From the mouths of artists

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

There have been many great quotes about art and painting.   Sometimes it seems that if you are a great artist it automatically follows that you will utter a clever quote which will be taken down avidly by critics and fans and passed on.  Picasso was aways coming out with profound quotes, they just seemed to trip off his tongue:-

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary”

As a prolific painter, this was probably true.  There is something about being absorbed in a project that keeps the memento up as each experiment leads to a new discovery and the original concept (used as a starting point) starts to take on a completely different personality of its own.  It is the journey which is important to me personally.  A printed out bus ticket (the end product) needs the map to go with it to trace where the journey begins – and how it ends.

Mona Lisa

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen”

Leonardo da Vinci puts this so succinctly.  He was both profound and clever (though the two don’t necessarily always go hand in hand).  I like the way he juxtaposes poetry with painting, making each lyrical.  Poetry does indeed paint a picture with words in our minds and vice versa.

Great art picks up where nature ends”This quote is by Marc Chagall.  What does he mean by it though?  That art is beyond nature? above nature? unnatural?  or is he trying to say that art transcends nature – that we leave our natures and soar above ourselves like his famous flight paintings!

Chagall image from here Picasso image here and Leonardo Da Vinci here

Quotes from here

Chagall 'flight'



Plus……… over on Book stains….

10 thoughts on “From the mouths of artists

  1. This is, by far, a post that addresses things I think about all the time. I agree with the diary idea; because an artist can look back and see where he came from. I find that most amusing as well as informative. Sometimes I feel a painting and other times I just see it, so I think they are two different things. There are a few poets who blog that can use words and make me see pictures everytime I read their poetry so I have experienced that quote, also. The art picking up where nature ends is most strong when I paint outdoors. There is just something so very different about those done on site. Like you, Lynda, I have always considered art a journey with no attachments other than I wish to see things better and communicate through what I create. It is just great fun to chase that elusive perfect painting. Thank-you again for a wonderful post.

  2. The Chagall quote was the one I had the most trouble interpreting Leslie:) I like the analogy with the plein air painting very much indeed! I wonder if there is such a thing as the perfect painting though – perhaps the perfect experience of painting it or the perect experience of looking at it and what it gives you.
    Communication is the key I think, and when that is reciprocal, its a fair exchange. This is the ‘Echostains’ original concept:) and I certainly get a good exchange for all the interesting and intelligent comments I get on here! Thanks Leslie – your input is always appreciated:)

  3. Oh you got me thinking with the Chagall quote. I take it to mean that nature takes us partly along the road/journey of discovery and exploration and then Art is ‘waiting’—for the next leg of the joureny–like a running relay team each takes us further along the creative path doing different things to our sensibilities on several sensory and neurologicla levels until we create something NEW.
    Like Leslie, I really like the idea of art as a sort of diary. I can relate to that concept.
    What a wonderful posting! Merci!

  4. Great thoughts from everyone from the Chagall quote1 Love the relay concept and the idea that art is ‘waiting’ for us 47whitebuffalo! I love looking through my old journals, uncovering forgotten paths that have overgrown. Its great to look back on these journeys. I even do it on holidays (write down what I’m doing, where I’ve been at the end of each day:) )

  5. Hi Lynda, I recall from my art history days in undergraduate school that there was this thought percolating through the centuries that art was in fact superior to nature. Nature being crude, corrupt, and unrefined. Thank heavens we all don’t see things this way anymore in fact I would be shocked knowing what we now know that anyone today would feel you could improve upon nature. My personal project is about placing art in the service of nature and not the other way around. I love artists’ quotes and you could fill a book with Picasso sayings!

  6. Why does man always think that anything man made is better than nature? that they can simulate nature, alter nature and improve upon nature? That will always be mans fatal downfall. I like the idea of being in tune with nature – and in the actual ‘service of nature’ Al, it shows respect.
    You’re right – Picasso could fill books with his quotes:) He must have come out with them whilst painting, if he’d sat down and thought about them, he’d have got no work done:D

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