An interest in things is and always was at the root of art. — John Sloan From as early as he can remember, self-taught Tennessee artist H.R. Lovell has loved things—the more ordinary, the better. "I might see things different as a painter that somebody else may have...

I'm rereading Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence and am struck by the scene in which the narrator begs Charles Strickland to explain himself. Why has the stockbroker abandoned his wife and children for la vie de bohème? "Do you mean to say you didn't leave your...

Though a living cannot be made from art, art makes life worth living. — John Sloan John Sloan was starving when he said what he said, so you have to forgive him. It is possible to make a living from art—and a decent one, at that. I...

No second-act artist more captivates me than the late still-life painter Robert M. Kulicke. His is a Horatio Alger story...

Realist painter Robert Henri called the communion of connoisseurs "The Brotherhood." The Thought Police would insist we re-label that "mystical bond," but let's allow Henri to slide. What he had to say is too important to get hung up over one Victorian-era word. According to Henri, The...

Hollywood loves artists because they're observant, flawed, eccentric and vulnerable—qualities a main character must have to win over the audience. Artists also allow directors to smuggle scores of "beauty shots" into their films. Always a plus. Here's my list of the dozen top films depicting artists (in chronological order)....

Most artists trust their intuition. Sometimes it leads you to make mistakes, but that hardly matters. There is no such thing as failure, you just learn from it and go on. — David Hockney One advantage of oil painting resides in the medium's "forgiving" nature. You can wipe...

Today I give thanks for our First Amendment and freedom of expression. Throughout history, artists have been muzzled, shackled, imprisoned and liquidated merely for expressing "unofficial" ideas; but only once, thank the Lord, in the good-old USA. In Havana this moment, 14 artists are sequestered in an...

My artist statement takes over 300 words to describe what I hope to capture in my oil paintings. What I wish to capture, in as few words as possible, is average everydayness. The term—a favorite of mine—comes from philosopher Martin Heidegger's colossal book Being and Time. Average everydayness...

Twenty years ago, I attended a lecture by the renowned architect Frank Gehry. Meek and plain-speaking—like most Canadians—Gehry described his signature design process: "First, you get the building  right. Then, you make it weird." Gehry meant a building must be structurally sound and functional first; a Gehry...