Art Quotes

Inspirations: 12 Great Quotes About Painting

Claude Monet Painting in his Garden at Argenteuil by Renoir

Claude Monet Painting in his Garden at Argenteuil by Renoir

If a painting of a tree was only the exact representation of the original, so that it looked just like the tree, there would be no reason for making it; we might as well look at the tree itself. But the painting, if it is of the right sort, gives something that neither a photograph nor a view of the tree conveys. It emphasizes something of character, quality, individuality. We are not lost in looking at thorns and defects; we catch a vision of the grandeur and beauty of a king of the forest.
-Calvin Coolidge, speech, Jan. 17, 1925

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

Jackson Pollock painting

Jackson Pollock painting

I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.
-Jackson Pollock

Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.
-Jackson Pollock

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

Portrait as an Artist by van Gogh

Portrait as an Artist by 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

“You must forget all your theories, all your ideas before the subject. What part of these is really your own will be expressed in your expression of the emotion awakened in you by the subject.”
-Henri Matisse

After the first brush-stroke, the canvas assumes a life of its own; at this point, you become both governor and spectator to your own event.
-Anonymous

Turner on Varnishing Day by William Parrott

Turner on Varnishing Day by William Parrott

When making a painting, only one thing counts: what you do next.
-Darby Bannard

“Painting should never look as if it were done with difficulty, however difficult it may actually have been.”
– Robert Henri, in his book The Art Spirit, p135.

Churchill Painting at the Easel by

Churchill Painting at the Easel by

In Cezanne’s paintings, “edges aren’t boundaries but places where paint, surging across the surface, changes color.”
– Art critic Peter Schjeldahl, “Cezanne versus Pissarro”, New Yorker magazine, 11 July 2005

The painter’s work will be of little merit if he takes the painting of others as his standard, but if he studies from nature he will produce good fruits.
-Leonardo da Vinci, Thoughts on Art and Life

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