Here are some quotes that I enjoy, that inspire, challenge, provoke, entertain.  I am glad someone has put them to paper.  It is followed by a few of my own thoughts.  I will occasionally add to each.


A picture is a poem without words. - Horace

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. - Pablo Picasso

The work of art is a scream of freedom. - Christo

Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is. Jackson Pollock

When artists make art, they shouldn't question whether it is permissible to do one thing or another. - Sol LeWitt

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. - Friedrich Nietzsche

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done. - Vincent Van Gogh

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. -  Albert Einstein

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud. - Emile Zola

Creativity takes courage. - Henri Matisse

A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.

-Diane Arbus

If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it. - John Lennon

 The chief enemy of creativity is good sense. - Pablo Picasso

Nature is a haunted house--but Art--is a house that tries to be haunted. 

- Emily Dickinson

I neither agree with nor engage with every aspect of Ad Reinhardt’s declarations, but from early on in my exposure to his writings, many of his thoughts seem important and worth consideration.  GS

Abstract painting is not just another school or movement or style but the first truly unmannered and untrammeled and un-entangled, styleless, universal painting. - Ad Reinhardt

The only way to say what abstract is, is to say what it is not. Ad Reinhardt

The one thing to say about art is that it is one thing. Art is art-as-art and everything else is everything else. Art as art is nothing but art. Art is not what is not art. - Ad Reinhardt

The ugliest spectacle is that of artists selling themselves. Art as a commodity is an ugly idea... The artist as businessman is uglier than the businessman as artist. - Ad Reinhardt

As an artist, I would like to eliminate the symbolic pretty much, for black is interesting not as a color but as a non-color and as the absence of color. 

- Ad Reinhardt

I want to emphasize the idea of black as intellectuality and conventionality.

- Ad Reinhardt

My painting represents the victory of the forces of darkness and peace over the powers of light and evil. - Ad Reinhardt

Only a bad artist thinks he has a good idea. A good artist does not need anything. - Ad Reinhardt

Why is art beautiful? Because it's useless. Why is life ugly? Because it's all ends and purposes and intentions. - Fernando Pessoa

There is nothing ugly in art except that which is without character, that is to say, that which offers no outer or inner truth. - Auguste Renoir

Beauty is the promise of happiness. - Henri Rousseau

Death is the mother of beauty. Only the perishable can be beautiful, which is why we are unmoved by artificial flowers. - Wallace Stevens


It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. - Leo Tolstoy


Something from Nothing

How much risk is necessary?

How much reward is sufficient?

Countless failures are part of living. Recognizing them and the finiteness of life can make for clearer thought and more artistic activity

Color is interesting. A little or a lot. It is not necessary. It radically alters things.
All things change all the time and so much of it is unpredictable, unexpected, destabilizing, and eventually overwhelming. (It is for this reason we seek the comfort and delusion of what seems permanent, the familiar, the landscape, the rock, the family ties, the place called “home,” the sculpture,
the painting, the memory, the habits, the objects of the past, accumulation of goods and of wealth as psychological and literal buffers, protection from the onslaught of change.) Is this a problem? I wonder. It is so easy to destroy and criticize. It is the invention, the production, construction, making something,
anything that works and keeps working that is the challenge and has so much more value. To be willing to commit to the latter, to divest oneself of the former, now that is worth the risk. The arts offer some amount of thought, reflection, revelation, inspiration, beauty, stepping outside the routine of the day, if
and when the work is successful and made available. Other activities offer more direct and sustained social benefit when successful, the work of the doctor, the social worker, the architect, the manual laborer. Herein lies a dilemma for those who choose to make art.

Willingness to be open, to play and experiment is key

Start with a thought, a seed of an idea, a color, a shape, a mark, and then run with it, let it grow with what you know, what chances you want to take, what experiments of addition, subtraction, dedication to the idea or radical moments of subversion of the developing form. This is the moment, the play, the
expression that when successful, even in the simplest of works, something authentic and worth contemplating.

Works that incorporate words, photos, figures, physical objects, hybrids that are not the painter’s clay - media like paint or charcoal, the liquids and powders that evolve into a more particular homogeneous experience of something molded literally from the ground up – works that include preformed,
identifiable elements that bring with them a set of familiar, other characteristics and responses are intrinsically less romantic because of the heightened conscious response that engages these disparate experiences and the inherent effort to relate, merge and to separate, experience as unified while
tending to deconstruct and isolate. This hybridization offers their particular power and makes these works different. It challenges the viewer’s access to the depth and duration of psychological space that some single media, 2-D work allows. It can be argued that hybrid works are more a part of our times. It may be argued that homogeneous works have some universal, timeless quality. What art can meaningfully address and convey the woes of society, particularly in this culture of art as commodity, art as aesthetic object as decoration to muse over and move on? How can forms that are perceived as, approached, received as objects and images to be viewed and judged for their aesthetic qualities, their conceptual underpinnings, their embedded mystery or their spectacular, provocative
surfaces, finishes, constructions, scale, technical merits, tantalizing or charged, provocative imagery, market value, entertainment value, how can art rise beyond all this, even with the power of marketing, and have “political” or “social” content? It is very difficult to imagine, at least in any traditional form
that is labeled “art.”