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Quotes about Originality

Quotes about Painting


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The indirect psychological effect is what is fascinating about paintings... great paintings can psychologically stimulate our imagination and direct that imagination on to other areas. (Sam Adoquei)

It is paint's organic nature that helps me to understand life. For within the act of painting there is a history, a continuum of alchemy through the Ages that lives on in paint. (Lori Agostino)

People think you can get out your canvas and paint any time you have a free moment. You can't. Commercial art and painting are entirely different. Painting takes a different mental approach. You have to get the right attitude, the right mood. (Pierre Alechinsky)

I paint because I love to cut mats. (Arthur Alexander)

I'd be an ax murderer, if I didn't paint. (John Alexander)

I try to remain cognizant of the potential beauty of a single mark of the brush as an element in itself. (Greg Allen)

Landscape painting is really just a box of air with little marks in it telling you how far back in that air things are. (Lennart Anderson)

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)

Painting, to me, is a unique experience. Each work is a surprise and has its own personal and intuitive meaning. After brainstorming feelings and memories, each painting evolves freely and independently. (Fernando Araujo)

My paintings evolve organically from life's everyday glances. Rather than trying to force my will on them, I give them total control. Each layer determines and guides the next. (Dion Archibald)

The ability to see, one's perception of life all around, is what has awakened in me through painting, as well as a constant discovery of what art is - learning to see beauty in everything. (Jil Ashton-Leigh)

You're creating interest in the foundation by creating those knowledge gaps, like in a novel, but not in a totally obvious way or it can get boring or trite. (Clyde Aspevig)

I am also a painter. I paint the hearts of people with colors of spirituality. (Meher Baba)

Painting should educate and enrich. Modern painting merely offers a split-second emotion: You see it, you have an instant reaction and move on. Instead, real painting can be looked at over and over again and each time it has something new. (Igor Babailov)

Pushing paint around until it looks right should not be an option. I attempt to make each brush stroke as direct and meaningful as possible. (Kenn Backhaus)

We only have our nervous system to paint. (Francis Bacon)

I paint for myself. I don't know how to do anything else, anyway. Also I have to earn my living, and occupy myself. (Francis Bacon)

Painting is a source of endless pleasure, but also of great anguish. (Balthus)

When you are painting a landscape, assume the painting is real and the landscape is an illusion. (Darby Bannard)

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

Painting is the act of discovery and you're constantly enlarging your horizon or finding yourself every time you paint. (Romare Bearden)

Painting is a very difficult thing. It absorbs the whole man, body and soul, thus have I passed blindly many things which belong to real and political life. (Max Beckmann)

Painting doesn't cheat on me, die or otherwise desert me, and it certainly doesn't bore me. (Brenda Behr)

In figure painting, the type of all painting, I have endeavoured to set forth that the principal if not sole source of life enchantments are Tactile Values, Movement and Space Composition. (Bernard Berenson)

What any true painting touches is an absence - an absence of which without the painting, we might be unaware. And that would be our loss. (John Berger)

Many contemporary painters feel that their landscapes come from within and are brought to the surface and given form as a result of various stimuli. The artist's internal world is waiting to be evoked by whatever means the artist finds most productive, and... this world is just as important as the outer, visible world. (Edward Betts)

Ron looks like a fencer when he paints, and he attacks the canvas. He'd describe painting as a fight, a fight with composition, colours, and a fight with his own brain... Painting is a lonely sport. But what always gives us a chuckle is when his grandmother keeps asking, 'How's your hobby going, dear?' (Denise Bezanson)

-The Devil's Dictionary, 1911
painting, n. the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic. (Ambrose Bierce)

Painting is a lot like cooking. I don't have to look at anything while I'm doing it. (David Blatherwick)

Painting is our way of communicating our thoughts; it may not always be understood by others, but we know what we mean. (Marion Boddy-Evans)

When you start painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting. (Fernando Botero)

The painter thinks in terms of form and color. The goal is not to be concerned with the reconstitution of an anecdotal fact, but with constitution of a pictorial fact. (Georges Braque)

The painter needs all the talent of the poet, plus hand-eye coordination. (Robert Brault)

You can think of a painter as a trio - the artist, his talent and his muse, the last two always on the lookout for a new brush man. (Robert Brault)

Painting requires the bravery of solitude. Painting requires disciplined labor. To be a painter is to search the world with a benevolent eye for every subtle beauty that the infinite world offers. (Charles Philip Brooks)

My painting will occupy others as it has me... whether it does, and how soon, depends on things we cannot know - the ultimate power of the painting and the need felt for it. (James Brooks)

What a miserable sad thing it is to be fit for painting only and nothing else. (Ford Madox Brown)

That stroke you are about to make on a painting is as much you as the next word you utter or the next breath you take. (Harley Brown)

For sheer excitement you can keep movie premieres and roller-coasters. An empty white canvas waiting to be filled. That's the thing. (Pam Brown)

By painting the darks first, you can further correct the drawing with your brush. (Lisa Buck-Goldstein)

Painting... we do not talk about it, we do not analyse it, we feel it. (Bernard Buffet)

Brushstroke and colour are key. The subject doesn't matter after that. (Bobbie Burgers)

Painting itself is a sort of high-wire act that involves every cell in your body and takes no prisoners. For this you need to carry your inspiration with you, but work it all out with your heart and groin. (Brett Busang)

I wanted to make sure the last chapters of my life were full, and painting, it turns out, has helped occupy not only space but opened my mind. (George W. Bush)

Painting is easy, getting it right is the hard bit. (Danny Byrne)

I paint with shapes. (Alexander Calder)

Painting is an investigation of being. (Squeak Carnwath)

Painting, like water, takes any form. Paint is a film of pigment on a plane. It is not real in the way that gravity-bound sculpture is real. It is, however, real. (Squeak Carnwath)

Painting is just a tool; it is nothing in itself. What counts is how you do it. (Michele Cassou)

Painting is the amalgamation of elements that communicate an idea, a feeling, a mood – and this has to be done with passion! (Alvaro Castagnet)

This is an occupation known as painting, which calls for imagination, and skill of hand, in order to discover things not seen, hiding themselves under the shadow of natural objects, and to fix them with the hand, presenting to plain sight what does not actually exist. (Cennino Cennini)

He unfolds, as a painter, that which has not yet been said; he translates it into absolute terms of painting – something other than reality. (Paul Cezanne)

Literature expresses itself by abstractions, whereas painting, by means of drawing and colour, gives concrete shape to sensations and perceptions. (Paul Cezanne)

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

Among those who study painting, some strive for an elaborate effect and others prefer the simple. Neither complexity in itself nor simplicity is enough. (Lu Ch'Ai)

Painting is a conversation. Make your speech deliberate, not full of babble, nonsense. Be sure of what you want to say. (Timothy Chambers)

I was totally absorbed. I was in another world, or another dimension; all sense of time evaporated. (Prince Charles)

It takes two to paint. One to paint, the other to stand by with an axe to kill him before he spoils it. (William Merritt Chase)

When I begin painting I am in a state of unconsciousness; I suddenly forget that I am holding a brush in my hand. (Wu Chen)

Painting a picture is like trying to fight a battle. (Winston Churchill)

How humbling painting is! (Suzanne Kelley Clark)

Maybe poets express more directly a sense of sympathy for other human beings. Painting is a little bit more of a retreat from human beings in real life; painting is more about the extreme moments when speech doesn't help anymore. (Francesco Clemente)

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)

My little Renoirs. Matisse describes having seen Renoir make these tiny canvases. When he had finished working, he would use up the color left in his brushes on them. (Jean Cocteau)

-on landscape painting...
If the picture be of any size, a shed should be built in which the painter can stand whilst at work. The front and one side should be open to the view and to give plenty of light - the back facing toward the prevailing wind will be shelter enough. (John Collier)

What is painting today? It's a discontinued thing, discontinued from anything serious that happened in the past... (Matthew Collings)

Only bad painters enjoy painting. (Cecil Collins)

My painting occurs when I think of two disparate elements. (Alex Colville)

It's being painted in full view of the general public while the bank carries on its business, a novel experiment in my 20 years of mural painting. (Charles Comfort)

I am anxious that the world should be inclined to look to painters for information about painting. (John Constable)

Painting a demo is 10% ability, 10% showmanship and 80% luck. (Mario Cooper)

One paints a flower as a portrait, a tree as a figure, a boat as a stone--all simply colors, values, and textures arranged as shapes of interlocking lights and shadows. (Michele Cooper)

I hope with all my heart there will be painting in heaven. (Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot)

Paint interesting shapes. Interesting shapes have 3 attributes: 2 different dimensions, oblique [angles], and incidents at the edges (something happening there). (Tony Couch)

Painting is an essentially concrete art and can only consist of real and existing things... an object which is abstract, not visible, non-existent, is not within the realm of painting. (Gustave Courbet)

All painting is an expression of isolation. Only when I allow others inside the studio do I become social - my canvas becomes my mask, my deception and prison. (Kris Courtney)

Painting is a simple exercise in tension elimination. (Joseph E. Criscuoli)

Painting is one thing but art is another. You can teach an elephant to paint, but you can't teach it to be an artist. (Warren Criswell)

In painting, detail for the sake of itself is useless. It must have relevance to the whole. (Ken Danby)

Everything we paint is a statement about ourselves. (Mark Davis)

Painting is like childbirth. It's a precious gift that is labor intensive and drains one's energy. A natural high comes with creation. (Debbie DeBaun)

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

One never paints violently enough. (Eugene Delacroix)

Painters who are not colorists produce illumination, not painting. (Eugene Delacroix)

I have told myself a hundred times that painting – that is, the material thing called a painting – is no more than a pretext, the bridge between the mind of the painter and the mind of the spectator. (Eugene Delacroix)

The first virtue of a painting is that it be a feast for the eyes. (Eugene Delacroix)

To me, painting is life, a part of God, something sacred and uplifting. If I as a painter were denied my tools, my expression, I think I would become ill. (Betty DeMaree)

You need both a bit of mind and a bit of mindlessness to make a painting. It's a play between control and surrender. (Paul deMarrais)

Painting is a poignant balancing act between inner vision, virtuosity and mystery. (Donald Demers)

Remember that a painting – before it is a battle horse, a nude model, or some anecdote – is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order. (Maurice Denis)

A painting is a doorway into psychological/spiritual space. It is an expression of transcendent form that opens out into the infinite. (William DeRaymond)

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)

... putting down what I felt in terms of some overall image at the moment today, and perhaps being terribly disappointed with it tomorrow... trying to make it better and then despairing and destroying partially or wholly... getting back into it and just kind of frantically trying to pull something into this rectangle that made sense to me... (Richard Diebenkorn)

Everybody thinks they know what art should be. But very few of them have the sense that is necessary to experience painting, that is the sense of sight, that sees colors and forms as living reality in the picture. (Otto Dix)

Painting doesn't have a function, not in the way that music or film does... I mean, you can dance to music. Music can be used for a soundtrack, so it has a function in that sense, beyond itself. But painting doesn't... But I do believe that painting has a purpose. (Peter Doig)

The best paintings, it seems to me, are the ones in which the painter suspends any drive to control or order the world and commits to simply struggling to grab hold of a small part of the chaos. (Dean Taylor Drewyer)

Painting is... a richer language than words... Painting operates through signs which are not abstract and incorporeal like words. The signs of painting are much closer to the objects themselves. (Jean Dubuffet)

I go through a love-hate relationship with most of my paintings when they are finished... The best cure I have found... is to just get on with another painting. (Leoni Duff)

No painting can exist without the tension of what it figures and what it concretely consists of - the pleasure of what it could mean and the pain of what it's not. (Marlene Dumas)

Painting is a very slow art. It doesn't travel with the speed of light. That's why dead painters shine so bright. (Marlene Dumas)

If your life is full, you will paint full pictures. If it is empty, your pictures will be empty too. (Harvey Dunn)

Painting is a fine art: not merely because it gives us trees and faces and lovely things to see, but because paint is a finely tuned antenna, reacting to very unnoticed movement of the painter's hand, fixing the faintest shadow of a thought in color and texture. (James Elkins)

Painting is an unspoken and largely unrecognized dialogue, where paint speaks silently in masses and colors and the artist responds in moods. (James Elkins)

Paint records the most delicate gesture and the most tense. It tells whether the painter sat or stood or crouched in front of the canvas. Paint is a cast made of the painter's movements, a portrait of the painter's body and thoughts. (James Elkins)

-on painting from personal sketches...
The sketch is like a warning sign that says, 'Don't go too far.' (Dawn Emerson)

The best picture makes us say, I am a painter also. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Painting, I think it's like jazz. (Brian Eno)

At the beginning of the 20th century, the ambition of the great painters was to make paintings that were like music, which was then considered as the noblest art. (Brian Eno)

Wet-into-wet works best when you are in the zone, the angels are singing, and you can do no wrong - after you have sweated blood to get there... (Michael Epp)

People keep asking me if painting is hard work. Painting isn't work. Painting is making decisions. I make decisions, nothing more. (Barker Fairley)

Painting is of course multifarious, and for all of us the goal is, gaining control without impeding the creative process. (Don Farrell)

When you're painting you're doing colour fields and spreading them around. It's different when you're drawing and making lines and sharp edges. (Brittani Faulkes)

Paint like nobody is watching and paint like you don't need any money. (John Ferrie)

The aim of the painting is that the eye should find out what it likes. (Joanna Field)

I like a painting to be fresh, clean and purposeful - to make a mark and not go back. (Peter Fiore)

-on Willem de Kooning...
The paint has a skin to it, here taut and glossy, there wrinkled, abraded, scarred. It is pierced, abraded, scraped. A line drawn through it will go through half a dozen states, from the furry bloom of crusted charcoal to a blind furrow, cutting a channel in to soft paint below. (Andrew Forge)

Painting has a way of breaking down the walls we have resurrected for ourselves to protect our insecurities. (Gwen Fox)

Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment. (Sam Francis)

I had the landscape in my arms as I painted it. I had the landscape in my mind and shoulder and wrist. (Helen Frankenthaler)

As I wash the paint from my aching hands, there are changes in my soul, each vibrant color spiraling down the drain contains spent emotions, needless worries and bad decisions... sometimes it doesn't come off easily... (Eric Frantz)

My paintings are my camera on my world. (Jane Freeman)

A painter must think of everything he sees as being there entirely for his own use and pleasure. (Lucian Freud)

What I do I am driven to do. I follow the dictates of a looming and unseen force. I try to become like a musical instrument, intruding no sound of its own but bringing forth such tones as are played upon it by a master's hand. (Arnold Friberg)

The painter should not paint only what he sees in himself. Should he, however, see nothing within himself, he should refrain from painting what he sees around him. (Caspar David Friedrich)

A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places. (Paul Gardner, arts writer)

In painting one must search rather for suggestion than for description, as is done in music. (Paul Gauguin)

I suppose what you're doing as a painter is making a record of your trip through life. I can't think of any job that is quite as satisfactory as doing a painting. (Robert Genn)

The art of painting will survive and thrive because it is easy to do and difficult to do well. (Robert Genn)

Read in order to write, but paint in order to paint. (Sara Genn)

-letter to patron Don Antonio Ruffo, November 13, 1649...
I have made a solemn vow never to send my drawings because people have cheated me. In particular, just today I found... that, having done a drawing of souls in Purgatory for the Bishop of St. Gata, he, in order to spend less, commissioned another painter to do the painting using my work. If I were a man, I can't imagine it would have turned out this way. (Artemesia Gentileschi)

I've always thought of painting as some kind of gift. And as a gift, there is a duty that comes with it: to push painting as far as you can. Artists serve society simply by producing a good painting. And that's the hardest thing in the world. People think it's a lark. It's not. (Sonia Getchoff)

The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting. (Vincent van Gogh)

Oh! I must somehow manage to do a figure in a few strokes. (Vincent van Gogh)

In painting I want to say something comforting in the way that music is comforting. (Vincent van Gogh)

Paint is just the extension of what you're seeing. So if you can visualize the colour, you should be able to put it on the canvas. (John Goguen)

Allow the brush to 'wander' above the realm of conventional judgement and practice. (Josh Goldberg)

Painting is so close, so personal, so immediate, and so ordinary... It is the ordinary resurrections that define your painting. (Josh Goldberg)

The painter must leave the beholder something to guess. (Ernst Gombrich)

I like painting because it's something I never come to the end of. Sometimes I paint a picture, then I paint it all out. Sometimes I'm working on fifteen or twenty pictures at the same time. I do that because I want to - because I like to change my mind so often. The thing to do is always to keep starting to paint, never finishing painting. (Arshile Gorky)

I prefer not to be involved in actually painting. (Alexander Gorlizki)

At its edges, a painting makes its surrender to reality. The ways in which it can do so are endlessly revealing, as infinite as the potential forms of painting itself. (Andrew Graham-Dixon)

Painting, because of its universality, becomes speculation. (El Greco)

When painting, always keep in mind what your picture is about. (Irwin Greenberg)

Paint every day. (Irwin Greenberg)

Paint from the inside out. (George De Groat)

In my experience a painting is not made with colors and paint at all. I don't know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint? (Philip Guston)

The paintings have only ever been ways of exploring architecture. I don't see them as art. (Zaha Hadid)

Only two things are essential elements to painting: see and do! (Andrew Hamilton)

There are six essentials in painting: The first is spirit; the second, rhythm; the third, thought; the fourth, scenery; the fifth, the brush; and the last is the ink. (Ching Hao)

The finished painting is not what is important to me. It is my interaction with the medium – the act of painting – that is my reason for painting. (Michael Harrington)

I don't mind being miserable as long as I'm painting well. (Grace Hartigan)

There is an aesthetic excitement about painting which is one of the most beautiful experiences that can be. Put things down while you feel that joy. (Charles Hawthorne)

Painters... are the most lively observers of what passes in the world about them, and the closest observers of what passes in their own minds. (William Hazlitt)

-from Islands in the Stream...
There are so many good ones to paint and if you paint as well as you really can and keep out of all other things and do that, it is the true thing. (Ernest Hemingway)

Paint like a fiend when the idea possesses you. (Robert Henri)

To point is to know how to put nothing on the canvas, and have it look like something when you stand back. (Robert Henri)

Painting is an attempt to come to terms with life. There are as many solutions as there are human beings. (George Tooker Henry)

Painting and music always go hand-in-hand. The concept of line is critical in both, textures are critical to both, and also design, which is the same as composition. (Ted Hesketh)

Painting is like being a blacksmith – we pound away at a concept until we achieve a workable piece. So much of it is effort combined with a suspension of time. (James Heumann)

Painting is a passion - a creative process that allows a more active perception of the world and accentuates empathy. (Peter Heuscher)

Painting for me, is an exploration of the inner world. (Clive Hicks-Jenkins)

Making a painting is somewhat of a self-portrait without painting your own face. (Debbie High)

-in AD 5th century...
The painters of old painted the idea and not merely the shape. (Hsieh Ho)

The pictures on the walls aren't like movies. They don't move, they don't talk, and they'll last longer. They will last longer. (David Hockney)

To be a painter now is to be part of a very small, endangered species. (Howard Hodgkin)

I paint for painting, not for marketing and not for approval, although sales and applause are always very gratifying and fuel the muse enormously. (Susan Holland)

Look at nature, work independently, and solve your own problems. (Winslow Homer)

Larger paintings can influence even the very best painters to become slow in their work. (William Hook)

Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature's phenomena before it can again be great. (Edward Hopper)

A picture is a poem without words. (Horace)

Paint the necessary; ignore the obvious. (Bill Hosner)

Painting is about three things. It's about revelation, communication, and celebration. (Ken Howard)

Painting can be like a roller-coaster ride. For me, it begins with great anticipation and excitement, followed by hills one must chug up with effort, and valleys to glide down into with ease. The grand finale is the final decisive details that make the painting sing - it is like the ultimate grand hill that thrills you and spirits you to the end of the ride. (Anne Hudec)

Landscape... is to American painting what sex and psychoanalysis are to the American novel. (Robert Hughes)

For me a painting is like a story which stimulates the imagination and draws the mind into a place filled with expectation, excitement, wonder and pleasure. (J. P. Hughston)

The purpose of the painter is simply to reproduce in other minds the impression which a scene has made upon him. A work of art does not appeal to the intellect. It does not appeal to the moral sense. Its aim is not to instruct, not to edify, but to awaken an emotion. (George Inness)

Paint what you know, not what you see. (Barbara Jablonski)

If painting came easily, if the answers, the solutions, were obvious, I'd find another occupation. (Karen Jacobs)

I'm more myself when I'm painting than I could possibly be when doing anything else. (Keith Jacobshagen)

Painting is about capturing the quality of light and evoking an emotional response in the viewer – not sentimentality or shock. Those are not enduring emotions. (Cassandra James)

My eyes make little paths for my brush to dance on... She dances like no one is watching. It is freedom. It is pure love. (Melissa Jean)

The painting does not adhere to any schedule but its own unfolding. It's important to go back to the painting afterward with a different set of eyes. (Melissa Jean)

Painting does what we cannot do - it brings a three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional plane. (Chuck Jones)

Long live painting. (Asger Jorn)

Only my current situation has enabled me to accomplish the expensive task of demonstrating that the preferred sustenance of painting is painting. (Asger Jorn)

The process of painting seems to be one of 'reduction' and 'simplification' as we try to get to the pure essence of the feeling, which is evoked by what we see. And to pull it off properly requires a well-honed or 'subtle' intellect, which each one of us has to struggle with in our work to achieve. (Alar Jurma)

Painting completed my life. (Frida Kahlo)

Painting is a visceral experience, one loaded with subtle information. Only Cezanne could get away with a system. (Wolf Kahn)

One needs to think twice about every contribution to a painting. (Kerim Kahyagil)

In every painting a whole is mysteriously enclosed, a whole life of tortures, doubts, of hours of enthusiasm and inspiration. (Wassily Kandinsky)

Painting is a matter of finding the right balance between consoling and reassuring the eye and challenging and disturbing the eye. (Paul Kane)

Part of what I'm about is seeing how I can paint the same thing differently instead of different things the same way. (Alex Katz)

The less the painter is in the brush-stroke, the more the brush-stroke can be about itself. (Garry Neill Kennedy)

Painting has always been a healthy and happy place for me to create. People really like that experience and so do I. (Tiko Kerr)

The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen. (Paul Klee)

I paint in order not to cry. (Paul Klee)

The essential of painting is that something, that 'ethereal glue,' that intermediary product which the artist secrets with all his creative being and which he has the power to place, to encrust, to impregnate into the pictorial stuff of the painting. (Yves Klein)

After tea it's back to painting - a large poplar at dusk with a gathering storm. (Gustav Klimt)

Each brushstroke is precious, never to be repeated. (Brian Knowles)

I cannot say why I wanted to paint. The only answer is in the pictures themselves. (Oskar Kokoschka)

A painting to me is primarily a verb, not a noun, an event first and only secondarily an image. (Elaine de Kooning)

For the surface, I'm not interested in painterly convention. It's more interesting if it looks like it painted itself. (Wanda Koop)

I've gradually fooled myself into becoming a real painter... I really just like to sit in my air-conditioned Rome painting studio surrounded by Medieval and Renaissance architecture and to hold a tube of Alizarin Madder Lake in my artist's hand and marvel at the shiny goop inside. (Mark Kostabi)

You can only learn to paint by drawing, for drawing is a way of reserving a place for color in advance. (Andre L'Hote)

When we digital artists talk about painting on the computer, that is exactly what we do. The paints we use are pixels, the brush we use is a pressure sensitive pen. The colors are the same as painters use, and how we get to the final image is the same gut wrenching way. (Don Lambert)

Painting, unlike music, rarely runs in families. (David Leffel)

There is a difference between painting things and learning to paint. (David Leffel)

I paint because I like to paint. I have no theories. (Jean-Paul Lemieux)

Paint every day. Every day you have to say, 'Get outta my way, I've gotta go paint!' (Robert Levers)

The activity of painting: a thrilling tussle between the artist's materials and his inspiration... (Mervyn Levy)

I think that most people think painters are kind of ridiculous, you know? (Roy Lichtenstein)

I see my paintings as visual ideas. I don't like pretentious explanations about representational paintings. Save that for the abstract and postmodernist conceptual movements. (Jeremy Lipking)

-to Susan Avishai when a child in Montreal...
Don't paint the apple; paint the red. (Arthur Lismer)

-Every Day Art, volume 35, Spring, 1957
I am the thing that I am painting at the time of painting. (Douglas Lockwood)

The process of painting offers an infinite array of possibilities. The closer in unification to just one of those, the better the painting becomes. (David Louis)

Art – my slats! Guts! Guts! Life! Life! I can paint with a shoe-string dipped in pitch and lard. (George Luks)

Painting and sketching on-location gives you the opportunity to solve many painting problems... It allows you to break down the painting process into parts and work those parts individually. (Tom Lynch)

To paint from nature is to realize one's sensations, not to copy what is before one. (J. E. H. MacDonald)

Painting is a mysterious process, hovering strangely between a thought and a thing. (Arthur Maderson)

Painters were also attorneys, happy storytellers of anecdote, psychologists, botanists, zoologists, archaeologists, engineers, but there were no creative painters. (Kasimir Malevich)

Painting is the aesthetic side of the object but it has never been original, has never been its own goal. (Kasimir Malevich)

Paintings are painted with paint, not with ideas. (Stephane Mallarme)

Just as a musician loves music and not nightingales, and a poet loves poetry and not sunsets, a painter is not primarily a person who responds to figures and landscapes. He is primarily one who loves pictures. (Andre Malraux)

What's better about a painting is that you can give it birth without a social security number, leave it alone without charges of neglect, and kill it without a prison sentence. (Bonnie Mandoe)

No one can be a painter unless he cares for painting above all else. (Edouard Manet)

If I'm lucky, when I paint, first my patrons leave the room, then my dealers, and if I'm really lucky I leave too. (Edouard Manet)

A painting, you know, it's all dirty material. But it's about transformation. Taking that earth, that heavy earthen kind of thing, turning it into air and light. (Brice Marden)

The time that I devote to painting is not a lot of time, but I do it 100 percent while I am working, and then there's nothing else that counts. (Queen Margrethe II)

Give paint a chance to show itself entirely as paint. (John Marin)

Painting is like golf; the fewer strokes I take, the better the picture. (John Marin)

How to paint the landscape: First you make your bow to the landscape. Then you wait, and if the landscape bows to you, then, and only then, can you paint the landscape. (John Marin)

Painting, rather than photography, allows one to work with all elements rather than simply those elements that fit into the viewfinder. (Duffy Masterson)

I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me. (Henri Matisse)

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

Attempting to paint the character of the landscape is more important than trying to capture its beauty – the aesthetics of subjects will appear on their own, from acute observation... It is important to stop painting when the statement has been made. (John McCombs)

The act of painting is like a musician taking a solo on stage. My heart is captured by the spontaneity and the zest of improvisation. (Richard McDaniel)

Painting is like romance, since it is all about seeing, feeling, and interpreting. (Andrew McDermott)

-in Antarctica...
Trying to mix frozen paint is like stirring sand. (Alasdair McGregor)

Be careful with your brushstrokes so that they aren't all going in the same direction. (Bruce McGrew)

Everything in painting is about relationship, so I judge each area by its relationship to the surrounding areas. (Mary Beth McKenzie)

Many times we destroy our work by going back over it again and again. I tell my students, 'The more strokes it takes, the more mud it makes.' (Sandra Meyer)

Painting is the most joyous, rewarding, self-forgetting, spiritually enhancing thing I have ever done. If I had enough dollars, I would just paint, and paint and paint, and not care a hoot if I sold one or not. (Tricia Migdoll)

Half the time when I paint, I'm twenty feet back. (Barse Miller)

With a painting, you don't have to go back and paint it again. (Joni Mitchell)

With monochrome painting... the idiosyncrasy of the work, its difference, its expression, lies in shape. (Guido Molinari)

Most people think I paint fast. I paint very slowly. (Claude Monet)

Happy are the young people who believe that it is easy. (Claude Monet)

When you go out to paint try to forget what object you have before you - a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape, until it emerges as your own naive impression of the scene before you. (Claude Monet)

If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens. (Grandma Moses)

Painterly painters believe that an abbreviated style is best suited to capturing elusive effects. But although they consciously strive to develop a rapid execution, their detractors often criticize this characteristic, dismissing their work as little more than sketches. (Charles Movalli)

Painting, like baseball, is a game of averages. Artists try for a high batting average, but if you are batting a thousand, you are not pushing yourself. Your paintings will all start to look the same. (Charles Muench)

-Munch: In His Own Words...
Anybody who perceives colors can become a painter. It's simply a question of whether or not one has felt anything and whether one has the courage to recount the things one has felt. (Edvard Munch)

If you control everything, with so much deliberateness, you can end up with a very unmoving, static piece of artwork, and that type of artwork doesn't really give the audience an opportunity to participate. (C. W. Mundy)

My paintings have an ongoing dialogue with photography. There are many painters who would say the same, I'm sure. The difference is that I'm thinking more about the temporal aspect of photography, rather than the visual. (James Nares)

I paint because it's what I love to do. (Michael Nevin)

-on Edward Hopper...
He paints the astonishingly complicated loneliness of the limbo hours in a coffee shop, like a glass-hulled boat trapped in the black ice of the city, lit by a slice of yellow light like stale lemon pie, and full of the sadness of a gray fedora, a red dress and a clean coffee urn. (Newsweek)

Painting and religious experience are the same thing, and what we are all searching for is the understanding and realization of infinity. (Ben Nicholson)

You are not to think of painting as something separate from drawing. (Kimon Nicolaides)

Painting is an extension of man's means of communication. As such, it's pure, difficult, and wonderful. (Sidney Nolan)

I don't very much enjoy looking at paintings in general. I know too much about them. I take them apart. (Georgia O'Keeffe)

One can't paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt. (Georgia O'Keeffe)

The canvas upon which the artist paints is the spectator's mind. (Kakuzo Okakura)

Painting, especially much better than words, allows oneself to express the various stages of thought, including the deeper levels, the underground stages of the mental process. (Claes Oldenburg)

I think of painting as possessed by a structure... but a structure born of the flow of color feeling. (Jules Olitski)

See the first stroke as a start and everything after that a recovery. (Nathan Oliveira)

Painting is a means of self-enlightenment. (John Olsen)

Most painters are neurologists. (John Onians)

-while fishing...
I'd rather be painting. At least with painting you have something to show. (Toni Onley)

The spirit of painting enables the artist, both student and professional, to enter into the spacial and timeless aspects of his being and emerge from the experience feeling renewed and refreshed. (Hilary Page)

In painting there is only a surface, a line, a dot and the relationship between them. All the rest is bunkum. (Franco Paisio)

How vain painting is, exciting admiration by its resemblance to things of which we do not admire the originals. (Blaise Pascal)

Painting is not about the product, but about the process – the philosophy that drives my life. (Elin Pendleton)

When I start a painting I am starting a dialogue, so the work I do is the first half of a conversation. The conversation is finished, unknowingly, when the viewer adds his life experiences and filters the image through his unconscious. Then the conversation can be completed. (Murray Phillips)

Painting is stronger than I am. It can make me do whatever it wants. (Pablo Picasso)

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

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

Through his practice of using pigment in short or long, thin or thick, apparently hasty and spontaneous but actually most skillfully calculated strokes, Velasquez was a forerunner of the modern practice of direct painting. (Nicolas Pioch)

Intensity is all that matters in painting. (John Piper)

It is the brushwork of the right value and color which should produce the drawing. (Camille Pissarro)

The art that I make and that I see others make confirms the miracle of being alive. Almost every day I live in a state of exaltation. The art of painting is to me sacred. It is central to all the other visual arts. This art is in a constant state of renewal. (Joseph Plaskett)

Painting is silent poetry. (Plutarch)

When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. (Jackson Pollock)

The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. (Jackson Pollock)

Painting is a state of being. (Jackson Pollock)

Whether the charmer sinner it or saint it, if folly grow romantic, I must paint it. (Alexander Pope)

Both writing and music are read in a linear fashion, but paintings are read 'all at once' and only subsequently admired or condemned for their individual notes. (Kalim Prasad)

The fact is that until I saw paintings as icons, I couldn't see why people painted at all. (Mary Pratt)

This is an opportunity to make a picture – a picture more than a copy! (Howard Pyle)

Painting is much more than a pastime or hobby. It is a way to place our energy, feelings, and soul before the viewer. (Stephen Quiller)

Learning to paint is like learning to read: I don't remember what day I learned to read, neither will I remember what day I learned to paint. (Tanya Radic)

The water color process takes me and itself to a destination I hadn't even known existed... Whatever I put down on the page, the paint will dry as it wants to. (Joseph Raffael)

...the 'total overpaintings' developed... through incessant reworking. The original motif peeped through the edges. Gradually it vanished completely. (Arnulf Rainer)

I regard paint like mustard – it has to be freshly squeezed out, juicy and plentiful. Anything else and you're not giving yourself a chance. (Ron Ranson)

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)

Be generous with your paint. Put out twice as much as you think you will need... and use ALL of it. (Chuck Rawle)

Art is love! Painting is the most joyful, the most absorbing, the most interesting thing I know. It is a positive experience (when I'm not gnashing my teeth in frustration). (Liz Reday)

Painting is damn hard work, no way around it. In fact, if you are having too much fun, you probably aren't paying attention. It is, however, satisfying and fulfilling, especially after an honest effort. (William F. Reese)

Let the painting tell you what it needs. (Charles Reid)

Painting, like other forms of art such as jazz, is a 'happening.' The more you know, the better it is. (Charles Reid)

My painting represents the victory of the forces of darkness and peace over the powers of light and evil. (Ad Reinhardt)

My paintings are the last paintings one can make. (Ad Reinhardt)

Unlike in music, we painters have the freedom to layer over the sour notes or crop off the discord. (Stella Reinwald)

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

Without atmosphere a painting is nothing. (Rembrandt)

I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it. (Pierre-Auguste Renoir)

It is not enough for a painter to be a clever craftsman; he must love to 'caress' his canvas, too. (Pierre-Auguste Renoir)

-last words about painting, age 78...
I think I'm beginning to learn something about it. (Pierre-Auguste Renoir)

You have to give in to what the paint says... You have to do what it's telling you to do. (Milton Resnick)

The general ideas which are expressed in sketches, correspond very well to the art often used in poetry... every reader making out the detail according to his own particular imagination... but a painter, when he represents Eve on canvas, is obliged to give a determined form, and his own idea of beauty distinctly expressed. (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

A painter must compensate the natural deficiencies of his art. He has but one sentence to utter, but one moment to exhibit. He cannot, like the poet or historian, expatiate, and impress the mind... (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

-conversation with Nicholas Serota, Spring 2011...
When I make a representation of something, this, too, is an analogy to what exists; I make an effort to get a grip on the thing by depicting it. (Gerhard Richter)

Painting is consequently an almost blind, desperate effort, like that of a person abandoned, helpless, in totally incomprehensible surroundings. (Gerhard Richter)

-b.1594 d.1658...
Painting is that universal idea which includes in itself all the things of the universe. (Carlo Ridolfi)

Painting is, inevitably, an archaic activity and one that depends on spiritual values. (Bridget Riley)

When I hesitate, I do not paint. When I paint, I do not hesitate. (Jean-Paul Riopelle)

Painting is a means of developing your mental aesthetic life. (John W. Robichaux)

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

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

The fact that in the last 10 years only five of the 40 Turner Prize nominees have been painters tells you more about curators than about the state of painting today. (Charles Saatchi)

Paint as if your soul depended on it and you may discover that it does! (Linda Saccoccio)

Painting is a way of programing the mind of another with a top down abstract modular. (Ralph Santullo)

The thicker you paint, the more it flows. (John Singer Sargent)

Ninety percent of my creative process takes place right on the paper, making the original subject only a starting place for the finished painting. (Janice K. Schafir)

Paint like a pig eats. (Richard Schmid)

Painting slows down a complex world. (Lynn Schwartz)

A good sketch is better signed than is a bad painting. (Ian Semple)

The artist finds a greater pleasure in painting than in having completed the picture. (Seneca)

Painting is the art of hollowing a surface. (Georges Seurat)

Painting expresses the depth and insight, the spiritual quality of the artist. If art is about life, then, while the depth to which the artist has drunk from the well of life may not guarantee success, it must surely improve the quality of his/her work. (Millard Sheets)

On a series of apparently tiresome, flat sittings seeming to lead nowhere – one day something happens, the touches seem to 'take', the deaf canvas listens, your words flow and you have done something. (Walter Sickert)

-interview, Art of Watercolor, Dec, 2011...
The paint is a much better artist than I am, and almost always does something more interesting than anything I could invent. (Nicholas Simmons)

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks. (Simonides)

Painting is drawing, with the additional means of color. (John Sloan)

Leave your strokes alone. (Ted Smuskiewicz)

Painting is a play of opacities and transparencies. (Pierre Soulages)

You never paint what you see or think you see. You paint with a thousand vibrations the blow that has struck you: how can you be struck and not cry out in anger? (Nicholas de Stael)

-We're flying...
...but when you paint them, you have to be indifferent to them. You said it in jest, but it's true: you work out of a passionate indifference. (Peter Stamm)

When I'm painting the picture, I'm really painting a picture. I may have a flat-footed technique, or something like that, but still, to me, the thrill, or the meat of the thing, is the actual painting. I don't get any thrill out of laying it out. (Frank Stella)

A little amateur painting in water-color shows the innocent and quiet mind. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

These are not paintings in the usual sense; they are life and death merging in fearful union. As for me, they kindle a fire; through them I breathe again, hold a golden cord, find my own revelation. (Clyfford Still)

If you are too meticulous and deliberate with the brush you will sometimes break the visual flow and stifle image development. (Ken Strong)

Think of the centre of interest in a painting as you would read it in a novel or see it in a movie. The crisis or climax is that point when you simply can't put the book down or wouldn't dare leave the movie, for whatever reason. (Mike Svob)

Painting is much like fishing. Sometimes we get hits and sometimes we get a glimpse of the phantom of the deep. Sometimes we sit adrift. But sooner or later, we get a keeper. (Paul Allen Taylor)

Art doesn't feed me or fill the void when I am not working. If I haven't worked for six months, I can't paint. (Rod Taylor)

Painters paint outdoors, or in rooms full of people; they paint their lovers, alone, naked; they paint and eat; they paint and listen to the radio. It is a soothing way of doing your job. (Paul Theroux)

Painting is more important than art. (Wayne Thiebaud)

When you think of painting as painting it is rather absurd. The real world is before us – glorious sunlight and activity and fresh air, and high speed motor cars and television, all the animation – a world apart from a little square of canvas that you smear paint on. (Wayne Thiebaud)

A painting has the power to condense fifty impressions into one image. (Ian Thom)

We paint pictures because that is what we like doing and we lack social skills at parties. (Billy Childish and Charles Thomson)

When I am painting, the wholeness I feel makes any other activity seem hollow and superficial. (Charles Thomson)

Relationships are everything in a painting. To paint well, you must look to your subject and even more to your painting and make comparisons. Compare the values, the sizes of the shapes and so on – these relationships will guide you to the answers to all of your questions. (Aleksander Titovets)

I've tried to decentralize and interpenetrate so that all parts of a painting are of related value... (Mark Tobey)

Although painting is always challenging, paintings should evolve from a natural place within, with ease. (Joseph Todorovitch)

The painter who is not a poet ought to be put in the stocks. (Henry Tonks)

Painting is an attempt to come to terms with life. There are as many solutions as there are human beings. (George Tooker)

I paint things as they are. I don't comment. I record. (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec)

When a figure painter executes a landscape he treats it as if it were a face; Degas' landscapes are unparalleled because they are visionary landscapes. (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec)

I forgot wealth and glory / I love calligraphy / I think of neither life nor death / I honour painting. (Sou Tsen-tsan)

Painting is a strange business. (J. M. W. Turner)

Every painting has a weakness and a breaking point, where the essence of a painting lies. In my case it is never in the centre. (Luc Tuymans)

One of the things about painting is that you can look backwards as readily as you can look forwards; there's an openness to it, an intangible quality that defies summarization. (David Urban)

In my opinion painters owe to Giotto, the Florentine painter, exactly the same debt they owe to nature, which constantly serves them as a model and whose finest and most beautiful aspects they are always striving to imitate and reproduce. (Giorgio Vasari)

As a painter we need to take a baby's approach – painting shapes, not things. Painting is putting correct shapes of color notes in the right places. (Andries Veerman)

Poetry is superior to painting in the presentation of words, and painting is superior to poetry in the presentation of facts. For this reason I judge painting to be superior to poetry. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Good painting is like good cooking: it can be tasted, but not explained. (Maurice de Vlaminck)

The little may contrast with the great, in painting, but cannot be said to be contrary to it. Oppositions of colors contrast; but there are also colors contrary to each other, that is, which produce an ill effect because they shock the eye when brought very near it. (Voltaire)

As far as I am concerned, projects, installations, conceptualizations, video art and showies alike have defeated the true sense and meaning of painting. (Milos Vujasinovic)

I don't paint how it looks, I paint how it feels. (Robert Wade)

Paintings are loopholes of escape to the soul. (Van Waldron)

A painting is like a man. If you can live without it, then there isn't much point in having it. (Lila Wallace)

Once in awhile a painting 'comes off the brush' without many corrections... (Ray Ward)

I want to paint with colors that rhyme. (Dave Watland)

The painter must serve as actor, critic and audience. (Frank Webb)

My background is in painting but in school in the sixties, like many artists of that time, I believed that painting was dead. I began to work in collaboration with other artists in the creation of performances and installation works. Soon after, I started making video and photographic works and in the process became fascinated with the media itself. Before long I was setting things up just for the camera. In l970 I got a dog and he turned out to be very interested in video and photography as well. (William Wegman)

People who wouldn't think of taking a sieve to the well to draw water fail to see the folly in taking a camera to make a painting. (Edward Weston)

Photography, not soft gutless painting, is best equipped to bore into the spirit of today. (Edward Weston)

Painting is not a rational act, so I have to paint faster than my mind can keep up - only then can I find the rhythms and integration of the forms. (Bill White)

A painting is a record of the extremely intensified moments of life - where more than one space, two senses of time, more than the law even seems at work, where the emotional forces seem to be propelling one to a dangerous limit, where reason and explanations become too enfeebled or too speeded-up to matter. (Brett Whiteley)

Painting is at once a form of meditation and an utter, complete personal engagement with life. (Steve Whitney)

All painters borrow from nature and draw from within. They differ only in the degree to which they depend on one or the other. (Eric Wiegardt)

A painting without emotion is like a tree without roots. (Ray Wilkins)

Turn yourself into a madman and let yourself go wild with paint. Don't think about it, evaluate it, or judge it. Just paint. (Elizabeth Winter-Noyes)

I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious. (Andrew Wyeth)

-on paintings...
There is no alphabet, no grammar. No rules whatever. Many hopeful sportsmen have tried to invent rules and have always failed. Any person or group of persons who try to live life with rules do a disservice to this occupation of living. They forget that painting is tactics and not strategy. It is carried out in the face of the enemy. (Jack B. Yeats)

He who deliberates and moves the brush intent on making a picture, misses... the art of painting, while he who cogitates and moves the brush without such intentions reaches the art of painting. His hands will not get stiff; his heart will not grow cold; without knowing how, he accomplishes it. (Chang Yen-Yuan)

Most painters will tell you they are transported whenever they paint. The time just flies. It's the combination of having to concentrate, and yet enjoy at a deep level the application of colours to canvas. It's sensual, and addictive. (Brian Crawford Young)

Painting is about having something to say, and saying it in your own words. (Dan Young)


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Last modified: August 27, 2014