“In art it is hard to say anything as good as saying nothing.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein People who speak harshly of painters, but don't themselves paint, irk me. Even when they speak harshly of mediocre painters. Compared to these critics, painters—even masterful ones—are always more congenial. That's true in all...

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...

Creativity takes what it needs from the person who possesses it and discards the rest. — Peter Schjeldahl New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl once observed that, for viewers, subject and medium always transcend a painter's thoughts and feelings. I think that's why, after just a few weeks,...

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...

We don't make movies to make more money. We make more money to make more movies. - Walt Disney Let's be honest: I paint to make money. But that's the least of it. I paint better to see the world because, as Wittgenstein said, "the world is all that...

There are no second acts in American lives.                                                                            ...

Others have no data for computing our orbit other than our past acts. — Ralph Waldo Emerson Twenty years ago, a business coach recommended I read the now out-of-print Nichecraft. The book convinced me to specialize—a lesson I've carried with me into my move into professional painting. Specializing...

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...