At the core of all well-founded belief lies belief that is unfounded. ― Ludwig Wittgenstein Alberto Giacometti's painstakingly tentative figurative paintings, influenced by the theories of French phenomenologists, captivate me. They always have. Like perception itself, they're precarious (the phenomenologists held that "it is the essence of certainty to...

Every painting, no matter how successful, leaves the artist with another chance to paint what she had in mind. — Robert Brault "Blessed is he who expects nothing," goes Alexander Pope's Ninth Beatitude, "for he shall never be disappointed." Painters who've worked in industry seem to know when to...

Hold onto your taste, even when you're embarrassed by it. — Jerry Saltz Connoisseurs and critics often look down on art that's driven by pop culture (the source of the "pop" in the term "pop art"). Not me. I guess I'm a child of the '60s, because I love pop...

When art critics get together, they talk about content, style, trend and meaning, but when painters get together, they talk about where you can get the best turpentine. — Picasso Painter Liz Floyd told me during a recent interview that she uses empty cat food tins as...

Reality has to be digested, it has to be transmuted by paint. — Richard Diebenkorn Wayne Thiebaud 100, the not-to-be-missed show now at the Brandywine River Museum, has awakened me to the primacy of cast shadows. Radiant and rainbowlike, Thiebaud's cast shadows are nothing short of delicious. After consuming...

Unlike a painting, food is an impermanent, fleeting art form. ― Julie Piatt Ever since the cave painters of Lascaux, painters have depicted food. Picasso was no exception. But while depictions of food in still-lifes had traditionally celebrated abundance, Picasso's depictions—at least during World War II—were meant to remind...

Der Mensch ist was er isst. — Ludwig Feuerbach I'm delighted to announce my first solo show opens next week and continues through February at the Newark Arts Alliance. I hope you can attend. Here's my exhibition statement, to whet your appetite. The parietal painters at Lascaux could have depicted...

Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it. — Danny Kaye This week I observed Philadelphia artist Cheryl Schlenker demonstrate her technique for floral painting. I won't disclose all her trade secrets, but will share that her painting began pretty wildly, at...

Despondency breaks off its course. Anguish breaks off its course. The vulture breaks off its flight. The eager light streams out, Even the ghosts take a draught. And our paintings see daylight. — Tomas Tranströmer Painting is like a walk in the woods. You set out full of hope with only a blank canvas....

Why is it awful for a painter today to create an impressionist painting? It's not because they're painting it badly; it's because they don't have a reason to paint it. — Matthew Ritchie I sometimes hear other artists—more skilled than I—say that they'd like to paint more...