And even though there is a lot of inspiring information, sometimes we as artists can get into an art block.
And then the question might appear in some bright heads – What Is Art? And Why Bother?
I know how it feels because art blocks had happened to me in the past too.
And I fought them by reading inspiring art quotes!
I figured it might help someone else as well, and collected a bunch of art quotes that answer the question “What is Art?” in hope that you can relate to one of them and keep going on Your Art Path.
So take a break from stressing out, read up some cool art quotes and back to creating 😉
60 Inspiring Art Quotes:
1. Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.
( Source: Wikipedia )
2. Art inspires, produces an unwillingness to settle for what we have and a desire for something better. It is the product and producer of creative activity, change; it is essential for continuous development.
– Russell L. Ackoff, American organizational theorist, consultant, and professor.
3. Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.
– Chinua Achebe, Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic.
4. Art is an international language, understood by all.
– Igor Babailov, Russian-born American painter and portrait artist.
5. Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb.
– Hans Jean Arp, German- French sculptor, painter, poet, and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper.
6. Art is an experience, not the formulation of a problem.
– Lindsay Anderson, British feature film, theatre and documentary director and film critic.
7. Art touches the soul… art is communication… it reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing.
Nina Baldwin, artist.
8. Art condenses the experience we all have as human beings, and, by forming it, makes it significant. We all have an in-built need for harmony and the structures that create harmony. Basically, art is an affirmation of life.
– Trevor Bell, English Leeds-born artist and contemporary visual artist.
9. Art is a divine thing. It can only be rightly expressed if opposed, to bring out its inner beauty that lies behind.
– Maher Baba, an Indian spiritual master.
10. Art to me, is seeing. I think you have got to use your eyes, as well as your emotion, and one without the other just doesn’t work. That’s my art.
– Andrew Wyeth, visual artist, primarily a realist painter.
11. Art is both creation and recreation.
– Lin Yutang, Chinese writer, translator, linguist and inventor.
12. Art is man’s nature; nature is God’s art.
– Philip James Bailey, English Spasmodic poet.
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13. Art is the act of triggering deep memories, of what it means to be fully human.
– David Whyte, English poet of Irish extraction.
14. A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or a dishonest tradesman.
– Oscar Wilde, author, playwright, and poet.
15. Art is like therapy; what comes up is what comes up. It may be dark, but that’s what comes up. You may want to keep some of it in a drawer… but never judge it.
– Nick Bantock, British artist and author.
16. Art is the signature of civilizations.
– Beverly Sills, American operatic soprano.
17. Art is the response of the living to life. It is therefore the record left behind by civilization.
– John Sloan, twentieth-century painter and etcher and one of the founders of the Ashcan school of American art.
18. Art is who we are. It facilitates self-realization in everyone.
– Philippe Benichou, contemporary artist.
19. Art is not life, nor a reproduction of life, but a representation carried out within the specific terms, conversions and limitations of the particular art used. Hence, absolute truth, with reference to objective fact, is not to be found in the business. The most realistic art is considerably removed from reality. Art does not give real things or imitations of real things. The thing that art gives is strained first through the artist’s selections and judgments, and then through the specific techniques which he used to present them. If you are to enjoy an art, you must first accept its terms.
– Thomas Hart Benton, an American painter and muralist.
20. Art is our memory of love. The most an artist can do through their work is say, let me show you what I have seen, what I have loved, and perhaps you will see it and love it too.
– Annie Bevan, Art Quotes.
21. Art is the only power to free humankind from all repression.
– Joseph Beuys, German Fluxus, happening, and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist, and pedagogue.
22. Art is the rendering of an idea… the giving of form, of shape, of body to the idea. The important part of the creation is to have the idea. While doing the art, you are in a sense a slave to the idea. The next creation starts when the actual work is completed… the next idea… the next drawing.
– Norman Laliberte, Art Quotes.
23. Art is an action against death. It is a denial of death.
– Jacques Lipchitz, Cubist sculptor, from late 1914.
24. Art is a harmony parallel with nature.
– Paul Cezanne, French artist and Post-Impressionist painter.
25. Art is the triumph over chaos.
– John Cheever, American novelist and short story writer.
26. Art is a necessity – an essential part of our enlightenment process. We cannot, as a civilized society, regard ourselves as being enlightened without the arts.
– Ken Danby, a Canadian painter in the realist style.
27. Art is the work of a person, a human being, who is free to take into himself what he sees outside and from his free center put his human stamp on it.
– Sister Corita, an American Roman Catholic nun, artist, and educator.
28. Art in its widest sense is the extension of the personality: a host of artificial limbs.
– Herbert Read, English art historian, poet, literary critic and philosopher.
29. Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth.
– John Ruskin, leading English art critic of the Victorian era.
30. Art is not the possession of the few who are recognized writers, painters, musicians; it is the authentic expression of any and all individuality.
John Dewey, American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer.
31. Art is the one thing that speaks to everyone. Art transcends time and ties us all together as the human race.
– David Dory, Art Quotes.
32. Art = a mad search for individualism.
– Paul Gauguin, French post-Impressionist artist.
33. Art is the escape from personality.
– T. S. Eliot, British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic.
34. Art is the greatest possible rationalization of our deepest fears, joys, and instincts as human beings.
– Martha Mayer Erlebacher, leading painter among contemporary realists.
35. Art is accusation, expression, passion.
– Gunther Grass, German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature.
36. Art is real and imaginary, two worlds rolled into one – the fulfillment of the artist’s insatiable soul.
– Edward J. Fraughton, American artist, .sculptor and inventor.
37. Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
– Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright.
38. Art is a celebration of life, intended by the artist to put the spectator in touch with the divine.
– Joseph Plaskett, Canadian painter.
39. Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life.
– Robert Genn, well-known Canadian artist.
40. Art is an effort to make you walk a half an inch above ground.
– Yoko Ono, Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist.
41. What is art but the denial of life?
– Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher.
42. Art is like a kite. You have to pull the string hard in order to stretch it to its limit, but you don’t want to pull it so hard that you break the thread, because the thread connects you to the land and its peoples.
– Wu Guan-Zhong, contemporary Chinese painter widely recognized as a founder of modern Chinese painting.
43. Art is the beginning of vision into the realm of eternal life.
– Lawren Harris, Canadian painter.
44. Art is love.
– Holman Hunt, English painter and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
45. Art is the glorification of the human spirit, and as such it is the cultural documentation of the time in which it is produced.
– Hans Hofmann, German-born American abstract expressionist painter.
46. Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
– Iris Murdoch, Anglo-Irish novelist and philosopher.
47. Art is not so much talent as character… it’s what you are, the qualities of the person.
– John Olsen, Australian artist and winner of the 2005 Archibald Prize.
48. Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, and it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal, and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible.
– Richard Kamler, San Francisco Artist with strong statements in Activism.
49. Art is an experience, not an object.
– Robert Motherwell, American painter, printmaker, and editor.
50. Art is a language. It’s not a skill. It’s not a stunt. It’s not something that you just learn to do and put it down. It comes from the heart.
– Wynona Mulcaster, Canadian painter and teacher from Saskatchewan.
51. Art makes life bearable. It isn’t a luxury. Like our capacity for understanding, and our experience of love, it is a vitally important part of life.
– Gillian Pederson Krag, Art Quotes.
52. Art is not to do with the practical side of making a living. It’s to live a fuller human life.
– Henry Moore, English artist.
53. Art is the thrilling spark that beats death – that’s all.
– Brett Whiteley, Australian artist.
54. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, / And out hearts, though stout and brave, / Still, like muffled drums, are beating / Funeral marches to the grave.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet and educator.
55. Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.
– Amy Lowell, American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts.
56. Art is the Flower – Life is the Green Leaf. Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing, something that will convince the world that there may be, there are, things more precious more beautiful – more lasting than life itself.
– Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and artist.
57. Art is like singing, some do it better than others, but everyone can and should be doing it for their soul.
– Barbara Mason, American R&B/soul singer.
58. Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.
– Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist.
59. Art is the lens through which I experience the world. Art is the medium to present the human condition… love, fear, bewilderment, pleasure, distaste, brotherhood and all the subtleties that we all know…
– Alton S. Tobey, American artist, painter, historical artist, muralist, portraitist, illustrator, and teacher of art.
60. Art is not a pleasure, a solace, or an amusement; art is great matter.
– Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.
There it is! Every one of these art creators, activists and amazingly talented people created their own definition of art! So now, we take their art quotes and try to interpret them in our own ways.
What Is Art for You?
And how do you fight your art block?
As always, thank you for reading! And don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our email list! 🙂
Good luck on Your Art Path,
– Your Art Bud 😉
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