The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.
It is a tragedy that we live in a world where physical courage is so common, and moral courage is so rare.
I must have flowers, always, and always.
I'm not performing miracles, I'm using up and wasting a lot of paint.
I had so much fire in me and so many plans.
Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.
Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. To such an extent indeed that one day, finding myself at the deathbed of a woman who had been and still was very dear to me, I caught myself in the act of focusing on her temples and automatically analyzing the succession of appropriately graded colors which death was imposing on her motionless face.
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
Take clear water with grass waving at the bottom. It's wonderful to look at, but to try to paint it is enough to make one insane.
I want to paint the air in which the bridge, the house and the boat are to be found -- the beauty of the air around them, and that is nothing less than the impossible.
It seems to me that when I see nature I see it ready-made, completely written -- but then, try to do it!
I am pleased with the exhibition... everything on display was sold for a good price to decent people. It has been a long time since I believed that you could educate public taste.
What can be said about a man who is interested in nothing but his painting? It's a pity if a man can only interest himself in one thing. But I can't do any thing else. I have only one interest.
I've said it before and can only repeat that I owe everything to Boudin and I attribute my success to him. I came to be fascinated by his studies, the products of what I call instantaneity.
I intend to do a large painting of the cliff at Etretat, although it is terribly bold of me to do so after Courbet has painted it so admirably, but I will try to do it in a different way.
These landscapes of water and reflections have become an obsession. It's quite beyond my powers at my age, and yet I want to succeed in expressing what I feel.
Despite my exhaustion I have a devil of a time getting to sleep because of the rats above my bed and a pig who lives beneath my room.
I still have a lot of pleasure doing them, but as time goes by I come to appreciate more clearly which paintings are good and which should be discarded.
I'm enjoying the most perfect tranquillity, free from all worries, and in consequence would like to stay this way forever, in a peaceful corner of the countryside like this.
One is too taken up with all that one sees and hears in Paris, however strong one is, and what I do here in Etretat will at least have the merit of being unlike anyone else, at least I believe so, because it will simply be the expression of what I, and only I, have felt.
Techniques vary, art stays the same; it is a transposition of nature at once forceful and sensitive.
It really is appallingly difficult to do something which is complete in every respect, and I think most people are content with mere approximations. Well, my dear friend, I intend to battle on, scrape off and start again.
Now I really feel the landscape, I can be bold and include every tone of pink and blue: it's enchanting, it's delicious, and I hope it will please you.
Without the fog, London would not be a beautiful city. It is fog that gives it its magnificent amplitude...its regular and massive blocks become grandiose in that mysterious mantle.
The Thames was all gold. God it was beautiful, so fine that I began working a frenzy, following the sun and its reflections on the water.
I sometimes feel ashamed that I am devoting myself to artistic pursuits while so many of our people are suffering and dying for us. It's true that fretting never did any good.
I'm continuing to work hard, not without periods of discouragement, but my strength comes back again.
Despite my extremely modest prices, dealers and art lovers are turning their backs on me. It is very depressing to see the lack of interest shown in an art object which has no market value.
I would love to do orange and lemon trees silhouetted against the blue sea, but I cannot find them the way I want them.
While adding the finishing touches to a painting might appear insignificant, it is much harder to do than one might suppose.
I'm getting so slow at my work it makes me despair, but... I'm increasingly obsessed by the need to render what I experience, and I'm praying that I'll have a few more good years left to me.
I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot; and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even.
Lots of people will protest that it's quite unreal and that I'm out of my mind, but that's just too bad.
I do what I can to convey what I experience before nature and most often, in order to succeed in conveying what I feel, I totally forget the most elementary rules of painting, if they exist that is.
What is it that's taken hold of me, for me to carry on like this in relentless pursuit of something beyond my powers?
I'm going to get down to a still life on a size 50 canvas of rayfish and dogfish with old fishermen's baskets. Then I'm going to turn out a few pictures to send wherever possible, given that now, first and foremost -- unfortunately -- I have to earn some money.
Think of me getting up before 6, I'm at work by 7 and I continue until 6.30 in the evening, standing up all the time, nine canvases. It's murderous.
I see less and less... I need to avoid lateral light, which darkens my colors. Nevertheless, I always paint at the times of day most propitious for me, as long as my paint tubes and brushes are not mixed up... I will paint almost blind, as Beethoven composed completely deaf.
Pictures aren't made out of doctrines. Since the appearance of impressionism, the official salons, which used to be brown, have become blue, green, and red...But peppermint or chocolate, they are still confections.
I have made tremendous efforts to work in a darker register and express the sinister and tragic quality of the place, given my natural tendency to work in light and pale tones.
I have once more taken up things that can't be done: water with grasses weaving on the bottom. But I'm always tackling that sort of thing!
It's on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.
I've spent so long on some paintings that I no longer know what to think of them, and I am definitely getting harder to please; nothing satisfies me.
When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape.
Every day I discover even more beautiful things. It is intoxicating me, and I want to paint it all -- my head is bursting.
I'm quite content: although what I'm doing is far from being as I should like, I am complemented often enough all the same.
I'm knocked out, I've never felt so physically and mentally exhausted, I'm quite stupid with it and long only for bed; but I am happy.
I've been working so hard that I'm exhausted... I feel I won't be able to do without a few weeks' rest, so I'm going off to see the sea.
The Seine. I have painted it all my life, at all hours of the day, at all times of the year, from Paris to the sea…Argenteuil, Poissy, Vétheuil, Giverny, Rouen, Le Havre.
Gardening was something I learned in my youth when I was unhappy. I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
Getting up at 4 in the morning, I slave away all day until by the evening I'm exhausted, and I end by forgetting all my responsibilities, thinking only of the work I've set out to do.
No one but myself knows the anxiety I go through and the trouble I give myself to finish paintings which do not satisfy me and seem to please so very few others.
One's better off alone, and yet there are so many things that are impossible to fathom on one's own. In fact it's a terrible business and the task is a hard one.
The point is to know how to use the colors, the choice of which is, when all's said and done, a matter of habit.
Among the seascapes, I am doing the regattas of Le Havre with many figures on the beach and the outer harbor covered with small sails.
There, the grand lines of mountain and sea are admirable, and apart from the exotic vegetation that is here, Monte Carlo is certainly the most beautiful spot of the entire coast: the motifs there are more complete, more picturelike, and consequently easier to execute.
I am installed in a fairylike place. I do not know where to poke my head; everything is superb, and I would like to do everything, so I use up and squander lots of color, for there are trials to be made.
I pass my time in the open air on the beach when it is really heavy weather or when the boats go out fishing.
I am working, but when one has ceased to do seascape, it is the devil afterward -- very difficult; it changes at every instant, and here the weather varies several times in the same day.
For a long time, I have hoped for better days, but alas, today it is necessary for me to lose all hope. My poor wife suffers more and more. I do not think it is possible to be any weaker.
Finally here is a beautiful day, a superb sun like at Giverny. So I worked without stopping, for the tide at this moment is just as I need it for several motifs. This has bucked me up a bit.
I do have a dream, a painting, the baths of La Grenouillere for which I've done a few bad rough sketches, but it is a dream. Renoir, who has just spent two months here, also wants to do this painting.
It is extraordinary to see the sea; what a spectacle! She is so unfettered that one wonders whether it is possible that she again become calm.
Eventually, my eyes were opened, and I really understood nature. I learned to love at the same time.
I was definitely born under an evil star. I have just been thrown out of the inn where I was staying, naked as a worm.
No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.
I am following Nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.