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Thoughts for Today

Art for Thought

Art is one of those wonderful things that add so much richness to our lives. At times it can be serene and beautiful, sometimes it can be a glorious celebration of color and light and other times it can slap us about the face and make us question the sanity of the person who created it.

Today, I thought I would share how some famous artists, poets and even a scientist or two define art and how it impacts us. And, of course no conversation about what art is would be complete without a few examples from the famous artists.

How others define art.

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term “Art,” I should call it “the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.” The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of “Artist”. ~ Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), “Marginalia”

All art that is not mere storytelling, or mere portraiture, is symbolic, and has the purpose of those symbolic talismans which medieval magicians made with complex colours and forms, and bade their patients ponder over daily, and guard with holy secrecy; for it entangles, in complex colours and forms, a part of the Divine Essence. ~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Ideas of Good and Evil

Heidelberger Schloss by  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1815)

“When Nature begins to reveal her open secret to a man, he feels an irresistible longing for her worthiest interpreter, Art.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”Edward Hopper, American Realist Painter & Printmaker (1882-1967)

Bad art is never really enjoyed in the same sense in which good art is enjoyed. It is only “liked”: it never startles, prostrates, and takes captive. ~ C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), On Stories and Other Essays in Literature

“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.”Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

“Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see.” ~ Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)

Painting known as “293” by Vassily Kandisnsky

“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.” ~ Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

“Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see.” ~ Paul Klee (1879-1940)

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.” ~ Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it. ~ Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)

“Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.” ~ Rembrandt (1606-1669)

“It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.”Mark Rothko (1903-1970)

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.” ~ William Faulkner (1897-1962) , The Paris Review, spring 1956


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