Painting Quotes

And since geometry is the right foundation of all painting, I have decided to teach its rudiments and principles to all youngsters eager for art.

— Albrecht Durer

That’s why I ended up going to Lancaster University, because they had a visual arts course, and in the first year it was like a broad visual arts course in sculpture, painting, graphics – all of that.

— Andy Serkis

Ah, lives of men! When prosperous they glitter – Like a fair picture when misfortune comes – A wet sponge at one blow has blurred the painting.

— Aeschylus

I started playing piano when I was 6. And I knew that wanted to be involved in that form of expression, whether it was through music, or acting, or dancing, or painting, or writing.

— Alanis Morissette

It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.

— Albert Camus

Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.

— Ambrose Bierce

I enjoyed art in school. I’ve always done little drawings and stuff like that. I don’t really know what I’m doing with the painting, but I experiment.

— Alex Lifeson

I’d like to think, that were he alive today, Warhol would be painting the Housewives.

— Andy Cohen

When I first started painting, I had an interesting nightmare about Cleveland – I dreamed the houses there were encased in this free-floating cage structure. I guess Cleveland was a confining place for me, even though my parents weren’t too conservative.

— April Gornik

It is no use painting the foot of the tree white, the strength of the bark cries out from beneath the paint.

— Aime Cesaire

In film, you’re painting a canvas. I got really excited about that.

— Alice Lowe

Painting is almost like a sport. It’s like this action thing. When I do it, I’m really not thinking. The paintings are like a diary that I might not want to read again.

— Alison Mosshart

If I’m at a party, and there are lots of people running around, you’ll most likely find me on the floor, painting… I want to be at the party, but I want to do something. I’m just not very idle at all.

— Alison Mosshart

To the humblest among them, who may be listening to me now, I want to say that the masterpiece to which you are paying historic homage this evening is a painting which he has saved.

— Andre Malraux

The crucial discovery was made that, in order to become painting, the universe seen by the artist had to become a private one created by himself.

— Andre Malraux

Every play I do, every book I write, every painting I paint, I will struggle with. I don’t know what it’s like for a project to come easy.

— Antony Sher

I counterfeited Mark Kostabi’s artworks. During the eighties, Mark didn’t paint his own paintings. Instead, he had other artists painting them, and he just added his signature. So what I did was to use some of the same painters, and signed his name myself.

— Andy Behrman

My sister-in-law is a painter, and I’ll say, how long did it take you to paint that painting. She’ll say, It took me maybe three days, but it took me all my life to get the skills to paint that painting.

— Anthony Doerr

I taught a lot of art history, especially Chinese, Japanese, and Indian. But the painting classes came back. The nudes came back. Not so much the still lifes. So now our department is the worst department, partly because it has the worst facilities.

— Ad Reinhardt

If some student came up and wanted to know where to study painting, you’d want to suggest someplace, but there’s no place. I wouldn’t know where to send a student to study.

— Ad Reinhardt

For most Americans, poetry plays no role in their everyday lives. But also for most Americans, contemporary painting or jazz or sculpture play no role either. I’m not saying poetry is singled out as a special thing to ignore.

— Billy Collins

The paintings are transferred from my computer to a disk, and I can hand it to the printer this way or I can modem the painting to the printer over the phone lines from my house in Hawaii.

— Buffy Sainte-Marie

Painting, I think it’s like jazz.

— Brian Eno

Although cover notes for classical music albums tend to say that the trill of flutes suggests mountain streams and so on, I don’t think anybody listens to music with the expectation that they’re going to be presented with a sort of landscape painting.

— Brian Eno

By the mid-’60s, recorded music was much more like painting than it was like traditional music. When you went into the studio, you could put a sound down, then you could squeeze it around, spread it all around the canvas.

— Brian Eno

Within one hour of touching the brush to canvas for the first time, my students have a total, complete painting.

— Bob Ross

Painting is, I think, inevitably an archaic activity and one that depends on spiritual values.

— Bridget Riley

In the middle 1940s… I heard everyone live. Painting, the theater everything was happening. It was an exciting time when New York was the place to be.

— Bill Dixon

If they were starting their careers today, Rockwell and Picasso would probably both be painting on black velvet.

— Brad Holland

Painting is a source of endless pleasure, but also of great anguish.

— Balthus

Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don’t know what to say about what I paint, really.

— Balthus

Pablo Picasso would paint a painting and hang it on the wall, and you would go and see the painting exactly how he wanted it to be made. But if you have an idea for a TV show, for example, you’re beholden to studios to produce it and distributors to distribute it.

— Casey Neistat

There’s this inherent screenplay structure that everyone seems to be stuck on, this three-act thing. It doesn’t really interest me. To me, it’s kind of like saying, ‘Well, when you do a painting, you always need to have sky here, the person here and the ground here.’ Well, you don’t.

— Charlie Kaufman

If the world could remain within a frame like a painting on the wall, I think we’d see the beauty then and stand staring in awe.

— Conor Oberst

No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.

— Claude Monet

I do have a dream, a painting, the baths of La Grenouillere for which I’ve done a few bad rough sketches, but it is a dream. Renoir, who has just spent two months here, also wants to do this painting.

— Claude Monet

I would have liked maybe to be in architecture or painting, something connected to the fine arts.

— Catherine Deneuve

If you want to paint the inner life, you paint it from the exterior. From the exterior, you breathe the inner life into your painting.

— Charlotte Rampling

When Dick Avedon died, I was so upset that I just started painting.

— China Machado

If you over-think, it affects things too much I work instinctively, like painting in a way. Think too much, and you ruin everything.

— Chris Lilley

A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each piece is only answerable to the rest of that little world. So, probably in the total universe, there is that kind of total harmony, but we get only little tastes of it.

— Corita Kent

I love Monet – I’ve nicknamed him King Blob. When you go up to the painting, it’s a series of blobs – amazing.

— Celia Imrie

No one blames themselves if they don’t understand a cartoon, as they might with a painting or ‘real’ art they simply think it’s a bad cartoon.

— Chris Ware

I have always loved science, but I have always loved the arts – drawing, painting and, yes, writing – more.

— Charles M. Blow

I’m not painting myself as a down-home, modest guy.

— Colin Farrell

I’m not particularly interested in painting, per se. I’m interested in a painting that has that mysterious life to it. Anything that doesn’t partake of that magic is halfway dead – it returns to its physical elements, it’s just paint and canvas.

— Caio Fonseca

Most days, I practice piano in the mornings and I spend the rest of the day painting.

— Caio Fonseca

I like to treat paint as material – to daub it, drop it, let it slide. There was Action Painting, but I also compare it to paint effects found on the streets. This approach is superimposed on a sculptural surface that is also ‘painterly.’

— Claes Oldenburg

When I was young, I didn’t want to do traditional painting and calligraphy. I deliberately wanted to separate from my father so I could feel I existed myself.

— Cai Guo-Qiang

I’m quite sure that all true professional artists, of every description, in all walks of life, whether their craft is painting, music, sculpture, medicine or anything, have one primary concern – mankind.

— Chico Hamilton

If he sees nothing within, then he should stop painting what is in front of him.

— Caspar David Friedrich

When I was painting in art school – and I think many painters in the 1980s worked similarly – a finished painting would often be constructed from lots of other paintings underneath. Some of these individual layers of painting were better than others, but that was something that you would often only realise retrospectively.

— Chris Ofili

Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity.

— Damien Hirst

A painting probably is the most shocking increase in value, from what it costs to make to what you sell it for.

— Damien Hirst

I always feel a bit trapped when a painting goes for millions of pounds and only one person can have it. If you can have that as well as a poster on every student’s wall, then you’re in a very enviable position. I’d like to do a Damien Hirst for £500 at some point.

— Damien Hirst

I think I’ve always been afraid of painting, really. Right from the beginning. All my paintings are about painting without a painter. Like a kind of mechanical form of painting.

— Damien Hirst

When you are older, you realise that everything else is just nothing compared to painting and drawing.

— David Hockney

Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That’s the thing about painting, photography, cinema.

— David Lynch

Intuition is the key to everything, in painting, filmmaking, business – everything. I think you could have an intellectual ability, but if you can sharpen your intuition, which they say is emotion and intellect joining together, then a knowingness occurs.

— David Lynch

I love Christmas tree bulbs, and I started putting them in my paintings. You’ve got to plug this painting in, and it’s got a rig in the back, so that each one can be replaced if it burns out.

— David Lynch

The problem for the Left, however, is that the moment it stops painting the Right as vile, it has to argue the issues.

— Dennis Prager

An artist makes a painting, and nobody bugs him or her about it. It’s just you and your painting. To me, that’s the way it should be with film as well.

— David Lynch

You get a painting idea, and you go do that. You get a cinema idea, and you go in to do that. The difference is, even though the paintings might take some time to make, with cinema you are booked for a year and a half, minimum.

— David Lynch

I’m a pretty good drawer. I have trouble painting because you literally have to wait for the paint to dry. I’m disciplined, but I’m not patient.

— Douglas Coupland

I was a hyperactive kid, and it took awhile for me to find the right teacher. My master was a Shaolin kung fu teacher, but he also taught tai chi, Chinese medicine, brush painting – he was adept at all facets of Chinese culture.

— Daniel Wu

If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush.

— Dawn French

When I’m not painting, I’m Oujia-boarding with my photos. I’ll sort through my pictures, put them in different folders, and come back months later to one in particular and try to figure out why I took it.

— Damian Loeb

Well, I don’t think anyone now would say that they’re painting the state of the culture of America. I think that’s too grand and pompous a thing for anybody to claim.

— Donald Judd

Well, I am not interested in the kind of expression that you have when you paint a painting with brush strokes. It’s all right, but it’s already done and I want to do something new.

— Donald Judd

Usually when painters use photographs, they enlarge and copy them and simply make a large, boring painting of a large, boring photograph.

— Duane Michals

I loved painting and drawing for many reasons. One of them was that all it really required was me, a pencil and a pad. It was something I was passionate about, and still am.

— Danny Huston

It used to be that if you stood in front of a painting you didn’t understand, you’d have some obligation to guess. Now you don’t.

— Dave Hickey

I like the feeling of not knowing where to look when you are only performing for one person or watching someone practice. It creates this kind of a strange in-between, which can be mirrored in the feeling of making a painting.

— Dana Schutz

There are a lot of artists in Gowanus, and certain things come into your visual vocabulary from living there – the scale of the subway and the canal, sometimes it almost looks like a de Chirico painting, with the intense angles of the shadows and everything.

— Dana Schutz

That’s when I feel really excited about a painting. When it starts to feel real, when it feels like it has a personality.

— Dana Schutz

American poetry, like American painting, is always personal with an emphasis on the individuality of the poet.

— Diane Wakoski

When I was living in New York, I had this slightly wannabe bohemian existence and took up painting, at which I’m appalling. I also bought several guitars.

— Eddie Redmayne

The trend in some of the contemporary movements in art, but by no means all, seems to deny this ideal and to me appears to lead to a purely decorative conception of painting.

— Edward Hopper

Well, I have a very simple method of painting.

— Edward Hopper

Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.

— Edgar Degas

Mount Tamalpais became my house. For Cezanne, Sainte-Victoire was no longer a mountain. It was an absolute. It was painting.

— Etel Adnan

Usually, I am a compulsive person, and I need – sometimes urgently – to paint… Painting is close to poetry, is a kind of poetry expressed visually. It has to be spontaneous, rapid – at least in my case.

— Etel Adnan

A painting of a person can be descriptive, but for me it’s about all the things that make up a picture – the feelings, the brushstrokes – more than describing somebody. People latch on to the personalities when they talk about my work and forget the other parts.

— Elizabeth Peyton

When I was in high school, I was going to be a painter because I had a facility for painting. I could do it, but I didn’t have anything to say in that medium.

— Ellen McLaughlin

My primary thing is to make a painting, not necessarily to make a painting to sell for gazillions of dollars, but just to make a painting.

— Eric Fischl

The final test of a painting, theirs, mine, any other, is: does the painter’s emotions come across?

— Franz Kline

Contrary to what many Westerners believe, Islam has a rich tradition of secular painting in spite of its ban on images. It is only in religious rituals that the use of pictorial representation is totally prohibited.

— Fatema Mernissi

I’m the most Colombian of the Colombians, even though I’ve lived 47 years outside of Colombia. I’ve lived 13 years in New York, and I never did a painting about New York. I’ve lived in France more than 30 years, and I’ve never painted Paris.

— Fernando Botero

I had wanted to be a sculptor throughout life, but to do so, I had to stop painting.

— Fernando Botero

I have seen Colonial churches since I was very small, Colonial painting and polychrome sculpture. And that was all I saw. There was not a single modern painting in any museum, not a Picasso, not a Braque, not a Chagall. The museums had Colombian painters from the eighteenth century and, of course, I saw Pre-Columbian art. That was my exposure.

— Fernando Botero

Before anything else, I started painting bulls and matadors. That was my initiation to paint.

— Fernando Botero

What I can’t tell with a photo I will tell with a painting, and what I can’t tell with a painting I will tell with a video or text sometimes, et cetera.

— Francis Alys

But, after all, the aim of art is to create space – space that is not compromised by decoration or illustration, space within which the subjects of painting can live.

— Frank Stella

When I’m painting the picture, I’m really painting a picture. I may have a flat-footed technique, or something like that, but still, to me, the thrill, or the meat of the thing, is the actual painting. I don’t get any thrill out of laying it out.

— Frank Stella

I was worried in the ’80s that the best abstract painting had become obsessed with materiality, and painterly gestures and materiality were up against the wall.

— Frank Stella

I wrote as a kid, but I never wanted to be a writer, particularly. I had been drawing and painting for years and loved that.

— Gail Carson Levine

I’m 38 years old and Limp Bizkit is just something I do. If I was a painter, it would just be a type of painting I make.

— Fred Durst

A painting should be tough it should have muscle, but I have to find some tenderness in it, too. There has to be that dynamic.

— Gary Hume

I have to take it as a given that I have got a certain ability to do something. I can be an artist, which is take something and transform it into another thing. I can just see something, and I can see my painting.

— Gary Hume

I’m a storyteller. I love to tell stories about brands. I love to tell stories, period. I like painting pictures through the words, and that’s what I do.

— Gary Vaynerchuk

In traditional Asian arts, the word and the picture always sit next to each other. I have an aunt, a Chinese brush painter, who told me that when you do a Chinese brush painting, you have to pair the image up with some poetry.

— Gene Luen Yang

I wanted to dress the woman who lives and works, not the woman in a painting.

— Giorgio Armani

I would have rebelled against parental authority, no matter what. When I was 15, I started painting my face and making my own clothes.

— Grace Jones

Rock & roll is not obscure, it’s really easy to understand. So is my painting.

— Grace Slick

After tea it’s back to painting – a large poplar at dusk with a gathering storm. From time to time instead of this evening painting session I go bowling in one of the neighbouring villages, but not very often.

— Gustav Klimt

I’m still very sure that painting is one of the most basic human capacities, like dancing and singing, that make sense, that stay with us, as something human.

— Gerhard Richter

I believe in painting and I believe in eating too. What can we do? We have to eat, we have to paint, we have to live. Of course, there are different ways to survive. But it’s my best option.

— Gerhard Richter

I don’t think I can do this – painting under observation. It’s the worst thing there is, worse than being in the hospital.

— Gerhard Richter

If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens.

— Grandma Moses

I had always loved expressionist painting, like every European. In fact I admired it all the more because these were precisely the paintings despised by my father’s generation.

— Georg Baselitz

A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.

— Hedy Lamarr

I think music has gone through a period of something very severe, rather radical, rather the way painting did with cubism.

— Harrison Birtwistle

When I finish a painting, it usually looks as surprising to me as to anyone else.

— Howard Hodgkin

A painting is finished when the subject comes back, when what has caused the painting to be made comes back as an object.

— Howard Hodgkin

I was a student at Harvard, and that’s where I learned about so-called avant-garde music. Jackson Pollock, abstract expressionism and painting were well known at this time.

— Henry Flynt

In classical oil painting, there seemed to be a radical turn to seeing things as the camera sees them, with that technological modification. I began to have a tremendous problem with all of this.

— Henry Flynt

The way I create music is maybe like a painting, to compose in a more visual way. Basically it’s the music that I want to hear- that’s my inspiration and bottom line. I just try to get ideas from books, movies, paintings.

— Ikue Mori

Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was.

— Jackson Pollock

It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.

— Jackson Pollock

When I’m painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It’s only after a get acquainted period that I see what I’ve been about. I’ve no fears about making changes for the painting has a life of its own.

— Jackson Pollock

I’m very representational some of the time, and a little all of the time. But when you’re painting out of your unconscious, figures are bound to emerge.

— Jackson Pollock

When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing.

— Jackson Pollock

There are certain things in which mediocrity is not to be endured, such as poetry, music, painting, public speaking.

— Jean de la Bruyere

My paintings have gotten to be pretty popular and I’ve taken a little bit more interest in painting the last few years. In fact, my novel that I wrote not too long ago, ‘The Hornet’s Nest,’ I painted the cover picture for it and I do a good bit of painting now.

— Jimmy Carter

Occasionally, when I get mad at a woman, I’ll do some great, awful painting about her.

— Jean-Michel Basquiat

If I’m away from painting for a week, I get bored.

— Jean-Michel Basquiat

I have a painting where somebody’s holding a chicken, and underneath the chicken is somebody’s head.

— Jean-Michel Basquiat

I’ve never felt particularly ambitious or driven, that’s for sure, although I like to create stuff, whether it’s a little doodle, a drawing, a small painting or a movie or a piece of music, so I suppose I’m driven by that. Everything I’ve done has felt very natural, and it’s happened because it’s happened.

— Johnny Depp

At the point where I’m trying to force something and it’s not happening, and I’m getting frustrated with, say, writing a poem, I can go and pick up the brushes and start painting. At the point where the painting seems to not be going anywhere, I go and pick up the guitar.

— Joni Mitchell

Decades ago, Gerhard Richter found a painterly philosopher’s stone. Like Jackson Pollock before him, he discovered something that had been in painting all along, always overlooked or discounted.

— Jerry Saltz

I rage against Vincent van Gogh for needing to die at 37, after painting for only ten years.

— Jerry Saltz

Think of an abstract painting as very, very low relief – a thing, not a picture.

— Jerry Saltz

These days, newish art can be priced between $10,000 and $25,000. When I tell artists that a new painting by a newish artist should go for around $1,200, they look at me like I’m a flesh-eating virus.

— Jerry Saltz

In fiction, plenty do the job of conveying information, rousing suspense, painting characters, enabling them to speak. But only certain sentences breathe and shift about, like live matter in soil.

— Jhumpa Lahiri

Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.

— John Berger

In drawing after drawing, pastel after pastel, painting after painting, the contours of Degas’s dancing figures become, at a certain point, darkly insistent, tangled and dusky. It may be around an elbow, a heel, an armpit, a calf muscle, the nape of a neck.

— John Berger

Painting is something that you need to do, if not every day, then certainly most days. It is almost like being a pianist: if you stop, you lose something.

— John Berger

You can’t work in the movies. Movies are all about lighting. Very few filmmakers will concentrate on the story. You get very little rehearsal time, so anything you do onscreen is a kind of speed painting.

— John Malkovich

No one purposefully paints a bad painting. It’s someone who’s trying to do a good painting, but it’s terrible. I have one with a matador, and the bull is going through the blanket. You can tell the painter didn’t know how to paint it.

— Jennifer Coolidge

I want my paintings to look like they were found in a garage. If they get a scratch or a hole in them, it just becomes part of the painting.

— John Mellencamp

Back to the painting of the Sistine Chapel, there’s always been run-ins between benefactors and artists.

— Jon Favreau

I tell my workshop students, ‘I want you to think of yourselves as artists. Then, when you’re writing, you’re painting, you’re crafting, you’re making a design, you’re sculpting, you’re creating choreography, sound, a sound script.’

— Juan Felipe Herrera

I’ve always loved painting, although I never show anyone what I’ve done. Mainly because I don’t do it well. But it’s like a form of visual diary for me. A way of fixing things in my mind.

— Judi Dench

I started experimenting with jewelry in my 20s – I was playing around with gemstones and painting things in gold leaf, and it turned into this huge obsession for me, so I launched my first jewelry line, Jade Inc.

— Jade Jagger

When I go to an art gallery and stand in front of a painting, I don’t want someone telling me what I should be seeing or thinking I want to feel whatever I feel, see whatever I see, and figure out what I figure out.

— James Frey

I believe, even when I’m doing my standup or my acting or whatever I’m doing, I believe in painting pictures.

— J. B. Smoove

To me, this was an oxymoron, doing a painting of a dancer. Dancers are always moving.

— Jamie Wyeth

After my divorce, painting took me out of panic mode and into a serene, calm place. I could absolutely lose myself.

— Jane Seymour

I’ve done for the most part pretty much what I intended – I ended up doing comedy, writing and painting. I’ve had a ball. And as I get older, I just become an older kid.

— Jonathan Winters

I’m very interested to see how this new painting will go – I know I want it big and stark, and as I said, I follow the muse, and that’s when it always works perfectly for me.

— Jackie DeShannon

I seldom have my stuff up unless I’m testing it. If I’m worrying about a painting, I put it up and see if I detest it quickly or slowly. Otherwise I have things by other artists.

— Jenny Holzer

I think of a piece, and then people who are competent fabricate it. But lately I’ve started finger painting, which probably should be a joke but isn’t!

— Jenny Holzer

I still take photographs for my own use, personal studies. I do not feel that I can fully express my views through the medium and this is why I have moved towards painting.

— John Dyer

To me, writing and composing are much more like painting, about colors and brushes I don’t use a computer when I write, and I don’t use a piano. I’m at a desk writing, and it’s very broad strokes and notes as colors on a palette.

— James Horner

As the books grew bigger and more ambitious, the situations in question sometimes became political ones, and so it became necessary to start painting in the social background on a scale which eventually became panoramic.

— Jonathan Coe

I’m sick of the foodies who need every morsel that goes into their mouth to be a Picasso painting, a Giacometti sculpture, a Proust novel, evoking the world with each crumb.

— Jessi Klein

Doing the show was like painting the George Washington Bridge. As soon as you finished one end, you started right in on the other.

— Jack Paar

I think when somebody’s painting they don’t necessarily… I’m not illustrating what I know. I’m mapping out, like topographically, some terrain I am satisfied with, how awkward that mark is.

— Julian Schnabel

You know, painting has given me a lot of freedom, because for some reason, I’ve been able to paint things, organize things in a way that I see that don’t have any buffers or compromises in them.

— Julian Schnabel

The dance commonly begins about the middle of the afternoon or later, after sundown. When it begins in the afternoon, there is always an intermission of an hour or two for supper. The preliminary painting and dressing is usually the work of about two hours.

— James Mooney

If you scratch a great photograph, you find two things a painting and a photograph.

— Janet Malcolm

In painting feathers, you want to create the look of feathers, but if you try to paint all the feathers, you have nothing but disaster.

— John O’Neill

How do you make something the same but different? That’s the question I had to deal with in my approach to the cover painting for ‘Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes.’ I wanted it to have many similarities to ‘Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods,’ but I knew they couldn’t be too similar.

— John Rocco

There have been many, many paintings of Theseus and the Minotaur, as it is one of the more popular myths, so how could I make mine different and new? I decided it would be best to make the most dynamic painting I could. I wanted to capture the moment right before the Minotaur’s horn was snapped.

— John Rocco

Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight which are: Darkness, Light, Solidity and Colour, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest.

— Leonardo da Vinci

As a kid, there was a painting of ‘Appeal to the Great Spirit’ that I would see when I would get oatmeal bowls out of the cupboard. This painting, it was so real to me that it frightened me.

— Lance Henriksen

I’ve always enjoyed painting, but I went to teach in schools in Zimbabwe instead.

— Louis Theroux

Painting… in which the inner and the outer man are inseparable, transcends technique, transcends subject and moves into the realm of the inevitable.

— Lee Krasner

Well, let’s say we acknowledged the School of French Painting – the Paris School of painting as the leading force and vitality of the time. I think that was understood and felt and experienced.

— Lee Krasner

Every time I started painting it was like a new experience, but they all came out the same.

— LeRoy Neiman

I’m a big fan of Edouard Vuillard, so I’d like anything by him – particularly a painting called ‘Madame Hessel on the Sofa.’ His work is realistic without being literal: I can really imagine what Madame Hessel is thinking.

— Lesley Manville

Painting is sometimes like those recipes where you do all manner of elaborate things to a duck, and then end up putting it on one side and only using the skin.

— Lucian Freud

When I look at a body it gives me choice of what to put in a painting, what will suit me and what won’t.

— Lucian Freud

Before adolescence I had an incredible voice. Like when I was 12, 13, 14 – I was taking acting classes, I was painting, I was making music, I was taking photographs. I was kind of exploding creatively, and then something about adolescence really just ground that out of me.

— Lynn Shelton

I’m innately conservative, and painting is an ideal place to exercise a progressive conservatism. I operate well within limits.

— Laurie Simmons

A painting is like a man. If you can live without it, then there isn’t much point in having it.

— Lila Acheson Wallace

Some people would ask: ‘You are not the one who does the painting, or shot the work, how can it be your work?’ But I was the one who chose which site we should use, and which assistant helps me to do the painting, or the shot.

— Liu Bolin

I was making big paintings with mythological themes. When I started painting black figures, the white professors were relieved, and the black students were like, ‘She’s on our side.’ These are the kinds of issues that a white male artist just doesn’t have to deal with.

— Kara Walker

Yesterday, I did some painting then went out to buy an onion and came home and watched ‘University Challenge.’ The onion was probably the highlight.

— Karl Pilkington

He greatly valued his possessions, chiefly because they were his, and derived genuine pleasure from contemplating a painting, a statuette, a rare lace curtain – no matter what – after he had bought it and placed it among his household gods.

— Kate Chopin

Whereas painting is a more rarefied art form, with a limited audience, I recognized film as this extraordinary social tool that could reach tremendous numbers of people.

— Kathryn Bigelow

If commercialization is putting my art on a shirt so that a kid who can’t afford a $30,000 painting can buy one, then I’m all for it.

— Keith Haring

I was influenced by surrealist poetry and painting as were thousands of other people, and it seems to me to have become a part of the way I write, but it’s not.

— Kenneth Koch

The dog, the rabbit and the hoop all feature in the painting, and take the place of the orrery.

— Kit Williams

In the fairy tale the painting represents the here and now. The book is actually divided into five sections, through which the key character, the muse, leads us.

— Kit Williams

You don’t need a framework. You need a painting, not a frame.

— Klaus Kinski

Painting is the aesthetic side of the object but it has never been original, has never been its own goal.

— Kazimir Malevich

When you make a painting, even abstract, there is always a sort of necessary filling-in.

— Marcel Duchamp

In the ‘Nude Descending a Staircase,’ I wanted to create a static image of movement: movement is an abstraction, a deduction articulated within the painting, without our knowing if a real person is or isn’t descending an equally real staircase.

— Marcel Duchamp

Marcel, no more painting go get a job.

— Marcel Duchamp

All painting, beginning with Impressionism, is antiscientific, even Seurat. I was interested in introducing the precise and exact aspect of science, which hadn’t often been done, or at least hadn’t been talked about very much.

— Marcel Duchamp

Since Courbet, it’s been believed that painting is addressed to the retina. That was everyone’s error. The retinal shudder! Before, painting had other functions: it could be religious, philosophical, moral… our whole century is completely retinal, except for the Surrealists, who tried to go outside it somewhat.

— Marcel Duchamp

I have always loved contemporary dance, but it has always been a bit of a mystery to me. But choreography is very much like what I do when you are putting characters in frame on the page. It’s so impressive what they do with their bodies. It’s like painting: an abstraction.

— Michael Leunig

I have ridiculously bad eyesight, but I have learned to live with an impressionistic view. Life is a Monet painting. I wander around enjoying myopia.

— Milo Yiannopoulos

If I had a Salvador Dali painting, I would cuddle it to sleep.

— Mac Miller

The thrill of a photo-realist painter is if you get really close to the painting, it looks just like a photograph. Whereas in my case, if you get close to my paintings, they totally fall apart – so I’m about as far from a photo-realist as it gets.

— Marilyn Minter

I believe in the ethos of the remix, like Andy Warhol making a painting of a Campbell’s soup label.

— Mike Posner

Sketching is like dancing. It’s process as much as product. You can turn your head off and just sort of dissolve into the now. Doing a giant, super thought-out painting is the opposite of that.

— Molly Crabapple

The time that I devote to painting is not a lot of time, but I do it 100 percent while I am working, and then there’s nothing else that counts.

— Margrethe II of Denmark

I hardly need to abstract things, for each object is unreal enough already, so unreal that I can only make it real by means of painting.

— Max Beckmann

I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. Then, I got in trouble for painting like this on the wall, but now, I get paid for it.

— Michael Israel

I want to give my compliments to Australia. Ever since your government paid a few million dollars for a Jackson Pollack painting, I figure that it must be a marvellous country.

— Morton Feldman

I am a creative person. I like painting, singing, dancing, etc.

— Mouni Roy

Around 1980, I went back to painting with a vengeance.

— Martin Mull

Good painting is like good cooking it can be tasted, but not explained.

— Maurice de Vlaminck

When I was in art college, I would be painting, and I would create something on a canvas that was actually quite attractive. But if I got frightened and tried to protect that, that canvas would die.

— Michael Ironside

I do remember when it occurred to me the first time, when I got the idea of painting the way I feel at a given moment. I was sitting in a chair and felt it pressing against me. I still have the drawings where I depicted the sensation of sitting.

— Maria Lassnig

I’ve painted in the past, but I only average about one painting a year, and the last painting I did, I actually really liked.

— Mike Mignola

There’s a ton of stuff in mythology and folklore that is loaded with wonderful creatures that I haven’t drawn yet, but that’s kind of my retirement plan. Theoretically, I won’t be doing comics any longer, and I’ll just be drawing and painting whatever the hell I want. Most of that will be monsters.

— Mike Mignola

Remember that a painting – before it is a battle horse, a nude model, or some anecdote – is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order.

— Maurice Denis

Painting is not for me either decorative amusement, or the plastic invention of felt reality it must be every time: invention, discovery, revelation.

— Max Ernst

People say, ‘Why don’t you just paint with paintbrushes?’ I say that I feel more connected to my painting using my skin. It’s very tribal in a way – savage!

— Meredith Ostrom

My hobbies are painting, crafts, and I like golfing.

— Nancy Kerrigan

I became an American on Nov. 4, 2010, at an elegant ceremony in Great Hall of Bullfinch’s Faneuil Hall, Boston, beneath a vast painting of Daniel Webster debating the preservation of the Union with Robert Hayne of South Carolina, before the Civil War.

— Nigel Hamilton

Only by painting the great panorama of history, can the great history-reading public be entertained or satisfied.

— Norman Davies

I didn’t know what to expect from a famous movie star maybe that he’d be sort of stuck-up, you know. But not Gary Cooper. He horsed around so much… that I had a hard time painting him.

— Norman Rockwell

I did photography, painting, and drawing, but I prefer sculpture. I like it because it’s very physical.

— P. J. Harvey

One must act in painting as in life, directly.

— Pablo Picasso

Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.

— Pablo Picasso

Painting is damned difficult – you always think you’ve got it, but you haven’t.

— Paul Cezanne

I’m old fashioned. I really think you should know how to draw before you start painting. I use charcoal and graphite I put a skylight in. In my house, I turned the garage into an art studio. So I’m awash in art studios.

— Peter Falk

So when I’m playing, I’m sort of painting a feeling in the air.

— Pharrell Williams

True Boogie-Woogie I conceive as homogeneous in intention with mine in painting: destruction of melody, which is the equivalent of destruction of natural appearance, and construction through the continuous opposition of pure means – dynamic rhythm.

— Piet Mondrian

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.

— Plutarch

If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.

— Peter Shaffer

Painting is seen as picture making, the making of an art object, something that can stand on its own.

— Peter Wright

I never know what it’s going to look like. Wouldn’t be much point in painting if I already knew the outcome. I have a subject in front of me and I start flooding colour and making marks, I don’t know, it’s improvisation isn’t it?

— Peter Wright

The painting is not on a surface, but on a plane which is imagined. It moves in a mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so that what you see is not what you see.

— Philip Guston

Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.

— Philip Guston

I don’t know what a painting is who knows what sets off even the desire to paint? It might be things, thoughts, a memory, sensations, which have nothing to do directly with painting itself. They can come from anything and anywhere.

— Philip Guston

I love putting paint on canvas, getting lost in the process of painting.

— Paul Simonon

I’m not knocking conceptual art it’s another department, but it doesn’t move me like painting.

— Paul Simonon

When I am in New York, you know, my studio is big, about 20,000 to 25,000 square feet, and I have painting rooms and rooms I do etching in, rooms I do lithographs.

— Peter Max

I try to vote as left as I can. I hope that my paintings will coincide and be far left, but frequently… the painting rebels and goes fascist on me.

— Peter Saul

It’s still an escape for me, painting, so it also takes me elsewhere. I don’t think I would do it otherwise.

— Peter Doig

I don’t think money can help you become a better painter, for sure. You can have all the studios you want it won’t help you make a better painting.

— Peter Doig

You cannot just be working in a vast, air-conditioned loft space and think you are going to make a decent painting. Francis Bacon had a special studio built, and he felt completely emasculated in there. I have to be somewhere comfortable.

— Peter Doig

What is bad painting? Picabia made some deliberately bad paintings, but they were by him, so great in a way.

— Peter Doig

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Abstract painting seeks to be a pure pictorial language, and thus attempts to escape the essential impurity of all languages: the recourse to signs or forms that have meanings shared by everyone.

— Octavio Paz

Futurists wanted to suggest movement by means of a dynamic painting Duchamp applies the notion of delay – or, rather, or analysis – to movement.

— Octavio Paz

Pomegranate,’ started with my imagining a bullet going through the fruit and causing it to bleed. My initial associations were with pomegranates in old masters painting and their Judeo-Christian symbolism.

— Ori Gersht

Painting was a problem – you produce a thing, and then you sell it and get money, and that was quickly considered totally uncool.

— Rachel Kushner

Well, one always has an instinct to be a painter, and I’ve done quite a lot of painting at one time or another, though not with any public success.

— Quentin Blake

Not that painting would have been a release. The reason for doing it is the desire to create. I’ve got to do it! I’ve seen that, I can still remember it, I’ve got to paint it.

— Otto Dix

When me and Sheila got married, all we had was an oval table, four chairs, a bed, and a painting by Matthew Smith.

— Richard Attenborough

Painting, sculpture and architecture are finished, but the art habit continues.

— Robert Smithson

I’d always loved writing, in the same way that I’d loved painting. I wouldn’t have seen it as a career.

— Robyn Davidson

What is the use of good painting? We want a spell cast upon the optical part of our existence! We seldom really see the world, but when we do, we become as still as a picture.

— Robert Musil

I was really serious about painting, so I could never be a Sunday painter. You can’t just switch it on and off.

— Roger Rees

I have a little studio in Chinatown, and I sometimes go there and rearrange my brushes. But I would have to stop acting altogether in order to become a painter. At the moment, I’m still interested and active as an actor and director. Besides, I rather think acting and painting are all part of the same creative urge.

— Roger Rees

Sitting in the Oval Office, beneath a painting of George Washington, with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. over his right shoulder and a bust of Abraham Lincoln over his left shoulder, Obama told ‘National Journal’ that the country’s economic woes are deep and endemic.

— Ron Fournier

My painting is visible images which conceal nothing… they evoke mystery and indeed when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question ‘What does that mean’? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.

— Rene Magritte

I slowly dismantled the act of painting, to consider the possibility that no-thing ever really transcends its immediate environment.

— Robert Irwin

I’m not so facile that I can accomplish or find out what I want to know or explore enough of the possibilities and a way of making a painting, say, in just one painting or two paintings.

— Robert Rauschenberg

Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn’t look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself.

— Roy Lichtenstein

But when I worked on a painting I would do it from a drawing but I would put certain things I was fairly sure I wanted in the painting, and then collage on the painting with printed dots or painted paper or something before I really committed it.

— Roy Lichtenstein

Yes, you know sometimes, we started out thinking out how strange our painting was next to normal painting, which was anything expressionist. You forget that this has been thirty five years now and people don’t look at it as if it were some kind of oddity.

— Roy Lichtenstein

When children draw or do rudimentary painting, the whole human being develops an interest in what is being done. This is why we should allow writing to develop from drawing.

— Rudolf Steiner

I was painting sets, working in editorial as an assistant, driving their trucks, lying that I knew how to drive a truck, and doing commercials and documentaries.

— Richard Donner

Well, I’ve been painting for years. I just started doing a lot more in the last couple.

— Robyn Hitchcock

Being in the studio is like painting, you know, you can really take your time, and try different things, and kind of go deep into it.

— Rosanne Cash

I’m a classically trained painter, and I was an illustrator in New York working with Fortune 500s companies as well as the NBA and the Olympics. I first got into sculpting when I created a sculpture based on a painting I had done for the 1984 Olympics.

— Richard MacDonald

Painting, for me, is a dynamic balance and wholeness of life it is mysterious and transcending, yet solid and real.

— Richard Pousette-Dart

In abstract painting, I worried about the limited range of possibilities that, as time went on, became increasingly important to me. I wanted to express or deal with differences that an all-over paint and canvas ‘presence’ neutralized.

— Richard Diebenkorn

With rare exceptions, I respond most to painting that cuts across grain rather than following it. I think the artist here can get in touch with that grain rather than simply feel its flow. And he really can’t cut right across it anyway.

— Richard Diebenkorn

I used to do stop motion in my own garage and Claymation and all that stuff. That led to doing backgrounds and matte paintings. I started doing matte paintings professionally back before the computer, sort of painting on glass.

— Robert Stromberg

I think of my peace paintings as one long poem, with each painting being a single stanza.

— Robert Indiana

All art began as sacred art, you know? I mean, all painting began as religious painting. All writing began as religious writing.

— Salman Rushdie

As a teenager, I was really interested in drama and art. I did painting and drawing. I did some acting and loved theater.

— Sarah Gavron

Illustrating is more about communicating specific ideas to a reader. Painting is more like pure science, more about the act of painting.

— Shaun Tan

We feel closer to the drawings on the walls of Chauvet than the painting of, say, an Egyptian mural. These artists are not remote ancestors they are brothers. They saw like us they drew like us. We wear essentially the same clothes against the cold.

— Simon McBurney

For me, acting is about the art of it and it’s about being on a film set and doing your thing, painting a blank canvas.

— Shailene Woodley

Because I was traveling a lot during the ’70s, the only thing I could do on the road was take photographs, so there wasn’t much painting during those years.

— Sigmar Polke

To feel the grace of God in a painting of the dear, quiet commonness of a domestic interior, or in a landscape, seascape, cityscape, trains us to feel the grace of God in the thing itself in situ.

— Susan Vreeland

The idea of being close to where pigments were mined – that’s the first thing in making a painting, getting the material. And what’s the last thing you do in making a painting? You put a frame around it.

— Susan Vreeland

Painting keeps me occupied in those moments when travel can be aimless and even disorienting. Mainly it is a way to register at least some of the new impressions of a foreign place, when its thrilling barrage can sometimes overwhelm you.

— Susan Minot

I still have agents in France, Los Angeles and Amsterdam who call and suggest parts. I’d love to keep on doing both painting and acting until the end of my days.

— Sylvia Kristel

Now why should the cinema follow the forms of theater and painting rather than the methodology of language, which allows wholly new concepts of ideas to arise from the combination of two concrete denotations of two concrete objects?

— Sergei Eisenstein

For example, in painting the form arises from abstract elements of line and color, while in cinema the material concreteness of the image within the frame presents – as an element – the greatest difficulty in manipulation.

— Sergei Eisenstein

In the end, the gesture of painting becomes almost meditative, like a ritual.

— Shahzia Sikander

My whole purpose of taking on miniature painting was to break the tradition, to experiment with it, to find new ways of making meaning, to question the relevance of it.

— Shahzia Sikander

You know, when I was younger I was into all kinds of art – drawing, painting, all that stuff. But I played drums, played piano forever.

— Shooter Jennings

I do all these various activities like painting and writing, comedy and films probably because not that I’m good at everything but because I’m not good at any of these things.

— Takeshi Kitano

Treasure is the kind of thing you dig up… or bury! And when people say, ‘Oh, he’s an icon,’ well, an icon is a very old painting hanging in a Russian church! If you want to say something, say something nice about me. Don’t call me a national treasure.

— Terry Wogan

Is the Mona Lisa an ‘accurate’ representation of the actual human model for the painting? Who knows? Who cares? It’s a great piece of art. It moves us. It makes us wonder, makes us gape – finally makes us look inward at ourselves.

— Tim O’Brien

It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it’s a painting, and if you can walk around it it’s a sculpture.

— Tom Stoppard

Frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can’t see a painting.

— Tom Wolfe

I started formal piano training when I was 4. From there I had little violas, and I had dancing lessons of every sort and description, and painting lessons. I had German. And shorthand.

— Twyla Tharp

As a kid, I wanted to be a sportscaster. On the radio. I loved the idea of painting a picture. I didn’t want to be on TV. I wanted to be Jon Miller, who called all the Orioles games.

— Thomas Kail

Most artists never get a chance to be Picasso, but that doesn’t mean you would stop painting.

— Teddy Thompson

For the general public, my work is sometimes easier than a painting because there is someone addressing you it can actually be a relief. What’s interesting is the idea of a tourist randomly coming in and the experience they’ll have.

— Tino Sehgal

But where there is no art show, I would still be painting.

— Tony Curtis

How are we going to make painters by lecturing to them? We are going to make questioners, doubters, and talkers. We are going to make painters by painting ourselves, and by showing the paintings of others. By working frankly from our convictions, we are going to make them work frankly from theirs.

— William Morris Hunt

Poetry fettered, fetters the human race. Nations are destroyed or flourish in proportion as their poetry, painting, and music are destroyed or flourish.

— William Blake

If it weren’t for painting, I wouldn’t live I couldn’t bear the extra strain of things.

— Winston Churchill

If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.

— William Lyon Phelps

When I first started painting candyland imagery, I was looking for the best possible metaphor for everything that is pleasure, desire and insatiability.

— Will Cotton

In a movie, you’re raw material, just a hue of some color and the director makes the painting.

— Viggo Mortensen

If I say ‘Find me an interesting painting’ to Google, someday a robot could go around the Picasso museum and take a picture for me.

— Vijay Kumar

Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion.

— Vincent Van Gogh

My grandmother was fond of painting and playing the piano. She had been given lessons by Emmanuel Chabrier, who used to spend the summer months in nearby Membrolle.

— Yves Chauvin

The painting develops before my eyes, unfolding its surprises as it progresses. It is this which gives me the sense of complete liberty, and for this reason I am incapable of forming a plan or making a sketch beforehand.

— Yves Tanguy
Painting Quotes

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