Humanity is not produced by the way our eyes are implanted in us. — Maurice Merleau-Ponty Writing in The New Yorker this week, art critic Peter Schjeldahl says of Cezanne, "He revolutionized visual art, changing a practice of rendering illusions to one of aggregating marks that cohere...

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen. — Paul Valéry Every painter—even realists—spends years training to "abstract" scenes; to cease to see only objects and begin to see only lines, shapes, contours, and shadows. Ceasing to see only objects is not an...

Painting is the only art in which the intuitive qualities of the artistic may be more valuable than actual knowledge or intelligence. — Lucian Freud In his History of Art, Pliny the Elder recounts how a well-meaning art critic, a shoemaker by trade, told the Ancient Greek...

  Paintings are to teach man to see the glory of human existence. — Henry Hensche Why are there paintings? That's not a vexed question. Paintings uncover truths. They do so by making visible what was invisible. Just as surely as a scientific observation does, that act of revelation increases humankind's storehouse...

Do not just pick up the brushes you used yesterday because they are there. Put those back and then choose your weapon, like a certain type of gun or sword. You are going into battle and you want the best weapon for the job. — Richard...

Imitation is not inspiration. Inspiration only can give birth to a work of art. ― Albert Pinkham Ryder Hyperallergic asks, why do AI-generated portraits, such as those produced by the website AI Gahaku, fail? AI Gahaku filters your photo to create a "masterpiece" in seconds. But the results fall short...

I have to work constantly, but not in order to arrive at the finish, which attracts the admiration of imbeciles. I must strive to complete only for the satisfaction of becoming truer and wiser. — Paul Cezanne One of my teachers used Cezanne's Still Life with Water...

I am no longer an artist interested and curious, I am a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting. ― Paul Nash Paintings of wars may be our least favorite genre. Unless they're heroic—like The Death of Montcalm or Washington Crossing the Delaware—museums rarely display them, and...

If you want to become a painter, you can; but it goes hand in hand with difficulty, worries, disappointments, melancholy, and powerlessness. — Vincent Van Gogh The agonies. They visit artists more often than tourists visit Disneyland. Van Gogh named them accurately: difficulty, worries, disappointments, melancholy, and powerlessness. A...

  We all lean toward prolixity. — Samuel Butler I'm putting into conscious practice Harold Speed's advice to "leave out the details" and go for a "large and simple statement." (Speed's is identical to John Singer Sargent's advice to "omit all but the most essential elements.") And so serendipity...