Art is the lie that reveals the truth.

Pablo Picasso


I have made a great discovery.  I no longer believe in anything.  It is not the object that matters to me but what is between them:  it is this "in-between" that is the real subject of my pictures.  When one reaches this state of harmony between things and one's self, one reaches a state of perfect freedom and peace--which makes everything possible and right.  Life then becomes perpetual revelation.

George Braque


If you're going to be an artist, all life is your subject.  And all your experience is part of your art.  A youngster told me recently that he was going to give himself a year to see if he has talent.  A year!  It takes a lifetime to see if you have it.  Painting is total engagement.

Ben Shahn


Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one's self from enslavement by the earth.

Anaïs Nin

Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.

Flannery O'Connor

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

Pablo Picasso

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

Leonardo da Vinci


quotations - contents - welcome page - obstacles
the people behind the words - our current e-zine - articles and excerpts
Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation



You cannot explain me with "isms."  They are very bad
for an artist.  What one must believe in is color.

Marc Chagall


Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining
of the sense of truthfulness.  The stupid believe that to be truthful
is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is.

Willa Cather


Were art to redeem humanity it could do so only by saving us from
the seriousness of life and restoring to us an unexpected childishness.

Jose Ortega y Gasset


Somebody was saying to Picasso that he ought to make pictures of things
the way they are--objective pictures.  He mumbled that he wasn't quite sure
what that would be.  The person who was bullying him produced a photograph
of his wife from his wallet and said, "There, you see, that is a picture of how she
really is."  Picasso looked at it and said, "She is rather small, isn't she?  And flat?"

Gregory Bateson


I don't paint things.  I only paint the difference between things.

Henri Matisse

I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six.  I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all.  At seventy-three I have at last caught every aspect of nature--birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all.  When I am eighty I shall have developed still further, and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety.  When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime, and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life.

Katsushika Hokusai


It is only the untalented director who imagines him or herself in every part,
wants his or her own thoughts and emotions portrayed; it is only the
untalented who make their own limitations those of the actors as well.

Liv Ullman


When anyone seriously pursues an art--painting, poetry, sculpture,
composing--over twenty or thirty years, the sustained discipline carries
the artist down to the countryside of grief; and that descent, resisted
so long, proves invigorating. . . . As I've gotten older, I find I am able
to be nourished more by sorrow and to distinguish it from depression.

Robert Bly

As the poets and painters of centuries have tried to tell us, art is not
about the expression of talent or the making of pretty things.  It is
about the preservation and containment of soul.  It is about arresting
life and making it available for contemplation.  Art captures the
eternal in the everyday, and it is the eternal that feeds soul—
the whole world in a grain of sand.

Thomas Moore

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once one grows up.

Pablo Picasso

When I was a kid I drew like Michelangelo.  It took me years to learn to draw like a kid.

When we create or appreciate art, we set free the spirit trapped within.
That is why art arouses such joy.  Art--whether skillfully executed or not--
is the emotion, the pleasure of expressing life as it is.  Those who see art
are moved by its passion and strength, its intensity and beauty.  That is
why it is impossible to separate life from art.  Political and economic
developments may seem to dominate the news, but culture and education
are the forces that actually shape an age, since they transform the human heart.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day



If you have ever sat on a mountaintop and surveyed the country below,
you must realize that what you saw was even more beautiful because of
the awesome silence which surrounded you.  Art galleries maintain a quiet
because curators realize that a painting viewed in the midst of noise is less
beautiful than when it is contemplated in the midst of silence.  One really
cannot appreciate the great art treasures housed in museums on days when
noisy crowds gather around every object to be viewed. . . . The beauty
of art will show itself in greater force in the midst of silence.  Not only does
silence enhance the beauty of art, but adds to the experience its own sublime beauty.

Karl Pruter


The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art
tells you to take your time.  Always listen to the art.

Junot Diaz


I am interested in art as a means of living a life;
not as a means of making a living.

Robert Henri

Art when really understood is the province of every human being.
It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well.  It is not an
outside, extra thing.
When the artist is alive in anyone, whatever their kind of work
may be, they become inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing
creatures.  They become interesting to other people.  They disturb,
upset, enlighten, and they open ways for a better understanding.
Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, they
open it, show that there are still more pages possible.
The world would stagnate without them, and the world would be
beautiful with them; for they are interesting to themselves and they
are interesting to others.  They do not have to be painters or
sculptors to be artists.  They can work in any medium.  They simply
have to find the gain in the work itself, not outside it.


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

The messier arts--clay, finger paints, and the like--are a great choice for
freeing the mind and spirit.  There's something about getting your hands
nice and dirty that can be very liberating.  Just spread out a lot of newspaper,
put on an old t-shirt to wipe your fingers with and let yourself go.  Slosh, slop,
squish all you want.  Feel your hands smearing and slipping.  Marvel at how the
colors mix or how many textures you can create on a glob of Play-Doh.

Shana Aborn

Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl.  An artist can look at a
pretty girl and see the old woman she will become.  A better artist can look at
an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be.  But a great artist--
a master--and that is what Auguste Rodin was--can look at an old woman, portray
her exactly as she is. . . and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be. . .
and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or
even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply
imprisoned inside her ruined body.  He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy
that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart. . . no
matter what the merciless hours have done to her.  Look at her, Ben.  Growing old
doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired--but it does to them.

Robert A. Heinlein


We talk too much.  We should talk less and draw more.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him
or her its instrument.  To perform this difficult office it is sometimes
necessary for one to sacrifice happiness and everything that
makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.

Carl Jung

Art is a deliberate recreation of a new and special reality that grows
from your response to life.  It cannot be copied; it must be created.



When I listen to background music, when I look at a work
of art created with care and love, when I read a novel written
with style, I am touched by the beauty of communication.  Art
is a form of communication.  Whether a work of art is
considered worthwhile depends on whether it is
capable of echoing our perception of beauty.

Happiness One Day at a Time

Art will remain the most astonishing activity of humankind born out
of struggle between wisdom and madness, between
dream and reality in our mind.

Magdalena Abakanowicz

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.

Jean-Luc Godard


The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite
of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist.  The artist does not tinker
with the universe, but recreates it out of his or her own experience
and understanding of life.

Henry Miller


Again and again I’ve taken quick glances and then for some
reason I’ve got to sit before a picture waiting and it’s opened
up like one of those Japanese flowers that you put into water
and something I thought wasn’t worth more than a casual,
respectful glance begins to open up depth after depth of meaning.

Wendy Beckett

Without painting, sculpture, music, poetry, and the emotions produced
by natural beauty of every kind, life would lose half its charm.

Herbert Spencer


It can happen anywhere, anytime.  You do not have to be in some setting
hallowed by greatness, or in the presence of an artist honored around the
world.  Art can work its magic any time you are in the presence of a work
created by someone who has gone inside the act of creation to become
what they are creating.  When this takes place time stands still and if our
hearts are open to the experience, our spirits soar and
our imaginations fly unfettered.
You need these moments if you are ever to have a life that is more than
the sum of the daily moments of humdrum affairs.

Kent Nerburn
Letters to My Son


Good art wounds as well as delights.  It must, because our
defenses against the truth are wound so tightly around us.
But as art chips away at our defenses, it also opens us to
healing potentialities that transcend intellectual games
and ego-preserving strategies.

Rollo May
My Quest for Beauty


On this beautiful Planet Earth we have seven billion people, and we
all are artists.  It doesn't matter where we were born, or what language
we speak, or what religion we have, or what philosophy we follow—we
all are artists, each one of us.  I'm talking about the totality of humanity
around this beautiful Planet Earth.  Of course many people are not aware
that they are artists, but once you have that awareness and you see that
your art is your own story, then it's easy to understand that if you don't
like your own story only you can change it.  Nobody else can change it,
but you can change it.  Similarly, you cannot change anybody else's story.
You cannot change your beloved's story, your children's story,
your parents', or anybody else's.

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
Little Book of Wisdom


The artist must be in his or her work as God is in creation, invisible
and all-powerful; his or her presence should be felt everywhere,
but the artist must never be seen.

Gustave Flaubert



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Alone in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason
to feel sorry for himself and mad at the world.  But
then he gives a ride to Hector and learns that life
isn't nearly as negative as we sometimes see it,
and that the prejudice and discrimination that
he's experiencing aren't unique to him--and aren't
impossible to overcome.  The friendship between
this young man and his 70-year-old passenger is
an inspiring story of love and dealing with
obstacles in our lives.    
Book - Kindle



Explore all of our quotations pages--these links will take you to the first page of each topic, and those pages will contain links to any additional pages on the same topic.

HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity
advertising - aging - ambition- anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance
art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe - balance - beauty - being yourself
beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges - change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community
- compassion - competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence
conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation - courage -
creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions
encouragement - enlightenment - enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise
experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding - fear - feelings - finances
flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief
growing up - guilt - habit - happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home
honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity - idleness  - idolatry - ignorance
illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge
language - laughter - laziness - leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness
love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation - mindfulness - miracles
mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature
negative attitude - now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting
passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism - perseverance - perspective - pessimism
play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise - prayer
prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation
reflection - relationships - religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest
revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety - seasons of life - self - self-love
self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success
suffering - talent - the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions
trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values - vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war
wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship - youth - Zen sayings

- summer - fall - winter
Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction
obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words - articles & excerpts