Artist Quotes for the
San Juan Island Artist Community

This is a selection of artist quotes and sayings from artists, scientists, and writers, creating little glimpses into the minds of great creators, original thinkers and extraordinary people. My hope is that these artist quotes can be your bit of daily wisdom!

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.
- G.K. Chesterton

No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.
- Edward Hopper

It Exploded, William S. Burroughs

Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
- William S. Burroughs

A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.
- William S. Burroughs

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
- Emile Zola

The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint…. I’d like to pretend that I’ve never seen anything, never read anything, never heard anything… and then make something… Every time I make something I think about the people who are going to see it and every time I see something, I think about the person who made it…. Nothing is important… so everything is important.
- Keith Haring

Paul Cezanne

It took me 40 years to find out that painting is not sculpture.
- Paul Cezanne

There is in every artist’s studio a scrap heap of discarded works in which the artist’s discipline prevailed against his imagination.
- Robert Brault

The essence of drawing is the line exploring space.
- Andy Goldsworthy

Try these Artist Quotes at Book of Famous Quotes.

The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life.
- Henry Miller


The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it.
- Banksy

More artist quotes from American Artists.

Art is the signature of civilizations.
- Beverly Sills

There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books.
- Charlie Chaplin

The first assumption of an art critic is that the artist meant to paint something else.
- Robert Brault

Emile Zola

I am an artist… I am here to live out loud.
- Emile Zola

I believe it is impossible to make sense of life in this world except through art.
- Daniel Pinkwater

The source of genius is imagination alone, the refinement of the senses that sees what others do not see, or sees them differently.
- Eugene Delacroix

When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college -- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?”
- Howard Ikemoto

Here are some Artist Quotes from the SA Art Studio.

Yellow Flower, Georgia O'Keeffe

To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage.
- Georgia O’Keefe

One day seven years ago I found myself saying to myself -- I can’t live where I want to -- I can’t go where I want to go -- I can’t do what I want to -- I can’t even say what I want to -- I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to.
- Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe

I found that I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way -- things I had no words for.
- Georgia O’Keeffe

If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.
- Grandma Moses

Art should reveal the unknown, to those who lack the experience of seeing it.
- Jaune Quick-toSee Smith

I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum.
- Claes Oldenburg

More artist quotes from the Alankritha Art Gallery in Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.

The Bathers, Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
- Pablo Picasso

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
- Pablo Picasso

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
- Pablo Picasso

The Dance of Youth,
Pablo Picasso

A line is a dot that went for a walk.
- Paul Klee

Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.
- Fran Lebowitz

I often think the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.
- Vincent Van Gogh

The artist need not know very much; best of all let him work instinctively and paint as naturally as he breathes or walks.
- Emil Nolde

Salvador Dali

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note carefully just what it is about your work that the crititcs don’t like -- then cultivate it. That’s the part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping.
- David Shields

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.
- Salvador Dali

The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.
- Paul Strand

Albert Einstein

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
- Albert Einstein

Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity.
- Mark Rothko

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
- Francis Bacon

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
- Scott Adams

Oscar Wilde

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
- Oscar Wilde

The function of art is to disturb. Science reassures.
- George Braque

The painting has a life of its own.
- Jackson Pollock

I applied streaks and blobs of colours onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could…
- Wassily Kandinsky

They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my reality.
- Frida Kahlo

Roots, Frida Kahlo

I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating…anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us -- I think this world would be unlivable without art and I thank you.
- Steven Soderbergh

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