400+ Sourced quotes
Like a sea-beast fished up from the depths, or a diver too suddenly hoisted, my veins threatened to burst from the fall in pressure. I had great anxiety and no means of relieving it... And then it was that the Muse of Painting came to my rescue - out of charity and out of chivalry... - and said, "Are these toys any good to you? They amuse some people."
What one has most to work and struggle for in painting is to do the work with a great amount of labour and sweat in such a way that it may afterward appear, however much it was laboured upon, to have been done almost quickly and almost without any labour, and very easily, although it was not.
I think of myself as an American artist: I like it here...I feel I represent the U.S. in my art but I'm not a social critic. I just paint those things in my paintings because those things are the things I know best. I'm not trying to criticize the U.S. in any way, not trying to show up any ugliness at all. I'm just a pure artist, I guess. But I can't say if I take myself seriously as an artist. I just hadn't thought about it. I don't know how they consider me in print, though.
I strongly suspect that most of the great knowers of Suchness paid very little attention to art.… (To a person whose transfigured and transfiguring mind can see the All in every this, the first-rateness or tenth-rateness of even a religious painting will be a matter of the most sovereign indifference.) Art, I suppose, is only for beginners, or else for those resolute dead-enders, who have made up their minds to be content with the ersatz of Suchness, with symbols rather than with what they signify, with the elegantly composed recipe in lieu of actual dinner.
It doesn't matter that your painting is small. Kopecks are also small, but when a lot are put together they make a ruble. Each painting displayed in a gallery and each good book that makes it into a library, no matter how small they may be, serve a great cause: accretion of the national wealth.
When I have to think about it, I know the picture is wrong. And sizing is a form of thinking and coloring is too. My instinct about painting says, 'If you don't think about it, it's right'. As soon as you have to decide and choose, it's wrong. And the more you decide about, the more wrong it gets. Some people, they paint abstract, so they sit there thinking about it because their thinking makes them feel they're doing something. But my thinking never makes me feel I'm doing anything.
Genius is its own reward; for the best that one is, one must necessarily be for oneself.... Further, genius consists in the working of the free intellect., and as a consequence the productions of genius serve no useful purpose. The work of genius may be music, philosophy, painting, or poetry; it is nothing for use or profit. To be useless and unprofitable is one of the characteristics of genius; it is their patent of nobility.
Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.