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Insightful Quotes about Art and Artmaking

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"When telling a story, we should only resort to dialogue when it is impossible to do otherwise."

-Alfred Hitchcock

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"While tremendously superior to some analogue techniques, digital also lets you make crap in record time."

-www.popstudios.com

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"Artists working in motion pictures in general, and ILM in particular, must be willing to discard work and start all over again when changes are made in a film. It is the finished film that matters, not its artifacts."

-Thomas G Smith in ILM: Art of Special Effects

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"A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art."

-Paul Cezanne

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"The trouble with composing is that, when it's done, it doesn't exist. It's just notes on a piece of paper. Until it's performed. And each performer will stick his own thumb print on it and change it. Whereas in a book there it is, you can't change it. If you read Thomas Mann, you're reading Thomas Mann. Nobody improvises around his sentences. The two most honest and pure media are painting and literature. Van Gogh's Starry Night remains the same wherever you hang it. You can achieve your perfection. In music, you can only approximate it."

-- Artie Shaw

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There is a tendency to call any new book important when you agree with it, and to call it a classic when you agree with it entirely.

[Rutler, Rev. George William.

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In an article about Anne Rice's recent book Christ the Lord, Books & Culture editor John Wilson cited an old, unpublished review of his (a review of Anne's earlier work):

"Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating."

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On Color:

Color is born of the interpenetration of light and dark. -Sam Francis

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

Generally speaking color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.

It is evident,therefore, that color harmony must rest ultimately on purposive playing upon the human soul; this is one of the guiding principles of necessity. -Wassily Kandinsky

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Don't know where I heard this first:

"Process over product."

- Leonardo da Vinci

Paraphrased:

"The poetry comes when we fill in the things we can't remember."

-Dave Read, photography professor

"Treat your clients like children."

- Le Corbusier

Edited by Chashab

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Perhaps not directly about art but encouraging to artists nonetheless:

Proofs weary the truth.

-Georges Braques

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"This willingness continually to revise one's own location in order to place oneself in the path of beauty is the basic impulse underlying education."

-Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just

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To see the face of God is to behold beauty, and the source of all lesser beauty.

- Randy Alcorn in the book Heaven.

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Serious art ("fine" or "high" art) is created for the purpose of putting profound ideas, thoughts, and feelings into intelligent and striking forms.

Wesley Hurd

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True art is only good if it reflects true life. Remember Plato's story in which a group of prisoners locked in a large cave are allowed to see only the shadows of objects rather than the objects themselves? The shadows become their reality until one day one of them escapes into the real world outside of the cave. Suddenly he sees things as they really are. Sadly, much of contemporary Christian art, and particularly Christian music, has been rightly criticized for too often presenting a life of shadows instead of life as it really is.

Jeff Johnson

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The greatest thinkers are not necessarily those who come up with new answers; they are those who redefine the problems and offer a direction for us to follow in dealing with them.

Ian Johnston, on a lecture on Plato's Republic.

Edit: apparently my link is out of date.

Edited by Chashab

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There's something kinda weird about logging in to A&F and finding a quote from Kim Cattrall, of all people, as the "Art Quote of the Day". (Said quote being: "Art is an expression of who you are. Parts that I play are my sculptures.")

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Greg, I love those Costello/Nieve CDs. - Jeffrey Overstreet

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That reminds me of this quote from Kieslowski:

Another question came regarding A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLING. He denied that it was about capital punishment ("It's about killing").

Q: Did you want to mobilize people?

A: No. You don't understand. You assume that I wanted to accomplish something. Well, let me tell you something. I did not want to accomplish anything, because you can't accomplish anything through film...

...I'm not going to change anything through a movie - I have no such delusions.

Q: What did you want to say?

A: If I could answer in one sentence, I wouldn't need to make the film. Do you know how much trouble it is to take the camera out and set it up with filters?

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I don

Edited by Ron

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Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing you are looking at.

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From Annie Dillard's Holy the Firm:

"How can people think that artists seek a name? A name, like a face, is something you have when you're not alone. There is no such thing as an artist: there is only the world, lit or unlit as the light allows. When the candle is burning, who looks at the wick? When the candle is out, who needs it? But the world without light is wasteland and chaos, and a life without sacrifice is abomination.

What can any artist set on fire but his world? What can any people bring to the altar but all it has ever owned in the the thin towns or over the desolate plains? What can an artist use but materials, such as they are? What can he light but the short string of his gut, and when that's burnt out, any muck ready to hand?

His face is flame like a seraph's, lighting the kingdom of God for the people to see; his life goes up in the works; his feet are waxen and salt. He is holy and he is firm, spanning the long gap with the length of his love, in flawed imitation of Christ on the cross stretched both ways unbroken and thorned. So must the work be also, in touch with, in touch with, in touch with; spanning the gap, from here to eternity, home."

Edited by
No comments, please...

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"... we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.

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