The Quotable Artist, Part 2

I never think I have finished a nude until I think I could pinch it.
—Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.
—Pablo Picasso

When I discovered ready-mades I thought to discourage aesthetics … I threw the bottle rack and the urinal in their faces and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty.
—Marcel Duchamp

Art should be independent of all claptrap—should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like. All these have no kind of concern with it, and that is why I insist on calling my works “arrangements” and “harmonies.”
—James Abbott McNeill Whistler

I would not cast off my illness, for there is much in my art that I owe to it.
—Edvard Munch

The paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour. It is a simplification for me. Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it—the one modifying the other—I draw straight into the colour.
—Henri Matisse

Even when working from nature, one had to compose.
—Edgar Degas

Art is a method of opening up areas of feeling rather than merely an illustration of an object … I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory trace of past events as the snail leaves its slime.”
—Francis Bacon

People say, “I love your work, it’s so detailed.” But that’s like saying, “I love your sweater, it has lots of stitches.
—Robert Bateman

Tera Leigh is a writer and artist living near San Francisco. She writes columns for several magazines, including Decorative Artist’s Workbook and Artist’s Sketchbook (from the editors of The Artist’s Magazine). Look for her new book, The Complete Guide to Decorative Painting (North Light Books) in October. Her Web site is

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