Despondency breaks off its course. Anguish breaks off its course. The vulture breaks off its flight. The eager light streams out, Even the ghosts take a draught. And our paintings see daylight. — Tomas Tranströmer Painting is like a walk in the woods. You set out full of hope with only a blank canvas....

Why is it awful for a painter today to create an impressionist painting? It's not because they're painting it badly; it's because they don't have a reason to paint it. — Matthew Ritchie I sometimes hear other artists—more skilled than I—say that they'd like to paint more...

A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience. —Mark Rothko A 1950 marketing stunt made the phrase "Kodak moment" synonymous with the word experience, in the sense marketers use that word today. An experience, marketers say, is a staged event. A Kodak moment in...

Humble pie is painting from direct observation. — Lennart Anderson In an art class, I've been painting a plaster cast of the nose of Michelangelo’s David. Despite the schnozzola's simplicity, so far it's taken me 24 hours to paint it—and I still have three more hours to go...

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...

Perhaps the sketch of a work is so pleasing because everyone can finish it as he chooses. — Eugene Delacroix For nine years in a row, I attended a public school in New Jersey named Washington Elementary. Every classroom sported a framed print of Gilbert Stuart's famous unfinished...

  For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. — T.S. Eliot Businesspeople are always citing Voltaire's advice, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." They know you'll never earn a profit, if you do. I wish more painters felt that way. Instead,...

New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts. — David Lynch Is it any wonder we love doughnuts? Without beginning or end, they symbolize eternity, while we mortals know only finitude. Not to mention they're tasty. We can thank the Dutch not only for the still life, but the doughnut, too. They...

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...