If people could see properly, and see whole, they would all be painters. — Pierre Bonnard Since childhood, I have longed to see the way the Tonalists saw; the way the Impressionists saw; the way the Ashcan and London and Pop painters saw. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I...

A social media post by another artist this week prompted me to ponder the origin of the term still life. The Met defines a still life as a glorification of everyday life—of "the home and personal possessions, commerce, trade, and learning." The still life emerged as a genre...

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. — Franklin D. Roosevelt On Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of painting en plein air outside the studio of N.C. Wyeth in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, under the guidance of my realism teacher, Randall Graham. The afternoon was warm,...

All painting is accident. — Francis Bacon My small oil painting Nutella came about almost by itself and almost instantly—or at least it felt that way, coming on the heels as it did of a much larger painting entitled Yoo Hoo.  Nutella took less than two hours to paint;...

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. — Henry David Thoreau This week I had to print my Artist Statement for an exhibition and wondered whether it was up to date. I'd put a lot of work into it last year (as did...

Attention is the beginning of devotion. — Mary Oliver Oil paint was made for depicting flesh. — Willem DeKooning Compared to, say, watching a fireworks display, painting is a decidedly jumbled way of perceiving. Watching fireworks is just that—watching. Eyeballing a show, a spectacle, a rebus (from the Latin non...

  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...

The work of art provides us with new organs with which to see the world. — Maurice Merleau-Ponty We understand the world thanks to the nonfungible mental tokens we call "ideas." Ideas bridge internal and external reality and allow us to say, "Yes, I get it, I understand." But—unless...

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...

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful. — Michelangelo A particularly pappy talk show I watched yesterday featured a segment entitled "Minute Masterclass," prompting me to wonder: Why do so many broadcasters and web-content producers think we expect...