Ever since Plato, Western philosophers have studied art. So much so that in the 17th century, German philosophers, big on classification, saw fit to create a separate branch of philosophy they called aesthetics, a term derived from the Greek aisthetikos, meaning "about perception." The German philosopher, Georg...

Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint you can at it. — Danny Kaye This week I observed Philadelphia artist Cheryl Schlenker demonstrate her technique for floral painting. I won't disclose all her trade secrets, but will share that her painting began pretty wildly, at...

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...

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,...

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...

Painting is the only art in which the intuitive qualities of the artistic may be more valuable than actual knowledge or intelligence. — Lucian Freud In his History of Art, Pliny the Elder recounts how a well-meaning art critic, a shoemaker by trade, told the Ancient Greek...

  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...

I am no longer an artist interested and curious, I am a messenger who will bring back word from the men who are fighting. ― Paul Nash Paintings of wars may be our least favorite genre. Unless they're heroic—like The Death of Montcalm or Washington Crossing the Delaware—museums rarely display them, and...

It is a great happiness when men’s professions and their inclinations accord. — Francis Bacon Over 41 million Americans work as freelancers, according to Forbes, and despite a booming job market—the best in five decades—most want to stay put. In a recent survey, 82% of fulltime freelancers said...

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...