Every good picture leaves the painter eager to start again, unsatisfied, inspired by the rich mine in which he is working, hoping for more energy, more vitality, more time - condemned to painting for life.
When you draw a crowd of people in a street or room or landscape, decide whether you want to say that the people dominate the place or that the place is more important than the people.
Art is the response of the living to life. It is therefore the record left behind by civilization.
Originality is a quality that cannot be imitated. The technique of the language, on the other hand, is something that belongs to all who can understand it.
Form your own color concept of things in nature. I have no rules for fine color to give you.
Artists are the only people in the world who really live. The others have to hope for heaven.
The purpose of subject matter is to veil technique. The great artist uses the cloak of resemblance to hide the means.
Drawing and composition are the same thing.
You can be a giant among artists without ever attaining any great skill. Facility is a dangerous thing. When there is too much technical ease the brain stops criticizing. Don't let the hand fall into a smart way of putting the mind to sleep.
Always think of drawing, getting the forms realized, emphasizing the design.
Don't think of sea as color. Make it a solid that can support a boat. Think of 'wetness' as color-texture.
...in the habit of watching every bit of human life I can see about my windows, but I do it so that I am not observed at it.
There is a better chance of getting an exciting painting from a laboured study with texture than from a fine drawing without it.
Be sensitive to the qualities inherent in the medium. Paint honestly and avoid tricks.
Draw places you have seen from memory. I used to paint things I had glimpsed through windows while riding in the elevated train.
Be sensitive to your mistakes. Put it on the wall for a couple of weeks. It may be that you can learn more from the study of your own work than from others.
Nature is what you see plus what you think about it.
The artist seeks to record his awareness of order in life.
Assimilate all you can from tradition and then say things in your own way.
Consistency is the quality of a stagnant mind.
Painting is drawing, with the additional means of color.
The artist does not see both eyes alike. There is always 'the eye' and the other eye... It adds life and plasticity to the drawing if the eye in the light is darker than the one in the shadow. It gives the head vividness.
When painting a landscape it is desirable to walk through the clumps and around the bushes, around the trees, the houses and the rocks. Familiarizing yourself in this way with the subject, you will get a better concept of the thing and not a visual and false snapshot.
The subject may be of first importance to the artist when he starts a picture, but it should be of least importance in the finished product. The subject is of no aesthetic significance.
Find your own technique.
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