artists quotes

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


feel free to add your own by using the comments box at the bottom of the page


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 Surrey England. Make direct contact if you wish, he will be pleased to hear from you.

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

courtesy Vera Bobson

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 "TO PAINT LIKE A CHILD"




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


"Every painting is a self portrait".
Not sure who said this but someone added, "The prettier they are the more the artist is covering up"


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

and some more artists quotes...


''Everything there is to know about me is in my paintings''   Gustav Klimt.


“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)


How about "Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend." ? John Singer Sargent


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

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

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

As a painter I love to read  really great quotes made by famous and yet to be famous artists, this is my collection so far, please add some if you wish to by adding them to the comment box at the bottom of the page

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


Here is one of mine, I found myself writing it unintentionally to a person on facebook

Each painting we connect with has a conversation with us and it is about oneself. It can't be anything else because no one else is involved. The artist has facilitated that conversation and she or he has already had their own conversation as it was painted


Please add your favourite artists quotes along side these 🙂

Makes me think of the saying I read by 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. Thank you Vera

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

He is famous but any artist can have a meaningful artists quote if they are genuine 

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


Currently reading the Art Spirit by Robert Henri which strikes a cord with many of my own thoughts and feelings about painting. 

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

"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.

Contact the Artist Directly    Tel: U.K. 44 (0)7941 562 162

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  1. Thanks for your lovely interesting newsletter Alan. Love looking at your latest creations and keep promising myself some lessons with you – one day! Hope you and Barb are keeping well, will try to get to an exhibition at least. Best wishes

  2. I always think more can be achieved by stealth then by banging on a drum, whether that is through a painting, poetry, a book, a film or any other art form.

    I people like (or not!) what you have produced they will be more disposed to open themselves to your message.

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