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Whenever I'm feeling a lack of motivation I browse this site of artist's quotes to remind me why I love art so much and creating. You may find some sparks in there too.
Would love to see any quotes that inspired you :)


  • Intothevoid

    Thanks. A good resource.

    I always quote these pithy gems by Robert Hughes, a tragic genius.

    "The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."

    "The new job of art is to sit on the wall and get more expensive."

    "One gets tired of the role critics are supposed to have in this culture: it's like being the piano player in a whorehouse; you don't have any control over the action going on upstairs."

    Hughes on Caravaggio: "Popular in our time, unpopular in his. So runs the stereotype of rejected genius." 

    "So much of art – not all of it thank god, but a lot of it – has just become a kind of cruddy game for the self-aggrandisement of the rich and the ignorant, it is a kind of bad but useful business." 

    "A Gustave Courbet portrait of a trout has more death in it than Rubens could get in a whole Crucifixion."

    "In art there is no progress, only fluctuations of intensity." 

    Hughes on Cezanne: "The idea that doubt can be heroic, if it is locked into a structure as grand as that of the paintings of Cezanne's old age, is one of the keys to our century. A touchstone of modernity itself."

    "Landscape is to American painting what sex and psychoanalysis are to the American novel."

    "What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants."

    "I have never been against new art as such; some of it is good, much is crap, most is somewhere in between."

    "There is virtue in virtuosity, especially today, when it protects us from the tedious spectacle of ineptitude."

    "What does one prefer? An art that struggles to change the social contract, but fails? Or one that seeks to please and amuse, and succeeds?"

    "An ideal museum show would be a mating of Brideshead Revisited with House & Garden, provoking intense and pleasurable nostalgia for a past that none of its audience has had."

    "Drawing never dies, it holds on by the skin of its teeth, because the hunger it satisfies – the desire for an active, investigative, manually vivid relation with the things we see and yearn to know about – is apparently immortal."

    "A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop." 

    "The auction room, as anyone knows, is an excellent medium for sustaining fictional price levels, because the public imagines that auction prices are necessarily real prices."

    "Can it be that the artist who paints flowers starts at a disadvantage? Almost certainly. To many people botanical subjects seem not altogether serious ... a kind of pictorial relaxation, an easy matter compared to landscape or the human figure."

    "Nothing they design ever gets in the way of a work of art."

    "What strip mining is to nature the art market has become to culture."

  • edited March 23
    @IntothevoidThanks for posting.

    One of my favourite quotes is ...

    “In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s  there are few”.

    Shunryo Suzuki 

    I find it a good approach to keep in mind in many aspects of life, including my approach in creating art.
  • I will definitely be looking at this site.  Thanks so much for sharing.  I have a question maybe @dencal can help with.  How do you get the gray box with the quotes in your post?  I see that done here quoting previous posts in a thread and have yet to figure that out.  Thanks!
  • A_Time_To_Paint

    Preselect your text and then select quote from the menu.
    ‘Or, select quote from the menu and paste text in, or type directly into quote box.

  • @Dencal, I love the quotes from Robert Hughes.  He was a damned good writer and critic. His The Art of Australia  (1966) was the best book ever written on Australian Art. I've treasured it and kept reading it for decades.  :) 
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