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Quotes about Life

Quotes about Light


Quotes about Life

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141 art quotes about Light found | Share this page of quotes about Light on Facebook

A glimmer of light cannot truly be seen without much that is dark, and darkness cannot truly be felt without shadowy forms rising from the blackness. (Anonymous)

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present. (Sir Francis Bacon)

I don't want dead paint, so I test many of my works by studying them in a dark room at twilight or even after dark to check the luminosity. If the darker forms still have resonance and luminosity, I know the painting's working. (Will Barnet)

Darkness is where we begin and where we end. We don't usually see light traveling in darkness of space because we only can see its reflection on substance. (Ala Bashir)

Wherever it is a literal manifestation in the work or an abstracted element, light compels the viewer. (Mary Todd Beam)

We lose a great deal when we lose the sense and feeling for the sun. When all has been said, the adventure of the sun is the great natural drama by which we live, and not to have joy in it and awe of it, not to share in it, is to close a dull door on nature's sustaining and poetic spirit. (Henry Beston)

He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. (William Blake)

The candle is not lit / To give light, but to testify to the night (Robert Bly)

It seemed to me that it was possible to translate light, forms, and character using nothing but color, without recourse to values. (Pierre Bonnard)

Ideas are to literature what light is to painting. (Paul Bourget)

When light hits opaque pastel it bounces back immediately, creating a wonderful vibration. (Gail Boyle)

Constable and Turner... were among the first painters to see light in terms of a pervasive veil of atmosphere. (Richard J. Boyle)

We see light, not dark. But it is in the dark that we feel goblins and ghosts. (Rex Brandt)

I don't paint people and things; I paint the way light reacts to people and things. This brings me to the basics about light and dark. (Harley Brown)

Truth makes on the ocean of nature no one track of light; every eye, looking on, finds its own. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

The light that never was on sea or land, yet which all men see sometime or other... (William Wilfred Campbell)

Why is it called 'after dark' when it really is 'after light'? (George Carlin)

I want painting to be my flashlight. (Squeak Carnwath)

Light is a thing that cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else – by color. (Paul Cezanne)

An optical impression is produced on our organs of sight which makes us classify as light, half-tone or quartertone, the surfaces represented by colour sensations. So that light does not exist for the painter. (Paul Cezanne)

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. (Anton Chekhov)

The sky is the source of light in Nature and it governs everything. (John Constable)

Given the right lighting, all the colors in the world can be seen in a white object. (Michele Cooper)

Sometimes the best lighting of all is a power failure. (Doug Coupland)

I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight. (Louis Daguerre)

Daylight is too easy. What I want is difficult: the atmosphere of lamps or moonlight. (Edgar Degas)

In the sky we had rediscovered the moving principle of any work of art: the light, and the motion of color. (Sonia Delaunay)

The substance of painting is light. (Andre Derain)

The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted. (Diogenes of Sinope)

Shadows play an integral role in letting sunlight permeate the scene. They provide a 'setting' that compliments the sun-kissed lights. Often, shadows will have a golden tint, or even a rosy red color that conveys a unique atmospheric glow. (Jeanne Dobie)

Learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest. (Dogen)

I would like not to reproduce but to reinvent the structure of light in a way pertinent to painting rather than to optics. (Piero Dorazio)

We cannot express the light in nature because we have not the sun. We can only express the light we have in ourselves. (Arthur Dove)

The glorious lamp of heaven, the radiant sun, / Is Nature's eye. (John Dryden)

Always keep the direction of the light source clearly in mind and keep asking yourself, 'How light is it?' and 'How dark is it?' (Leoni Duff)

A background can be painted in the same range of values as the foreground by reversing the light effect. In the shadow plane, paint the lights cool and the shadows warm, and in the sunlight plane, paint the lights warm and shadows cool. (Harvey Dunn)

Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us. (Meister Johann Eckhart)

The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty and truth. (Albert Einstein)

Most people would guess that the sun is fifty or a hundred times brighter than the moon, but it's a half million times brighter – evidence of the amazing capacity of our eyes to adjust to light and dark. (James Elkins)

The purple light or glow, which appears roughly fifteen or twenty minutes after sunset... looks like an isolated bright spot fairly high in the sky over the place the sun has set, and then it quickly expands and sinks until it blends with the colors underneath. (James Elkins)

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself. (Desiderius Erasmus)

Don't just use light to illuminate... think about what light means in the context of the painting. (Martha Mayer Erlebacher)

The light in winter is most varied; there are days when it's clear and bright, carving the earth into light and shadow like a razor. Yet, at times, the light can be soft and quiet as a whisper, with color of the most intense chromatic variations anyone could ever need. (Peter Fiore)

I turn out all the lights and work in the dark. (Sharon Fithian)

An increase in light gives an increase in darkness... (Sam Francis)

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. (St. Francis of Assisi)

Look closely at the Japanese; they draw admirably and yet in them you will see life outdoors and in the sun without shadows... (Paul Gauguin)

Oh mysterious world of all light, thou hast made a light shine within me, and I have grown in admiration of thy antique beauty, which is the immemorial youth of nature. (Paul Gauguin)

There is strong shadow where there is much light. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

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

Always lines, never forms! But where do they find these lines in Nature! For my part I see only forms that are lit up and forms that are not. There is only light and shadow. (Francisco de Goya)

Can the darkness condemn the light? (El Greco)

An awake heart is like a sky that pours light. (Hafiz)

Tess of the d'Urbervilles...
When yellow lights struggle with blue shades in hairlike lines. (Thomas Hardy)

And light has no weight, / Yet one is lifted on its flood, /Swept high, /Running up white-golden light-shafts, /As if one were as weightless as light itself – /All gold and white and light. (Lawren Harris)

The darkness around us might somewhat light up if we would first practice using the light we have on the place we are. (Henry S. Haskins)

There cannot be a shadow on top of a shadow. One shadow will cancel out the other one. Or the two together will form one totally new shape. (Tony van Hasselt)

Dawn is about luminosity and so is the iPhone... The little drawings of the dawn are done while I'm still in bed... If you're in my kind of business you'd be a fool to sleep through that... Artists can't work office hours, can they? (David Hockney)

In nature, light creates the color. In the picture, color creates the light. (Hans Hofmann)

You have the sky overhead giving one light; then the reflected light from whatever reflects; then the direct light of the sun; so that, in the blending and suffusing of these several luminations, there is no such thing as a line to be seen anywhere. (Winslow Homer)

The secret to painting shadow is in the amount of bounced light you see in the shadow itself. (William Hook)

-on Joaquin Sorolla...
Let there be no mincing of comparisons in this assertion. Not Turner, not Monet, painted so directly blinding shafts of sunlight as has this Spaniard. (James G. Huneker)

The lack of light is poverty. (Lucero Isaac)

Even in warmest / glow / how cold my shadow (Kobayashi Issa)

-The Art of Color, 1961
Colors are primordial ideas, children of the aboriginal colorless light and its counterpart, colorless darkness... Light, that first phenomenon of the world, reveals to us the spirit and the living soul of the world through colors. (Johannes Itten)

-on Terrace at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet...
It is a painting that exposes in oils what Chekhov so often did in print: sunlight mocking a dark isolation of the moment. A moment fixed in a brave, failing light. (Alexandra Johnson)

It can be difficult to 'read' the light to see if it is warm or cool. However, my solution is to 'read' the shadow instead. Once I've made a determination, I assume the light is the opposite, and I paint it as such. (Michael Chesley Johnson)

We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is. (Samuel Johnson)

Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows. (Helen Keller)

I love lying in darkness. (Nicole Kidman)

Light and the rational forms are locked in combat; light sets them into motion, bends what is straight, makes parallels oval, inscribes circles in the intervals, makes the intervals active. (Paul Klee)

The light in the North is constantly a thrill for me... (Wanda Koop)

The sunlights differ, but there is only one darkness. (Ursula K. LeGuin)

To light a candle is to cast a shadow. (Ursula K. LeGuin)

I see, but cannot reach, the height / That lies forever in the light. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

I will love the light for it shows me the way, / Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. (Og Mandino)

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. (Steve Martin)

When we draw the objects, surfaces and spaces of our world, we are to a large degree drawing an experience of light. The strange and wonderful paradox is that light is invisible, but makes things visible. (Mick Maslen)

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)

Colour helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist's brain. (Henri Matisse)

Remember that old adage, 'There cannot be a good light without a good dark.' (Sandra Meyer)

Imagining yourself as a solar cell encourages you to think of ways to capture and pass sunlight instead of wasting it. (Michael Michalko)

My candle burns at both ends; / It will not last the night; / But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends – / It gives a lovely light. (Edna St. Vincent Millay)

The photographer is a manipulator of light; photography is a manipulation of light. (Laszlo Moholy-Nagy)

If you want to find your brightest light then you have to look in your darkest room. (Gina Mollicone-Long)

When it is dark, it seems to me as if I were dying, and I can't think any more. (Claude Monet)

The moon is looking down into the canyon, and how marvelously the great rocks kindle to her light! Every dome, and brow, and swelling boss touched by her white rays, glows as if lighted with snow. (John Muir)

We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light. (Earl Nightingale)

My first memory is of the brightness of light... light all around. I was sitting among pillows on a quilt on the ground... very large white pillows... (Georgia O'Keeffe)

We live in an ultra light moment. We see a different indoor environment. The richness of the eyes accustomed to seeing in minimal light versus stopping at rich dark color. There are treasures about the path of looking hidden. (Susan Obermeyer)

Figures must have their own light. It wasn't light that struck the figure in a certain way - the light, the luminosity of white, was in the figure. It emanated from the paint itself. (Nathan Oliveira)

The lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean. (Ovid)

The presence of the dark gives the light its quality. Our eyes naturally appreciate the areas of light, but we can only do this by acknowledging the darks. (Grace Paleg)

Transparent and opaque passages make a statement together about the quality of light, lending a depth and glow to passages that are really difficult to get with opaque paint alone. (Kate Palmer)

Luminosity is a quality dependent as much on technique as on the physical properties of individual pigments. (Walter J. Phillips)

You see these thick curtains shut out the daylight: artificial light suits me a great deal better; it's absolutely steady, and much more exciting. (Pablo Picasso)

The forehead of every work must shine from afar. (Pindar)

I want my paintings to have a light of their own, they must glow from inside... (Douglas Portway)

All sunshine makes a desert. (Arabic proverb)

Paint your picture by means of the lights. Lights define texture and color – shadows define form. (Howard Pyle)

In the absence of light, the familiar urban environment becomes disorienting, unsettling, and perhaps even alienating. Night creates displacement... and new markers of orientation. (Greg Pyra)

Oh, what subtle shadows are created as the light picks and chooses which petals deserve their place in the sun! (Susan McKinnon Rasmussen)

A sky full of silent suns. (Jean Paul Richter)

-Elements of Drawing...
Give me some mud off a city crossing, some ochre out of a gravel-pit, a little whitening, and some coal dust, and I will paint you a luminous picture, if you give me time to gradate my mud, and subdue my dust. (John Ruskin)

-on Joaquin Sorolla...
Sorolla's style is probably more accurately described as luminism - literally, the painting of light - or even, overcoming all collective categories, simply and uniquely Sorollism. (Peter Saint-Andre)

The picture must radiate light, the bodies have their own light which they consume to live: they burn, they are not lit from outside. (Egon Schiele)

The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart. (Robert Schumann)

There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on. (Rod Serling)

Light is God's clothing. Light is much more powerful than darkness. It's all about the light. (Marilyn Simandle)

Sets of lines can say something about the direction and nature of the light. They are used by great fresco painters as a sign for shade. (John Sloan)

I always think of shade as being full of light. That is why I like to use the word shade rather than light and shadow. Shade seems to play over the thing, envelop it, better define it, while shadow seems to fall on the thing and stain the surface with darks. (John Sloan)

Available light is any damn light that is available! (W. Eugene Smith)

I hate darkness. Claude Monet once said that painting in general did not have light enough in it. I agree with him. We painters, however, can never reproduce sunlight as it really is. I can only approach the truth of it. (Joaquin Sorolla)

- The Winter of Our Discontent...
It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone. (John Steinbeck)

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, / And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Wherever there is light, one can photograph [paint]. (Alfred Stieglitz)

The principality of the sky lightens now, over our green hill, into spring morning larked and crowed and belling. (Dylan Thomas)

There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. (James Thurber)

Lincoln studied by the light of a fireplace. Mozart composed by candlelight. Galileo invented by oil lamp. Didn't they ever think to do their work during the daytime? (Jersey Tomato)

The reflections of the moon on one thousand rivers are from the same moon: the mind must be full of light. (Hung Tzu-Cheng)

There was never a night that could defeat sunrise. (Author unknown)

I have loved the stars too dearly to be critical of the night. (Author unknown)

Of the original phenomena, light is the most enthralling. (Leonardo da Vinci)

A gray day provides the best light. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Look at light and admire its beauty. Close your eyes, and then look again: what you saw is no longer there; and what you will see later is not yet. (Leonardo da Vinci)

The light for drawing from nature should come from the North in order that it may not vary. And if you have it from the South, keep the window screened with cloth, so that with the sun shining the whole day the light may not vary. The height of the light so arranged as that every object shall cast a shadow on the ground of the same length as itself. (Leonardo da Vinci)

The vivacity and brightness of colors in a landscape will never bear any comparison with a landscape in nature when it is illumined by the sun, unless the painting is placed in such a position that it will receive the same light from the sun as does the landscape. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Shadows which you see with difficulty, and whose boundaries you cannot define... these you should not represent as finished or sharply defined, for the result would be that your work would seem wooden. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Light first, value second, color third. (Linda Walker)

...through this photographic eye you will be able to look out on a new light-world, a world for the most part uncharted and unexplored, a world that lies waiting to be discovered and revealed. (Edward Weston)

There are two ways of spreading light... To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. (Edith Wharton)

As light fades and the shadows deepen, all petty and exacting details vanish, everything trivial disappears, and I see things as they are in great strong masses: the buttons are lost, but the sitter remains; the sitter is lost, but the shadow remains; the shadow is lost, but the picture remains. And that, night cannot efface from the painter's imagination. (James Abbott McNeill Whistler)

Every moment of light and dark is a miracle. (Walt Whitman)

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories. (Elie Wiesel)

I totally agree with Virginia Woolf that the loveliest sight in the world is sunlight on leaves. (Louise Williams)

Turning on the light is easy if you know where the switch is. (Colin Wilson)

There is such a thing as the impression of luminosity. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher. (William Wordsworth)

I always choose strong, direct backlighting that creates patterns of intricate abstract shadows. These shadows become strong design elements that lie across and touch other objects in the set up. (William C. Wright)

If you believe in light, you'll be in light, you don't have to face darkness. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)

Don't fight darkness - bring the light, and darkness will disappear. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)


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Last modified: September 22, 2014