Quotes about painting

A collection of quotes on the topic of painting.

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Vincent Van Gogh photo
Juan Gris photo

„I always pet a dog with my left hand, because if he bit me, I'd still have my right hand to paint with.“

—  Juan Gris Spanish painter and sculptor 1887 - 1927

Attributed by Max Jacob (1876–1944) to Juan Gris, quoted in: Jeanine Warnod (1972). Washboat days. p. 204

„He can't paint eyes. He couldn't learn to paint at all.“

—  Margaret Keane American artist 1927

Cited in " The lady behind those Keane-eyed kids https://books.google.com/books?id=2FMEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA56," LIFE 69, no. 21 (20 November 1970), p. 56.
1970

„I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.“

—  Bob Ross American painter, art instructor, and television host 1942 - 1995

Cathy Hainer (October 28, 1993) "PBS' stroke of serenity / Bob Ross brings brush of zen to 'Joy of Painting'", USA Today, p. 3D.

Alfred Freddy Krupa photo
Georgia O'Keeffe photo

„The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint. …  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 American artist 1887 - 1986

1970 - 1986, Some Memories of Drawings (1976)
Context: It is surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is lines and colours put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint. …  I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way — things I had no words for.<!-- Also quoted in Georgia O’Keeffe: Nature and Abstraction (2007), edited by Richard Marshall, p. 13

Claude Monet photo
Citát „Modern paintings are like women, you'll never enjoy them if you try to understand them. “
Freddie Mercury photo
Lawrence Ferlinghetti photo
Leonardo Da Vinci photo

„Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen.“

—  Leonardo Da Vinci Italian Renaissance polymath 1452 - 1519

A Treatise on Painting (1651); "The Paragone"; compiled by Francesco Melzi prior to 1542, first published as Trattato della pittura by Raffaelo du Fresne (1651)
Context: Painting is poetry which is seen and not heard, and poetry is a painting which is heard but not seen. These two arts, you may call them both either poetry or painting, have here interchanged the senses by which they penetrate to the intellect.

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Jim Davis photo
Claude Monet photo

„I want to paint the way a bird sings.“

—  Claude Monet French impressionist painter 1840 - 1926

Variant: I would like to paint the way a bird sings.
Source: Monet By Himself

Etty Hillesum photo
Henry Miller photo
Ravi Zacharias photo
Mark Rothko photo

„A painting is not a picture of an experience; it is an experience.“

—  Mark Rothko American painter 1903 - 1970

As quoted in 'Mark Rothko', Dorothy Seiberling in LIFE magazine (16 November 1959), p. 82
1950's

Francisco De Goya photo

„[T]here are no rules in painting and.... the oppression, or servile obligation, of making all study or follow the same path is a great impediment for the Young who profess this very difficult art that approaches the divine more than any other.“

—  Francisco De Goya Spanish painter and printmaker (1746–1828) 1746 - 1828

In a report, 1792 which Goya was invited to write to the Academy of San Fernando on the subject of teaching art; as cited by Robert Hughes, in: Goya. Borzoi Book - Alfred Knopf, New York, 2003, p. 126
at the end of 1792 Goya abruptly broke off work on his tapestry designs and left Madrid for the South. In Jan. 1793 he wrote a note: 'had been ill for two months and asked permission to stop designing and go to Sevilla to recuperate'. There are no more letters written by Goya then; no one can say more about this crisis / illness, according to Robert Hughes
1790s

„We don't make mistakes; we just have happy accidents. And that's when you really experience the joy of painting.“

—  Bob Ross American painter, art instructor, and television host 1942 - 1995

Bob Ross: Beauty Is Everywhere. Collection 1: Ep. 8 "Wintertime Blues"; The Joy of Painting Season 20: Episode 3 Bob Ross: Winter in Pastel.

Caspar David Friedrich photo
Caspar David Friedrich photo

„If a painting has a soulful effect on the viewer, if it puts his mind into a soulful mood, then it has fulfilled the first requirement of a work of art. However bad it might be in drawing, color, handling, etc.“

—  Caspar David Friedrich Swedish painter 1774 - 1840

Quote of Friedrich's letter 8 Feb. 1809, to 'Akademiedirektor Schulz'; as cited by Helmut Bôrsch-Supan and Karl Wilhelm Jàhnig in Caspar David Friedrich: Gemâlde, Druckgraphik und bildmassige Zeichnungen (Munich: Prestel, 1973), 182-83, esp. 183; translation, David Britt - note 117 http://d2aohiyo3d3idm.cloudfront.net/publications/virtuallibrary/0892366745.pdf
1794 - 1840

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“