Collection of famous and not so famous artists quotes assembled by Alan Brain


Alan Brain is an abstract artist who paints in watercolour and acrylic. His work can be viewed by using the paintings tag in the menu above. Or you can visit his gallery/studio in Dorset U.K. Make direct contact if you wish, he will be pleased to hear from you.

Here we go...

the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak

        Hans Hoffman


          Vincent Van Gogh
I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.

paint like a child

Picasso when asked at 84 was asked what would he really like to have done in his lifetime that remains undone, it provoked the reply...





Every painting is a self portrait.

        I am not sure who said this but someone added...

The prettier they are the more the artist is covering up


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for

Georgia O'Keefe


So right, it's why I am a painter not a writer.

Everything there is to know about me is in my paintings

Gustav Klimt.

How about

Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.

John Singer Sargent

A painter who has no doubts about his own ability will attain very little. When his work exceeds his judgements, the artist learns nothing. But when his judgement is superior to his work, he will never cease to improve unless his love of money interferes or retards his progress” Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

Albert Einstein

One of my favourite artist's quotes is ...

You can paint anything you have strong feelings about

 Alex Powers


Good taste is the enemy of creativity

P Picasso



And another quote which has nothing to do with art but I love it -

Every person has the power to make others happy. Some do it simply by entering the room, others by leaving the room

Vera Bobson sent this one ...

He who works with his hands is a laborer,

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman,

He who works with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist.

St. Frances of Assisi


Art should startle the viewer into to thinking about the meaning of life. 

Spanish artist Antoni Tapies


It’s the honesty of one’s own personal language coming through that really captivates the viewer. No other artist sees the world exactly as you do or feels what you feel—that story is yours alone to tell. When you become vulnerable enough to paint what’s inside of you, that other dimension starts to come through in your work.

Nancy Guzik

Anselm Keifer -

an artist does not make work to express what she knows, but to discover what she does not yet know. This is something artists recognize but against which all struggle. The work of art thus makes the artist into a viewer as well.

This artists quote takes a bit of careful reading but its worth it...

When making art, I create (express, bring to visual terms) the parts of myself (the whole) that I can't put into words. It seems that words alter, and possibly interfere, with the visual conversation with art.

 - artist Vera Tracy

I know when I have finished because I feel like I am working on someone else's painting  Lucian Freud

Listen to Your Painting G Quiller. But I add.... Warning! it may stay dumb

Don't paint the mockingbird, paint the mockingbird's song

Don't paint the lemon, paint the smell of the lemon

Frank Garietts

"Paint what you feel. Paint what you see. Paint what is real to you".

Robert Henri


The picture that bowls you over at first sight and the next day loses even the power to attract your attention is one that looks always the same.  It has a moment of life but dies immediately thereafter.


The purpose of the artist is to reveal the sublime - it is their only job


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