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...

Painting is another way of keeping a diary. — Pablo Picasso I dashed off Social Distancing last March, the morning I realized Covid-19 was not just some flu, but "really real." Since that morning ten months ago, 389,000 Americans have died of the virus, including a close family...

Others have no data for computing our orbit other than our past acts. — Ralph Waldo Emerson Twenty years ago, a business coach recommended I read the now out-of-print Nichecraft. The book convinced me to specialize—a lesson I've carried with me into my move into professional painting. Specializing...

I'm rereading Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence and am struck by the scene in which the narrator begs Charles Strickland to explain himself. Why has the stockbroker abandoned his wife and children for la vie de bohème? "Do you mean to say you didn't leave your...

Though a living cannot be made from art, art makes life worth living. — John Sloan John Sloan was starving when he said what he said, so you have to forgive him. It is possible to make a living from art—and a decent one, at that. I...

Most artists trust their intuition. Sometimes it leads you to make mistakes, but that hardly matters. There is no such thing as failure, you just learn from it and go on. — David Hockney One advantage of oil painting resides in the medium's "forgiving" nature. You can wipe...

My artist statement takes over 300 words to describe what I hope to capture in my oil paintings. What I wish to capture, in as few words as possible, is average everydayness. The term—a favorite of mine—comes from philosopher Martin Heidegger's colossal book Being and Time. Average everydayness...