Inspiring Quotes From Famous Visual Artists

From cave art to contemporary art, humans have created the most outstanding works of art and reflected on every aspect of human life and its relationship with creativity. And throughout the years, many artists have also said some quite remarkable things about art and being an artist–these are insightful. Below are a selection of some of their best quotes.

Dali, van Gogh, Picasso et al

Vincent van Gogh
“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

“Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.”

Edgar Degas
“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”

Paul Cezanne
“If I were called upon to define briefly the word Art, I should call it the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul.”

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

Frida Kahlo
“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

Mark Rothko
“A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.”

Andy Warhol
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Leonardo da Vinci
“Painting is poetry that is seen instead of felt and poetry is a painting that is felt instead of seen.”

Salvador Dalí
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”

Henri Matisse
“We ought to view ourselves with the same curiosity and openness with which we study a tree, the sky or a thought, because we too are linked to the entire universe.”

Auguste Rodin
“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”

Pablo Picasso
“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

Yoko Ono
“Art is like breathing for me. If I don’t do it, I start to choke.”

Alberto Giacometti
“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”

Edward Hopper
“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”

James McNeill Whistler
“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.”

Marc Chagall
“Great art picks up where nature ends.”

Kara Walker
“The artist is like an abuser of everything, picture, history, and other people.”

Piet Mondrian
“The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.”

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

Maurice de Vlaminck
“Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.”

Helen Frankenthaler
“Every canvas is a journey all its own.”

Wassily Kandinsky
“Color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

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

Georgia O’Keeffe
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”