My mind is my shelter


I shut my eyes in order to see. If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.

The Garden in Winter

“I am entering into the truth, into nature.”

“The work of a man is the explanation of the man.”

“Art is a mad search for individualism.”

“The great artist is a formulation of the greatest intelligence: he is the recipient of sensations which are the most delicate and consequently the most invisible expressions of the brain.”

“How to re-light the fire the very ashes of which are scattered?”

“Color which, like music, is a matter of vibrations, reaches what is most general and therefore most indefinable in nature: its inner power…”

“If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.”

“It was so simple to paint things as I saw them; to put without special calculation a red close to a blue.”

“It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block.”


“Sometimes people accuse me of being incomprehensible only because they look for an explicative side to my pictures which is not there.”

“Why did I hesitate to put all this glory of the sun on my canvas?”

“I begin to feel an enormous need to become savage and to create a new world.”

“There are two sorts of beauty; one is the result of instinct, the other of study. A combination of the two, with the resulting modifications, brings with it a very complicated richness, which the art critic ought to try to discover.”

“Slyly, banteringly, but also overbearingly, the critic – the one who does not swallow anything whole, who waits until posterity has consecrated it before… howling – is among those who howl their admiration the way they howl their insults: don’t be afraid, don’t tremble – the beast doesn’t have any nails or teeth, or even brain: it is stuffed…”

“A critic is someone who meddles with something that is none of his business.”


“I’d like to write the way I do my paintings, that is, as fantasy takes me, as the moon dictates.”

“Do not finish your work too much. An impression is not sufficiently durable for its first freshness to survive a belated search for infinite detail; in this way you let the lava grow cool…”

“All the joys – animal and human – of a free life are mine. I have escaped everything that is artificial, conventional, customary.”

“Whatever may happen the sun will rise tomorrow as it rose to-day, beneficent and serene.”

“Oh mysterious world of all light, thou hast made a light shine within me, and I have grown in admiration of thy antique beauty, which is the immemorial youth of nature.”


“It is well for young men to have a model, but let them draw the curtain over it while they are painting.”

“There is no such thing as exaggerated art. I even believe that there is salvation only in extreme.”
The extreme is not the truth. It is merely the pull towards the truth. [FL]

“My God! How terrible these money questions are for an artist!”

“If instead of a figure you put the shadow only of a person, you have found an original starting point, that strangeness of which you have calculated.”

“Wherever I go I need a period of incubation so that I may learn the essence of nature, which never wishes to be understood or yield herself.”

“In painting one must search rather for suggestion than for description, as is done in music.”

“Having the certitude of a succession of days… equally free and beautiful, peace descends on me.”


“Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?”

“Sooner or later people will learn to recognize your worth – if you have any. Above all, don’t sweat over a painting; a great sentiment can be rendered immediately. Dream on it and look for the simplest form in which you can express it.”

“The cyclone ends. The sun returns; the lofty coconut trees lift up their plumes again; man does likewise. The great anguish is over; joy has returned; the sea smiles like a child.”

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”

“It is useless to advise solitude for everyone; one must be strong enough to endure it and to work alone.”

“And here in my isolation I can grow stronger. Poetry seems to come of itself, without effort, and I need only let myself dream a little while painting to suggest it.”


“I am a great artist and I know it. The reason I am great is because of all the suffering I have done.”

“Beware of luxury! Beware of acquiring the taste and need for it, under the pretext of providing for the morrow…”

“The public wants to understand and learn in a single day, a single minute, what the artist has spent years learning.”

“With practice the craft will come almost of itself, in spite of you and all the more easily if you think of something besides technique.”

“On an instrument you start from one tone. In painting you start from several.”

“I am entering into the truth, into nature.”


“The work of a man is the explanation of the man.”

“We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves.”

“Between the failure and the masterpiece the distance is one millimeter.”

“Life being what it is one dreams of revenge.”

“Life has no meaning unless one lives it with a will, at least to the limit of one’s will. Virtue, good, evil are nothing but words, unless one takes them apart in order to build something with them. They do not win their true meaning until one knows how to apply them.”

“Color! What a deep and mysterious language of dreams.”


“The self-esteem one acquires and a well-earned feeling of one’s strength are the only consolation in this world. Income, after all, most brutes have that.”

“I tried to make everything breathe in this painting: faith, quiet suffering, religious and primitive style, and great nature with its scream.”

“All the masters have those weak points that are called masterpieces; and besides, they do them as crowd pleasers — to prove that they have the know-how.”

“In the art of literature there are two contending parties. Those who aim to tell stories that are more or less well thought out, and those who aim at beautiful language, beauty of form. This contest may last a very long time; each side has a fifty-fifty chance. Only the poet can rightfully demand that verse be beautiful and nothing but.”


“It is so small a thing, the life of a man, and yet there is time to do great things, fragments of a common task.”

“Beautiful colors exist, though we do not realize it, and are glimpsed behind the veil that modesty has drawn over them.”

“Moved by an unconscious sentiment born out of solitude and savagery – idle tales of a naughty child who sometimes reflects and who is always a lover of the beautiful – the beauty that is personal – the only beauty that is human.”

Paul Gauguin

Vincent van Gogh




This entry was posted on 06/06/2015 by in Art, Inspiring views.
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