Reflections on Art

As we know, the making and practice of art, as a passion and discipline, takes many forms. How art moves, holds and impacts our senses is a matter of personal taste and experience. Reflections on Art offered in the following quotes hopefully gets at the root of what art is and how it happens. Thanks for visiting, enjoy!


A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
– Maya Angelou

In order to draw a coyote, you have to have a coyote inside of you. And you have to get it out.
– Chuck Jones

When I carve, I look for the Buddha in the wood. And, when I am carving, I need to bring the Buddha out of the wood. I have to be very careful not to cut the Buddha.
– Anonymous

Reflections on Art. Image of prism reflection on wall
“Prism Play”

Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too — and the eye of the storm — an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.
– Saul Bellow

The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.
– Jackson Pollock

After silence, that which comes nearest expressing the inexpressible, is music.
– Aldous Huxley

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
– Howard Thurman

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
– Joseph Chilton Pearce

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.
– Alan Alda

God is always visible
the moment
the inner eye
is clear.
– Rufus Jones

Reflections on Art. arts and crafts table
“Arts and Crafts Table”

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
– Vincent Van Gogh

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
– Pablo Picasso

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
– Pablo Picasso

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

God is in the prepositions – beyond, among, within, beneath.
– Sharon Daloz Parks

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

Reflections on Art.harvesting notes
“Harvesting Notes”

Music is our own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.
– Charlie Parker

A Japanese artist was commissioned by an American to do a painting. The completed work had, in a lower corner, the branch of a cherry tree with a few blossoms and a bird perched upon it. The entire upper half of the painting was white. Unhappy, the American asked the artist to put something else in the painting because it looked, well, so bare. The Japanese refused the request. When pressed for an explanation, the artist said that if he did fill up the painting, there would be no space for the bird to fly.
– Robert Rosenstone

I shut my eyes in order to see.
– Paul Gauguin

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
– Mark Twain

Poets must read and study, but also they must learn to talk and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each or us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning: “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?
– Mary Oliver

Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made.
– Ted Shawn

Those who know distances out to the outermost stars are astonished when they discover the magnificent space in their hearts.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
– Antoine de Saint Exupery

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.
– M.C. Richards

Images by K. Lee