I enjoy thinking and talking about art and how people experience it. Below are some of my favorite quotations about art. If you have a quotation that you’d like to share, please email it to me—I’d like to see it. Enjoy!

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say in any other way—things I had no words for.

Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986)

Art is man reaching above himself, reaching for the angels.

Allan Stone (1932-2006)

That’s what fascinates me—to make something I can never be sure of, and no one else can either….That’s the way art is.

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)

Looking isn’t as simple as it looks. Art teaches people how to see.

Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967)

I begin painting with a series of mistakes. The painting comes out of the correction of mistakes by feeling. I begin with shapes and colors, which are not related internally nor to the external world; I work without images.

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)

I strive to express the spiritual nature of the Universe. Painting is for me a dynamic balance and wholeness of life; it is mysterious and transcending, yet solid and real.

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916-1992)

The picture is not thought out and determined beforehand, rather while it’s being made it follows the mobility of thought.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

The true work of art is but a shadow of divine perfection.

Michelangelo (1475-1564)

When you see a fish you don’t think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water. Well, I’ve tried to express just that. If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement, give a pattern or shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit.

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957)

Another thing about creation is that every day it is like it gave birth, and it’s always kind of innocent and refreshing. So it’s always virginal to me, and it’s always a surprise.

Louise Nevelson (1900-1988)

Look toward what is hidden.

Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967)

Real painters understand with a brush in their hand…. What does anyone do with rules? Nothing worthwhile. What’s needed is new, personal sensations; and where to learn those?

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul. Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.

Luke Syson, Curator, London (speaking of da Vinci's paintings)

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

I found many of these quotations in an excellent book, Artist to Artist: Inspiration & Advice from Artists Past and Present, compiled by Clint Brown (Jackson Creek Press, Corvallis, Oregon,1998).