work. If you get it out into the urban field it's going to be used or misused but it'll also probably provide a way of people acknowledging what the aesthetic is about because people have to confront it every day.
Richard Serra

They see poetry in what I have done. No. I apply my methods, and that is all there is to it.
-Georges Seurat

The object of art is to give life a shape.
William Shakespeare

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
George Bernard Shaw

I was supporting myself, but nothing like the guy painters, as I refer to them. I always resented that actually.. we were all getting the same amount of press, but they were going gangbusters with sales.
Cindy Sherman

I meet the world as it comes, yield superficially to the hustlers, and thus achieve peace of mind. With peace of mind comes a painting.
Shih't ao

Beauty was darkness till she came.
Then paint her eyes, whose active light
Shall make the former shadows bright,
And with their every beam supply
New day, to draw her picture by.
-James Shirley

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
- Simonides

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.
-Isaac Bashevis Singer

Art is the signature of civilizations.
-Beverly Sills

I like living in the 20th century.. to me the world has never been more beautiful. I am trying to paint the real world I live in, as beautifully as I can with my own eyes.
Jeffrey Smart

Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.
-Stephen Sondheim

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art.
- Susan Sontag

Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product.
-Edward Steichen

A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears.
-Gertrude Stein

...it is in the nature of original contemporary art to present itself as a bad risk. And we the public...should be proud of being in this predicament, because nothing else would seem to us quite true to life; and art, after all, is supposed to be a mirror of life.
-Leo Steinberg

Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.
~Lincoln Steffens

Kandinsky was right to appreciate Cézanne. The emergence of triangularity in the ‘Large Bathers’ was an unconscious step in the right direction, a step about to break through the crust of the future’s pictorial surface. However, agile and muscular as it may have been, Cézanne’s triangle could not shake the pyramid anchoring Raphael’s composition. The dogged perseverance of this pyramid illuminates the mystical dead weight which Kandinsky and all abstract painting following him have always had difficulty accounting for, and which in the end we, if not they, cannot live without.
-Frank Stella

But, after all, the aim of art is to create space - space that is not compromised by decoration or illustration, space within which the subjects of painting can live.
-Frank Stella

I don't like a lot of the stuff that goes on in the art world, but it's hard to be old and like what goes on around you.
Frank Stella

Grammar stops at love, and at art.
~Valentine Sterling

One of the best things about paintings is their silence - which prompts reflection and random reverie.
~Mark Stevens

Opusculum paedagogicum
The pears are not viols,
Nudes or bottles.
They resemble nothing else.

They are yellow forms
Composed of curves
Bulging toward the base.
They are touched red.

They are not flat surfaces
Having curved outlines.
They are round
Tapering toward the top.

In the way they are modelled
There are bits of blue.
A hard dry leaf hangs
From the stem.

The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin.

The shadows of the pears
Are blobs on the green cloth.
The pears are not seen
As the observer wills.
-Wallace Stevens

A painter paints pictures on canvas, but musicians paint their pictures on silence.
- Stokowski

My dear Tristan, to be an artist at all is like living in Switzerland during a world war.
-Tom Stoppard
Great designers innovate, good designers emulate.
-Mark Stosberg

The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.
-Paul Strand

Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.
-Igor Stravinsky

"I remember being handed a score composed by Mozart at the age of eleven. What could I say? I felt like de Kooning, who was asked to comment on a certain abstract painting, and answered in the negative. He was then told it was the work of a celebrated monkey. 'That's different. For a monkey, it's terrific.'"
-Igor Stravinsky

I've been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.
-Barbra Streisand

All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul. Purple is not just a noun and an adjective but also a verb - when you look at it, it's looking back at you.
~Uniek Swain

Everyone has a story that is only partially understood by others. Empathy heals the void in that story. Judgement opens the wound.

-Ryan Swallow

​Trust has a price that is levied by experience. The value is subjective but final in it's decision.

​-Ryan Swallow

Beware of alliances, especially those in the periphery. Friendship is more easily lost than maintained. History and integrity are the author of a lasting partnership.

-Ryan Swallow

There is no subject I can paint which is more frustrating and at the same time extremely satisfying than the figure.
-Ryan Swallow

Point of view is less in the positioning of the viewer and more in the time spent meditating the view.
-Ryan Swallow

There lies a balance somewhere between intimacy and aloofness or naiveté which must exist between the painter and his human subject or model. Intimacy or extreme familiarity creates conflict between what the artist has seen of the subjects soul and what he actually sees with human eyes. A battle ensues and most often the painter loses, is never satisfied, because the painter cannot paint the soul or essence of a person. The same applies with the self-portrait. The painter seeing his image in a contorted two-dimensional mirror, struggles with the sense of how he appears to others and the distorted view of his soul. This explains the painful process I have gone through in painting myself. A certain detachment is required. The opposite extreme being a purely imagined character with no similarities to any model, friend or figure the artist has viewed before. My point or theory being that the most moving portrait is of someone that captures the essence of humankind; one that any viewer can feel a sense of intimacy and mystery in the same moment; a picture that contains bits and pieces of the painters experience, existence and memory as well as current references and models.I suppose this theory is my goal and when I have achieved it in the past, it is quite apparent. People feel so intimately associated with the painting and yet are left with so many questions. People need to be left with questions, but these questions bring me to another related point: Answering these questions about my paintings is completely pointless and devalues the paintings worth, not only for the buyer, but the viewer. The collective human experience creates a sense of kinship with all people, but when art (in any medium) is specifically defined by the artist for the public, the viewing public has lost its need for art. The music becomes something to fill the air, the theater or ballet a place to fill a social quota or impress a date, the painting is then something to fill the space on the wall. This sickens me, because I know that most of the paying public is spending their money on art for these exact reasons. If there is a title, a description, a definition of every specific piece of art, then there is no naiveté, no mystery, there are no questions, no underlying connection and beauty. Then art ceases to be art; ceases to be priceless and becomes worthless.
-Ryan Swallow

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
Jonathan Swift

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Art Quotes by Author - T


You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
-- Rabindranath Tagore.

That's the motivation of an artist - to seek attention of some kind.
-James Taylor

"Painting in watercolor is like walking a tight-rope; one must achieve a perfect balance between what the paint wants to do and what the artist wants to do, or all is lost."
-Mary C. Taylor

You can never do too much drawing.
-Tintoretto

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
-Twyla Tharp

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
Henry David Thoreau

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.
Henry David Thoreau

Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is great matter. Art is an organ of human life, transmitting man's reasonable perception into feeling. In our age the common religious perception of men is the consciousness of the brotherhood of man-we know that the well-being of man lies in the union with his fellow men. True science should indicate the various methods of applying this consciousness to life. Art should transform this perception into feeling. The task of art is enormous. Through the influence of real art, aided by science, guided by religion, that peaceful co-operation of man is now obtained by external means-by law courts, police, charitable institutions, factory inspection, etc.-should be obtained by man's free and joyous activity. Art should cause violence to be set aside. And it is only art that can accomplish this.
-Leo N. Tolstoy

Art renders accessible to men of the latest generations all the feelings experienced by their predecessors and also those felt by their best and foremost contemporaries . . . [Art] is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feeling . . . Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that others are infected by those feelings and also experience them . . . A real work of art destroys in the consciousness of the recipient the separation between himself and the artist, and . . . also between himself and all whose minds receive this work of art. In this freeing of our personality from its separation and isolation, in this uniting of it with others, lies the chief characteristic and the great attractive force of art.
-Leo Tolstoy, "What is Art?"

It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.
-Kojiro Tomita

The artist does not see things as they are, but as he is.
~Alfred Tonnelle

In our time there are many artists who do something because it is new; they see their value and their justification in this newness. They are deceiving themselves; novelty is seldom the essential. This has to do with one thing only; making a subject better from its intrinsic nature.
Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal.
-Lionel Trilling

Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
-Harry S. Truman

All art requires courage.
~Anne Tucker

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
- Mark Twain

When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time.
Cy Twombly

If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered.
~Robin Tyler

Every product of disgust capable of becoming a negation of the family is Dada; a protest with the fists of its whole being engaged in destructive action: Dada; knowledge of all the means rejected up until now by the shamefaced sex of comfortable compromise and good manners: Dada; abolition of logic, which is the dance of those impotent to create: Dada; of every social hierarchy and equation set up for the sake of values by our valets: Dada; every object, all objects, sentiments, obscurities, apparitions and the precise clash of parallel lines are weapons for the fight: Dada; abolition of memory: Dada; abolition of archaeology: Dada; abolition of prophets: Dada; abolition of the future: Dada; absolute and unquestionable faith in every god that is the immediate product of spontaneity: Dada; elegant and unprejudiced leap from a harmony to the other sphere; trajectory of a word tossed like a screeching phonograph record; to respect all individuals in their folly of the moment: whether it be serious, fearful, timid, ardent, vigorous, determined, enthusiastic; to divest one's church of every useless cumbersome accessory; to spit out disagreeable or amorous ideas like a luminous waterfall, or coddle them - with the extreme satisfaction that it doesn't matter in the least - with the same intensity in the thicket of one's soul - pure of insects for blood well-born, and gilded with bodies of archangels. Freedom: Dada Dada Dada, a roaring of tense colors, and interlacing of opposites and of all contradictions, grotesques, inconsistencies: LIFE
-Tristan Tzara, "Dada Manifesto"

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Art Quotes by Author - U


I'm painting an idea not an ideal. Basically I'm trying to paint a structured painting full of controlled, and therefore potent, emotion.
Euan Uglow

Let me ask you something, what is not art?
~Unknown

Mark Rothko's paintings are.... "like television sets for Zen Buddhists"
-Unknown

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
-John Updike


Art Quotes by Author - V


 

An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.
~Paul Valéry

He (Vincent) has painted a few portraits which have turned out well, but he always does them for no payment. It is a pity that he does not want to earn something, for if he did want to he could make something here, but you can't change a person.
Theo van Gogh

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.
-Vincent van Gogh

I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.
-Vincent van Gogh

As a suffering creature, I cannot do without something greater than I -- something that is my life -- the power to create.
- Vincent Van Gogh

If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
-Vincent Van Gogh

It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to, the feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
Vincent Van Gogh

The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech.
Vincent Van Gogh

Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life.
- Vincent Van Gogh

The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting.
-Vincent Van Gogh

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
-Vincent van Gogh

An artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs.
-Edgard Varese

Human beings have always been creative. The guys who were making the pyramids.. and archaeological research has showed us this.. had little figurines made by the workers, to express their devotion to their god.
Bill Viola

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.
Maurice de Vlaminck

If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts.
Kurt Vonnegut

All creations demand greenery of spirit.
- Diana Vreeland

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Art Quotes by Author - W


Art is what you can get away with.
-Andy Warhol

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.
Andy Warhol

I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.
-Andy Warhol

People are always so boring when they band together. You have to be alone to develop all the idiosyncrasies that make a person interesting.
-Andy Warhol

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.
Andy Warhol

Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job.
Andy Warhol

An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have.
-Andy Warhol

Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.
- Simone Weil
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
- Dame Rebecca West

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.
-Edith Wharton

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.
-Alfred North Whitehead

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.
-James McNeill Whistler

As music is the poetry of sound, so is painting the poetry of sight and the subject-matter has nothing to do with harmony of sound or of color.
-James Mcneill Whistler

An artist's career always begins tomorrow.
~James McNeill Whistler

Art should astonish, transmute, transfix. One must work at the tissue between truth and paranoia.
-Brett Whiteley

The fine art of painting, which is the bastard of alchemy, always has been always will be, a game. The rules of the game are quite simple: in a given arena, on as many psychic fronts as the talent allows, one must visually describe, the centre of the meaning of existence.
-Brett Whiteley

Art is the thrilling spark that beats death - thats all.
-Brett Whiteley

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.
-Walt Whitman

Strong and convincing art has never risen from theories.
- Mary Wigman

All mankind's inner feelings eventually manifest themselves as an outer reality.
- Stuart Wilde

Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
-Oscar Wilde

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
~Oscar Wilde

It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.
-Oscar Wilde

Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.
-Oscar Wilde

The proper school to learn art is not life but art
-Oscar Wilde

It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection; through art and art only that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.
-Oscar Wilde

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
-Oscar Wilde

The past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.
-Oscar Wilde

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
-Oscar Wilde

All that I desire to point out is the general principle that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
-Oscar Wilde

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
-Oscar Wilde

A subject that is beautiful in itself gives no suggestion to the artist. It lacks imperfection.
~Oscar Wilde

God and other artists are always a little obscure.
~Oscar Wilde

Science is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon eternal truths. Art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever-changing. To morals belong the lower and less intellectual spheres.
~Oscar Wilde

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
- Oscar Wilde

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
- Robin Williams

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand."
- Woodrow Wilson.

Women, poets, and especially artists, like cats; delicate natures only can realize their sensitive nervous systems.
Helen M. Winslow

Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.
-Tom Wolfe

I realized that all the really good ideas I'd ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. So I went back to Iowa.
Grant Wood

It is not in life, but in art that self-fulfillment is to be found.
-George E. Woodberry

Arrange what pieces come your way.
- Virginia Woolf

Pictures deface walls more often than they decorate them.
-William Wordsworth

Art for art's sake is a philosophy of the well-fed.
-Frank Lloyd Wright

Respect the masterpiece. It is true reverence to man. There is no quality so great, none so much needed now.
-Frank Lloyd Wright

[Art] is about as outrageous and murderous an act a person can do short of really doing one physically.
-Stephen Wright

Artists today think of everything they do as a work of art. It is important to forget about what you are doing.. then a work of art may happen.
Andrew Wyeth


Art Quotes by Author - X,Y,Z


Art is both creation and recreation. Of the two ideas, I think art as recreation or as sheer play of the human spirit is more important.
-Lin Yutang

I've decided, I'm going to feed every little addiction and silently go mad 'cause right now my writing sucks
-Zaffel

If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing.
- Zimbabwe proverb

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
-Emile Zola


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