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...

Every canvas is a journey all its own. — Helen Frankenthaler Wanderlust is gripping my friends and family, as July 4th approaches. They're planning tourist itineraries, reserving summer rentals, buying RVs, and booking flights. While they've been locked down for 12 months, I've completed more than 100 journeys, thanks...

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...

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...

Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him. — Lord Chesterfield Originally, "slow food" founder Carlo Petrini didn't mean to start a global movement 3o years ago. He merely wanted Europeans to preserve local cuisines. But Petrini's "Slow Food...

Home is the nicest word there is. — Laura Ingalls Wilder A collector recently told me she's buying my painting Entenmann's Trio because it reminds her of home. "I grew up in New York," she said, "and have fond memories of boxes of their cakes on our kitchen...

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...

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...

Realist painter Robert Henri called the communion of connoisseurs "The Brotherhood." The Thought Police would insist we re-label that "mystical bond," but let's allow Henri to slide. What he had to say is too important to get hung up over one Victorian-era word. According to Henri, The...