The true use of art is to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature. — George Inness The 19th century American art movement known as Tonalism celebrated gentle tones, soft edges, atmosphere, and “the reality of the unseen.” Americans fell in love with it in the aftermath of the Civil...

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past. — William Faulkner I love to paint stoneware crocks. Their chunky, chilly corporality reminds me of granite markers and monuments, the steadfast avatars of past lives. And their rootedness in the earth—crocks being made of dirt, a literal rootedness—lend them...

Painting a "picture" is meaningless. One paints beauty. — David Leffel In perhaps my favorite semester of college, I took a philosophy course on beauty. Philosophers call the study of beauty "aesthetics" and for 2,500 years have  argued over aesthetics questions like "does a painting actually exist?" and...

Whatever the objects of his attention, the painter will not make them say what they are without thereby learning what he is. — Jean-Paul Sartre Just when I think I've about had it with party strife, microbes, blizzards, intolerance and inequality, painting comes along to pick me up. Still-life...

In every moment, in every thing, eternity is present. — Wols Painting trains you to find the "ungraspable abstract" in things, the eternal forms obscured by ordinary perception, and to render them as your emotions dictate. It's both those qualities—the eternal and the emotional—that make good paintings so...

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...

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...