Art

Art should be something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue. — Henri Matisse

Art

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too. — W.H. Murray

Banksy

Art should comfort the disturbed
and disturb the comfortable.

Modern art is a disaster area

The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.

A wall is a very big weapon

A wall is a very big weapon. It's one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with.

The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over

The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Any fame is a by-product of making something that means something. You don't go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.

All artists are willing to suffer for their work

All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?

If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit. — Banksy

Jean-Michel Basquiat

I like kids' work more than work by real artists any day.

I think I make art for myself

I think I make art for myself, but ultimately I think I make it for the world.

I don’t know anybody who needs a critic

I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.

I try to think about life

I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art while I work. I try to think about life.

If you wanna talk about influence

If you wanna talk about influence, man, then you’ve got to realise that influence is not influence. It’s simply someone’s idea going through my new mind.

I was trying to communicate an idea

I was trying to communicate an idea; I was trying to paint a very urban landscape. I was trying to make paintings different from the paintings that I saw a lot of at the time, which were mostly minimal, and they were highbrow and alienating, and I wanted to make very direct paintings that most people would feel the emotion behind when they saw them.

I am an artist

I am not a black artist, I am an artist.

The more I paint the more I like everything.  —Jean-Michel Basquiat

Beethoven

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.

There ought to be an artistic depot

There ought to be an artistic depot where the artist need only hand in his artwork in order to receive what he asks for. As things are, one must be half a business man, and how can one understand - good heavens! - that's what I really call troublesome.

The true artist has no pride

The true artist has no pride. He sees unfortunately that art has no limits; he has a vague awareness of how far he is from reaching his goal; and while others may perhaps admire him, he laments the fact that he has not yet reached the point whither his better genius only lights the way for him like a distant sun.

It seemed unthinkable for me

It seemed unthinkable for me to leave the world forever before I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce.

The barriers are not erected which can say to [aspiring] talents and industry, “Thus far and no farther.

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, thus far and no farther.

Only art and science can raise men to the level of gods. — Beethoven

Charles Bukowski

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way.
An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.

The way to create art is to burn and destroy

The way to create art is to burn and destroy ordinary concepts and to substitute them with new truths that run down from the top of the head and out of the heart.

Some people like what you do

Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do, but most people simply don’t give a damn.

Nobody can save you but yourself

You will be put again and again into nearly impossible situations. They will attempt again and again through subterfuge, guise and force to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly inside. 

Nobody can save you but yourself and it will be easy enough to fail so very easily but don’t, don’t, don’t. just watch them. Listen to them. 

Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving

Do you want to be like that? A faceless, mindless, heartless being? Do you want to experience death before death? Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it. Think about it. Think about saving your self.

Love yourself first

If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.

Some people never go crazy

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.

Boring damned people

Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire. — Charles Bukowski

Brian Eno

Art is not an object, but a trigger for experience.

Stop thinking about art works as objects

Stop thinking about art works as objects and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. What makes a work of art good for you is not something that s already inside it but something that happens inside you.

Attention is what creates value

Attention is what creates value. Artworks are made as well by how people interact with them - and therefore by what quality of interaction they can inspire.

Trying to see what ways of working feel good, what feels right

One of the things you're doing when you make art, apart from entertaining yourself and other people, is trying to see what ways of working feel good, what feels right.

I've had quite a lot of luck with dreams

I've had quite a lot of luck with dreams. I've often awoken in the night with a phrase or even a whole song in my head.

You have to make them let go.

If you want to make someone feel emotion, you have to make them let go.

Abandoning control and finding out what happens

I set up situations that involve abandoning control and finding out what happens.

Remain ready to produce great stuff

The point about working is not to produce great stuff all the time, but to remain ready for when you can.

If something is good, you must torture it mercilessly until it is either dead or great.

If something is good, you must torture it mercilessly until it is either dead or great.

Torture it mercilessly until it is either dead or great

If something is good, you must torture it mercilessly until it is either dead or great.

Put out as much as you can

Put out as much as you can. It doesn't do anything sitting on a shelf.

You don't have to act as if you know what you're doing. — Brian Eno

Neil Gaiman

The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. 

I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

Make glorious, amazing mistakes

Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

When things get tough, make good art

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.

The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right

The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.

If I did the work I was proud of and I didn't get the money, at least I'd have the work

I decided that I would do my best in the future not to write books just for money. If you didn't get the money then you didn't have anything. If I did the work I was proud of and I didn't get the money, at least I'd have the work.

If you’re making mistakes

If you’re making mistakes it means you’re out there doing something.

Make up your own rules

The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are. So make up your own rules.

Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. — Neil Gaiman

Andreas Gursky

Vision is an intelligent form of thought.

I stand at a distance

I stand at a distance, like a person who comes from another world.

The human species and its environment

I am never interested in the individual, but in the human species and its environment.

I subjugate the real situation

 My pictures really are becoming increasingly formal and abstract. A visual structure appears to dominate the real events shown in my pictures. I subjugate the real situation to my artistic concept of the picture.

I pursue one goal

I pursue one goal the encyclopaedia of life.

In retrospect I can see that my desire to create abstractions has become more and more radical. Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be looking at what's behind something. — Andreas Gursky

Paul Klee

One eye sees, the other feels.
See with one eye, feel with the other.

Art should be like a holiday

Art should be like a holiday: something to give a man the opportunity to see things differently and to change his point of view.

Art makes us see

Art does not reproduce what we see.
It makes us see.

All the things an artist must be

All the things an artist must be: poet, explorer of nature, philosopher!

There is no substitute for intuition

There is no substitute for intuition. We construct and keep on constructing, yet intuition is still a good thing.

A happy world brings forth an art of the here and now

The more horrible this world (as today, for instance), the more abstract our art, whereas a happy world brings forth an art of the here and now.

The art of mastering life

The art of mastering life is the prerequisite for all further forms of expression, whether they are paintings, sculptures, tragedies, or musical compositions.

He has found his style, when he cannot do otherwise.

He has found his style, when he cannot do otherwise.

Nothing can be rushed

Nothing can be rushed. It must grow, it should grow of itself, and if the time ever comes for that work, then so much the better!

Everything passes

Everything passes, and what remains of former times, what remains of life, is the spiritual. In everything we do, the claim of the Absolute is unchanging.

Becoming is more important than being

It is precisely the way which is productive - this is the essential thing; becoming is more important than being.

The artist of today is more complex, richer, and wider

The artist of today is more than an improved camera, he is more complex, richer, and wider. He is a creature on the earth and a creature within the whole, that is, a creature on a star among stars.

To be almost primitive

I want to be as though newborn. To be almost primitive.

Make chance essential. — Paul Klee

Henri Matisse

Art should be something like a good armchair
in which to rest from physical fatigue.

The struggle an artist wages with his limited medium

Much of the beauty that arises in art comes from the struggle an artist wages with his limited medium.

Truth and reality in art

Truth and reality in art do not arise until you no longer understand what you are doing and are capable of but nevertheless sense a power that grows in proportion to your resistance.

A young painter

A young painter who cannot liberate himself from the influence of past generations is digging his own grave.

You must forget all your theories

You must forget all your theories, all your ideas before the subject. What part of these is really your own will be expressed in your expression of the emotion awakened in you by the subject.

I knew this was my life

From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.

I always proceed from the simple to the complex

I do not distinguish between the construction of a book and that of a painting and I always proceed from the simple to the complex.

The feeling for life and my way of expressing it

I am unable to distinguish between the feeling I have for life and my way of expressing it.

I only paint the difference between things

I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things.

The human figure

What interests me most is neither still life nor landscape: it is the human figure.

Slowly I discovered the secret of my art

Slowly I discovered the secret of my art. It consists of a meditation on nature, on the expression of a dream which is always inspired by reality. With more involvement and regularity, I learned to push each study in a certain direction. Little by little the notion that painting is a means of expression asserted itself, and that one can express the same thing in several ways. Exactitude is not truth, Delacroix liked to say.

All that is not useful in a picture is detrimental

All that is not useful in a picture is detrimental. A work of art must be harmonious in its entirety; for superfluous details would, in the mind of the beholder, encroach upon the essential elements.

Composition is the art of arranging

Composition is the art of arranging in a decorative manner the various elements which the painter uses to express his sentiments. In a picture every separate part will be visible and... everything which has no utility in the picture is for that reason harmful.

Creation is the artist's true function

Creation is the artist's true function; where there is no creation there is no art.

A work of art must carry in itself

A work of art must carry in itself its complete significance and impose it upon the beholder even before he can identify the subject-matter.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. — Henri Matisse

Friedrich Nietzsche

Art is the proper task of life.

Behave as if ones very existence were a work of art

One must give value to their existence by behaving as if ones very existence were a work of art.

a certain physiological precondition is indispensable

For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.

The man who is responsive to artistic stimuli

Thus the man who is responsive to artistic stimuli reacts to the reality of dreams as does the philosopher to the reality of existence; he observes closely, and he enjoys his observation: for it is out of these images that he interprets life, out of these processes that he trains himself for life.

Paint your happiness on the wall

Pardon me, my friends, I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall.

The essence of all great art is gratitude

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.

Art is essentially the deification of existence

Art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence.

No artist tolerates reality. — Friedrich Nietzsche

Osho

The distinction between subjective and objective art is basically meditation.

The distinction between subjective and objective art

The distinction between the subjective and the objective art is basically based on meditation. Anything that comes out of the mind will remain subjective art, and anything that comes out of no-mind, out of silence, out of meditation, will be objective art.

If doing comes out of your mind, full of thoughts, then it is subjective. If your doing pours out of silence, blissfulness, serenity, ecstasy, then the same doing has a different flavor, a different significance; it becomes objective.

All that has to be remembered is that it is coming out of a silence within you

This definition is simple and will destroy your confusion. Whether you are creating something -- you may be a sculptor, you may be a carpenter, you may be a painter, a poet, a singer, a musician -- all that has to be remembered is that it is coming out of a silence within you, that it has a spontaneity. It is not prearranged, preprogrammed, pre-thought. As you are creating something you go on being surprised yourself -- you have left yourself in the hands of existence.

Now your hands are not your own hands

Now your hands are not your own hands. They are simply following what the existence longs for. You are not to interfere, you have just to be a watcher -- a watcher of your own creative activity. From the doer you have to shift to being just a watcher.

Just leave your hands in the unknown

First cleanse yourself; let fresh breezes pass through you, let new flowers of silence blossom in you. Then you know the spring has come, and now you are in the hands of the unknown. Just leave your hands in the unknown, allow them to move not according to your wishes, but according to something bigger than you, something vaster than you. You will be surprised that they move, and you will be surprised that that movement is not coming from you -- it is coming from the beyond.

Just a little change -- let your meditation be your art...but meditation has the priority; art is only a by-product. Meditation cannot be a by-product of anything.

You are asking, "I have always felt my art to be my meditation, but is it still not a doing?"

It is. If art has the priority then it is a doing. If meditation has the priority then it is a non-doing. Just a small change makes such a tremendous change -- so mysterious, so beautiful, so delicious. You have given yourself into the hands of eternity. It is a deep offering.

This is the only prayer I know of. All your other prayers are just rubbish coming from the mind.

The subjective art is a kind of vomiting. You are filled with so much rubbish; you want to get rid of it, and the only way to get rid of it is to throw it on the canvas, on the musical instruments. Objective art is coming out of a silence so deep...it is almost an expression, to convey to you that this silence is possible in everybody. Objective art has a message. Subjective art has a madness. — Osho

Pablo Picasso

The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal.

The world doesn't make sense

The world doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?

A lifetime to paint like a child

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

God is really only another artist

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.

I begin with an idea

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.

To draw

To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.

Close your eyes and sing

The world doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?

Elimination of the unnecessary

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

Technique

The more technique you have the less you have to worry about it. The more technique there is the less there is. 

In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt

Matisse makes a drawing, then he makes a copy of it. He copies it five times, ten times, always clarifying the line. He’s convinced that the last, the most stripped down, is the best, the purest, the definitive one; and in fact, most of the time, it was the first. In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt

I begin with an idea

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.

We all know that Art is not truth

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realise truth at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.

You find art

You don't make art, you find it.

My hand tells me what I’m thinking. — Pablo Picasso


Steven Pressfield

The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.

We must do our work for its own sake

We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.

Creative work is not a selfish act

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.

We can't be anything we want to be

None of us are born as passive generic blobs waiting for the world to stamp its imprint on us. Instead we show up possessing already a highly refined and individuated soul.

Another way of thinking of it is: We're not born with unlimited choices.

We can't be anything we want to be.

We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we're stuck with it.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell whether he knows it or not

The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.

It’s better to be in the arena

It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot

This very moment, we can change our lives

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second, we can sit down and do our work. 

Rule of thumb

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

Success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work

The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.

Resistance is always full of shit

Resistance is always lying and always full of shit

The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling

The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don't believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

The best thing one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.

The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration

Trouble in her life prevents her from doing her work

The working artist will not tolerate trouble in her life because she knows trouble prevents her from doing her work.

This second, we can sit down and do our work. — Steven Pressfield

Freemind Newsletter

That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. — W.H. Murray

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