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Quotations about Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Painting is silent poetry.  ~Plutarch, Moralia: How to Study Poetry

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

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

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

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

We all know that Art is not truth.  Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.  The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.  ~Pablo Picasso

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

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

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

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, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.  ~Theodore Dreiser, Life, Art, and America, 1917

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

All art requires courage.  ~Anne Tucker

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

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

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

Pictures must not be too picturesque.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.  ~André Gide

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

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

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

Great art picks up where nature ends.  ~Marc Chagall

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 at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"  ~Howard Ikemoto

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

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

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

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

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

An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them.  ~Andy Warhol

The buttocks are the most aesthetically pleasing part of the body because they are non-functional.  Although they conceal an essential orifice, these pointless globes are as near as the human form can ever come to abstract art.  ~Kenneth Tynan

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

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

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

The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.  ~T.S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent, 1919

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 question mark in the minds of those who want to know what's happening.  ~Aaron Howard

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

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

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

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

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

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

I want to reach that condensation of sensations that constitutes a picture.  ~Henri Matisse, Notes d'un peintre, 1908

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

Art is the colors and textures of your imagination.  ~Meghan, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

Art is your personal diary where you may color your thoughts and emotions on a page.  ~Sara, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

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

Art is your emotions flowing in a river of imagination.  ~Devin, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

Art is an adventure that never seems to end.  ~Jason, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

Art is pictures straight from the heart.  ~Ben, Los Cerros Middle School, 1999

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

Art is the triumph over chaos.  ~John Cheever

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

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

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

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

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

Art hath an enemy called ignorance.  ~Ben Jonson

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

Art... does not take kindly to facts, is helpless to grapple with theories, and is killed outright by a sermon.  ~Agnes Repplier, Points of View, 1891

Art disturbs, science reassures.  ~Georges Braque, Le Jour et la nuit

Art is the struggle to understand.  ~Audrey Foris

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

It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man.  ~Loren Eiseley, The Night Country, 1971

Art is spirituality in drag.  ~Jennifer Yane

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

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

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

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

Art is not a thing; it is a way.  ~Elbert Hubbard

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

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

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.  ~G.K. Chesterton

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

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

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

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 Song of the Lark, 1915

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

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

An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture.  ~Jean Cocteau, Newsweek, 16 May 1955

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

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

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

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

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

Art is a kind of illness.  ~Giacomo Puccini

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

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

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

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 Critic as Artist, 1891

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

The question of common sense is always what is it good for? - a question which would abolish the rose and be answered triumphantly by the cabbage.  ~James Russell Lowell

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

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

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

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, What Makes Opera Grand?

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, Inferno

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, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

The fine arts once divorcing themselves from truth are quite certain to fall mad, if they do not die.  ~Thomas Carlyle, Latter Day Pamphlets, no. 8

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

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

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

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

Architecture begins where engineering ends.  ~Walter Gropius

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.  ~G.K. Chesterton

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

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

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

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Last modified 2023 Sep 18 Tue 18:20 PDT

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