Mistakes are the portals of discovery. — James Joyce In a painting class this week, I confessed to "wiping" a lousy still life, an admission that triggered a 15-minute discussion of the upside of mistakes. "Wiping a painting is a badge of honor," the teacher said. "It's also...

A perceptual approach to painting is not synonymous with rote observation. — Matthew Ballou "Perceptual painters," artist Matthew Ballou says, dwell on two surfaces at once: the surface of the object and the surface of the canvas. The artist daubs paint on one surface (the canvas) in order...

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...

“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...

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...

The world is divided into two classes—invalids and nurses. — James Abbott McNeill Whistler My troublesome, months-long recovery from a broken ankle would be much more vexing were it not for my wife's ministrations. If I'm able to paint and write while being laid up, it's all her...

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...

The job of an artist is to offer a sanctuary of beauty to an ugly world – Jeff Goins A few years ago, University of Chicago historian Tom Smith asked 27,000 Americans to evaluate their jobs. He found that, of nearly 200 occupations, painters scored fifth for...