Vincent Van Gogh self portrait painting on wallPhoto Credit: Alina Grubnyak

252 Inspiring Quotes About Art and Being an Artist

Whether you are an artist or just appreciate the amazing art that others create, these are the best art quotes we could find, many by great artists and art teachers, for you to read, ponder, and enjoy! We hope they bring you inspiration and joy and if they do, please share with others.


Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.



There is no blue without yellow and without orange.



A picture is a poem without words.



Great art can only be created out of love.



All art is a kind of confession.

Longer Version:

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.



I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that's the job of art.



Every piece of art is a mirror and serves the function of reflectivity to expose to you and reveal to you more of who you are.



I've learned that I'm most powerful when I'm doing my art.



Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.



Of late years (perhaps as a result of our political changes) art has borrowed from history more than ever.



As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art.



If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle.



Artwork is a representation of our devotion to life.



The value of art is in the observer.



The R.O.I. from funding public art is $infinity.



Art is man added to Nature.



You can't rush an art form.



Freedom is the soul of art.



Art is the child of Nature.

Longer Version:

Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mothers face.



Art is a form of catharsis.



Art is born in attention.



A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.



True artists scorn nothing.



Art is a jealous mistress.

Longer Version:

Art is a jealous mistress; and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.



Art is a way of survival.



All art is quite useless.



There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.



Making art is a journey.



The big art is our life.



Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.



Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.



The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.





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



Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.



If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.



Seeing is not enough; you have to feel what you photograph.



Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.



Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity at the same time is ideal.



Use your blood to paint. Keep painting until you faint. Keep painting until you die.



Painter, paint!



A simple line painted with the brush can lead to freedom and happiness.



A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.



Every morning when I wake up, I experience an exquisite joy --the joy of being Salvador Dalí-- and I ask myself in rapture: What wonderful things is this Salvador Dalí going to accomplish today?



Art is to console those who are broken by life.





We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.



One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.



I dream my painting and I paint my dream.



I know I will leave my work unfinished. I just hope I planted enough seeds in my children and grandchildren that they will continue.



No great work of art is ever finished.



Above all, an artist must never be too easily satisfied with what he has done.



Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.



Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.



It is only after years of preparation that the young artist should touch color -- not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression.



You need the dark in order to show the light.



An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please.



I am an artist because the knot is so powerful I just can not, nor want to be, anything else or do anything else.



What art offers is space -- a certain breathing room for the spirit.



Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.



In art, and in the higher ranges of science, there is a feeling of harmony which underlies all endeavor. There is no true greatness in art or science without that sense of harmony.



The purpose of art is mystery.



Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.



He only moves toward the perfection of his art whose criticism surpasses his achievement.



The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.



If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.



The public wants to understand and learn in a single day, a single minute, what the artist has spent years learning.



I would like to paint the way a bird sings.



The true painter must be able, with the most usual things, to have the most unusual ideas.



It is a tragedy that we live in a world where physical courage is so common, and moral courage is so rare.



Not everyone is capable of madness; and of those lucky enough to be capable, not many have the courage for it.



People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings.



What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.



Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.



Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.



Bus stops are far more interesting and useful places to have art than in museums.

Longer Version:

Bus stops are far more interesting and useful places to have art than in museums. Graffiti has more chance of meaning something or changing stuff than anything indoors. Graffiti has been used to start revolutions, stop wars, and generally is the voice of people who aren't listened to. Graffiti is one of those few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make somebody smile while they're having a piss.



I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint.



If you understand a painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it.



The fact I myself do not understand what my paintings mean while I am painting them does not imply that they are meaningless.



If I close my eyes, I see things better than with my eyes open.



One must spoil as many canvases as one succeeds with.



Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.



Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I accomplish.



Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does, the better.



To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.



He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.



Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.



A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others.



I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.



All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.



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

Longer Version:

The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting

down every day and trying. Why is this important? Because when we sit down day after

day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set in

motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist

in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose.



To be great, art has to point somewhere.



Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.



To create, one must first question everything.



Knowing how to look is a way of inventing.



Life is too short to remain unnoticed.



I must have flowers, always, and always.



I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.



Art is not a thing, it is a way.



The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.



Perspective is to painting what the bridle is to the horse, the rudder to a ship.



The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.



Art is coming face to face with yourself.



Art is a line around your thoughts.



To be an artist is to believe in life.



Intensity is all that matters in painting.



A true masterpiece does not tell everything.



Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom.



Art is a way of recognizing oneself.



Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.



I am not strange. I am just not normal.



I guess I'm a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That's okay though; I have more fun than most people.



If you hear a voice within you saying, You are not a painter, then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.



I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.



Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.



A work is finished when an artist realizes his intentions.



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.



The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.



To be an artist, you need to exist in a world of silence.



I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.


Vincent Van Gogh self portrait painting on wall

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