Insights and ideas picked up along the way from various artists...

 

Narrative paintings illustrate stories:  mythical, historical, imagined. Conceptual art illustrates opinion. Contemporary art illustrates states of being, emotion. All art illustrates something. Art that does not illustrate, art that does not convey meaning, art that is meaningless, is not art.

 

All art is illustration.

 

 I do not experience "Art" as high brow or low brow.  It is only the sweat of the brow that is of any meaning. 

 

Art does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, inspires."

 

 Art does not ask permission. 

 

 You do not have to share those things you create. But it only becomes art the moment you do.

 

Art is a lie, an illusion that only the viewer can make true. 

 

All teachings of art are a lie, which only the student can make true.

 

Art always says "Yes!" then demands more.

 

In spite of everything: yes.    -Vincent Van Gogh

 

Rage for mastery.

 

There is no one system of thought that can administer to all the vagaries of human existence . There is however, in every person's heart, the quest for meaning.

 

The power behind all great magic is passion.

 

You were not born a circle to die a square. A scientist is not a scientist in order to be a scientist. He is what he is. 

 

Be a warhorse for work and enjoy even the struggle against defeat.

 

See the value in composition and don’t be a hack artist, blindly working. Don’t believe that sitting in art school and patiently patting paint on the canvas will make you an artist.

 

Too many students do not know why they draw. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself that question.

 

The purpose of art is to disturb.

 

The subject of your painting is not found among the objects you place in it. 

 

The thing for each individual to do is to wake up, to discover him/herself as a human being, with needs of their own. To look around and from the sea of desires that swirl around, to find a vehicle for self-expression.

 

Somewhere there in the divide between desire and passion the artist experiences his awakening. They awaken to their art form even as the mundane desires of life buffet them.

 

Passion too is an kind of desire, but it is desire objectified, named, directed, ritualized, obsessed over. Awaken to your passion.

 

There are two classes of people: students and non-students. In the student there is great mental and spiritual activity. They arrive at conclusions and searches to express their feelings. They create a disturbance. Camps are established: discussion runs high. There is life in the air. The non-student cries, heresy! Let us have peace!

 

Anyone not busy being born is busy dying.

 

Find your center-line. The ability to perceive Magic requires deep solitude.  Solitude requires Magic to give it meaning. Solitude without magic is boredom; inertia. Magic without solitude engenders chaos.

 

Joy/Pleasure,  Desire/Passion, Solitude /Magic. Balance. Find your center-Line. 

 

Art does not evolve. It writhes. 

Art does not advance; it dances.

 

If art students believe in the greatness of their profession, if they believe in self-development and courage of vision and expression, they will not find an audience bored or unimpressed with them. They will find a crowd there ready to tear them to pieces—to praise them and to ridicule them.

 

The best things in life are difficult things. As a student, you are working for your character, and your pay for all your sacrifices will last you all your life.

 

Bang your school like a gong. An art school should be a boiling, seething place. Ideas should radiate from it. Such a school can only develop from the will of the student.  --Robert Henri

 

The moment of really engaging Quality while painting is akin to prayer and in that moment we are in a state of grace.

 

Exquisite complexity is the artist's goal, exquisite simplicity, the physicist's. 

 

Expressions of true quality are not common. Quality is demonstrated by exquisite complexity. Exquisite complexity creates wonder.

 

People dig people that have something going on.

 

One should never study drawing because it will come in useful later when one is an artist. You don’t have time for that. Be an artist from the beginning and be busy finding the lines and forms to express the pleasures and emotions that you already own.

 

The purpose of art is to disturb.

 

You are already master of such that you are.

 

What is the advice to the student who already possesses great understanding? There is, at the core of it all, a goal beyond all goals. Quality. It is the same for the beginner as it is for the master.

 

Quality is the main concern of the artist, unlike other concerns in life, it does not pull diminish us or pull us down. It flows up, taking us with it.

 

Create a portal that you can pass into to do your work. One cannot escape the crude realities of life, but may transcend them. 

 

No one can dream your dreams but you. All original art is self-regulated, and no original art can be regulated from without.

 

 Art does not ask permission. 

 

Don’t do student’s work. Have faith in your vision. One of the great difficulties of an art student is deciding between his own natural impressions and what he thinks should be his impressions. Actually there are very few people who think what they think they think.

 

Own your life.

 

The romantic, emotional side of the equation towards quality is marked by the brave journey inward. Deep mining. The Romantic side is the journey within, the Classical side (gaining formal knowledge) is the empirical journey of the world around us.

 

Why art? Imagine the world without it. That’s why. 

 

Art does not ask permission.

 

Be careful of the influence of those with whom you consort. Large societies tend toward the leveling of individuality to a common consent.

 

Art creates mysterious bonds of understanding and knowledge; a great brother/ sisterhood. Space and time cannot separate us.

 

What is the fundamental meaning of art?  What is art but passion’s projection?

 

Your “piece” of art is a fragment which, assembled with others, forms “The Big Picture”.  All anyone can hope to do is to add their fragment to the whole.

 

Culture accrues. The artist leaves much for others as stones to step on, or stones to avoid.

 

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again, fail again, fail better. –Beckett

 

Art is passion made manifest. A great deal of desire is required but must be focused. This requires discipline. How else can any aspiring artist awaken to the deep connectedness necessary to sustain him from start to finish?

 

Emotion is the chief and essential portal to higher consciousness.

 

Who feels it, knows it. --Bob Marley

 

If your attitude is negligent, if you are not awake to the possibilities, you will not see them. Nature does not reveal herself to the negligent.

 

What is your motive? Why do you pick up the brush? Without motivation why bother?

 

There are paintings that manifest education and there are paintings that manifest love,  passion, emotion. There are paintings that manifest education and there are paintings that manifest love, passion.

 

You are identified as a student only by your desire to practice.

 

Spontaneity comes through practice. An artist’s experience sinks into him and responds when he is in great need.

 

Pursuing the joy, the passion, the lust for creativity and expression is its own reward.

 

Who here is motivated to paint and draw? Motivation is Desire. Desire leads to Passion. Passion makes us strive to Practice. Practice leads to Mastery. Mastery reveals Talent. Genius requires Mastery. Only then do masterpieces result.

 

Practice. Practice is the result and demonstration of Desire. We all have Desire. Passion itself requires a particular kind of  awakening on the part of the artist. One becomes conscious through emotion, such as joy.

 

If you are not a genius, you can still think like one. Time and practice will do the rest.

 

If something is done well originality is meaningless. 

 

An inspiring work of art comes to us from no quibbling man. Always project opinion!

 

Let Quality draw you to the front edge of yourself. Quality is the dance of beauty and truth.

 

You pass people on the street; some are for you, some are not. And so the full gamut of expression runs from Beardsley to Wyeth and beyond.

 

You are not your problems.

 

You are painting for yourself, not a jury. The important thing is the expression. What the painting must have is wit, spark, opinion, presence, lust, striving; soul. Don’t worry, all of these are found in the same place.

 

Cultivate spontaneity. 

 

I wonder if the motive to be commercial, as an essential criteria, is not antithetical to producing art of any true value at all. Art is certainly not a pursuit for anyone who wants to make money. There are much better ways of doing so.

 

Of all forms of inspiration as might exist, the most beggarly is the quick buck.

No way has been devised for measuring the value of a work of art.

 

There are two classes of artists. One who believes in the marketing concept; identify your market niche and customize your product to fit that niche. The second believes in the Field of Dreams concept, “build it and they will come.” A hybrid of the two is create for yourself and then make that thing popular.

 

The second class has ideas which it believes in and must carry out absolutely, success or no success. The danger is that a livelihood may not be around the corner and starvation and destruction await. The danger for the first class is that they end up as slaves, even as the second class runs free.

 

As a manufacturer, don’t give the customer what they want, give them what they didn’t know they needed.

 

Quality is where Beauty and Truth meet.

Quality is where Logic and Emotion meet.

Quality is where the Romantic and the Scientific meet.

 

The artist who is actively seeking Quality has a desire to see beyond, and possesses in that moment all honesty, integrity and love for inquiry. This is the art spirit.

 

We must paint only what is important to us, and not respond carelessly to outside demands. They do not know what they want, or what we have to give. 

 

We waken at morning; we sleep at night. How will we fill our day? By work, by labor, by action. 

 

Art is creative action.

 

Keep your old work. You did it. There are virtues and faults for you to study. Put it where you can see it well.

 

The Three Rules of Painting;

1.    One learns to paint by painting.

2.    As different as ideas and emotions are, there can be no set rules laid down for the making of pictures.

3.    The basis of all great painting is passion.

 

Somewhere there in the divide between desire and passion the artist experiences their awakening.  Awaken to their form of  even as desire buffets them. Passion is desire objectified, named, directed, ritualized, obsessed over.

 

The thing for each individual to do is to wake up, to discover him/herself as a human being, with needs of their own. To look around and from the sea of desires that swirl around them, and find a vehicle for their self-expression. 

 

Don’t just pay your tuition and drift along with the current of the school. Don’t just fall into the procession.

 

No matter how good your school is; your education is in your own hands. All education must be self-education.

 

The art student should be, and is so rare, the one whose life is spent in the love and the culture of their personal sensations, the cherishing of their  emotions, never undervaluing them, the pleasure of exclaiming them to others, and an eager search for their clearest expression.

 

A person must become interesting to themselves and must become actually expressive before they can be happy.

 

Freud says that the need to strive is a big part of our makeup. The great, significant splendid impulse for Quality forces its way through every boundary.

What is the advice to the student who already possesses great understanding? There is, at the core of it all, a goal beyond all goals. Quality. It is the same for the beginner as it is for the master.

 

The moment of engaging Quality while painting is akin to prayer and in that moment we are in a state of grace.

 

One should never study drawing because it will come in useful later when he is an artist. You don’t have time for that. Be an artist from the beginning and be busy finding the lines and forms to express the pleasures and emotions that you already own.

 

 Art does not ask permission. 

 

 “Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness” Beckett. Choose images like you choose your words ---with intent.

 

 The work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to see it through. You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sym­pathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If you succeed somewhat you may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all your life.  -Harvey Dunne

 

An art student must be a master from the beginning, that is, he must be master of such that he has.

 

The 19 to 20 something years are the creative, chaotic, destructive years. Don’t let them pass unlived. Be present.

 

I wish we didn't work so hard. We're too conscientious; we all act as though we're duty bound. There's no duty about Art. Isn't Robert Henri's definition of art; “a man's 'expression of the joy he takes in life?" Is there any duty about that? It should be an abundant overflowing.  H. Dunne

 

On the other hand I suppose we feel that the days we have are all we have in life, and we feel that what we spend most time on, to be dearer to us than anything else. And of course we want to give of our best. I can't but believe, because I spend my days at it, that this is the most important work there is.    -Harvey Dunne

 

When we create, we are simply doing what the Universe has been doing since its inception.

 

The artist searches for exquisite complexity, the scientist: exquisite simplicity.

 

Culture accrues. The artist leaves much for others as stones to step on, or stones to avoid.

 

"It is easy in a world to follow the world's opinion. It is easy in solitude to follow our own. But the the great person is he, who in the midst of a crowd, can keep with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."  --Ralph Waldo Emerson