1. “Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that.”
— Wayne Thiebaud
2. “Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom.”
3. “Art means something very rare, an extraordinary achievement.”
4. “Common objects become strangely uncommon when removed from their context and ordinary ways of being seen.”
5. “I don’t make a lot of distinctions between things like landscape or figure painting, because to me the problems are inherently the same – lighting, color, structure, and so on – certainly traditional and ordinary problems.”
6. “Painting is more important than art.”
7. “If we don’t have a sense of humor, we lack a sense of perspective.”
8. “As far as I’m concerned, there is only one study and that is the way in which things relate to one another.”
9. “Morandi gave an intimate view of his deepest thoughts. We watched him inquiring after the devilish questions of essences and substances.”
10. “Art is not delivered like the morning paper; it has to be stolen from Mount Olympus.”
11. “The Gold Rush and the Pony Express made Sacramento a substantial place in terms of enterprise.”
12. “If I don’t have anything better to do that day, I’ll copy paintings, generally by people who have some relationship to the work of the moment.”
13. “If you stare at an object, as you do when you paint, there is no point at which you stop learning things from it.”
14. “I think of myself as a beginner. Sometimes that’s the whole joy. If you could just do it, there’d be no point in doing it.”
15. “My sin as a painter is that I just want to paint anything I want to paint – and repaint.”
16. “I’m not just interested in the pictorial aspects of the landscape – see a pretty place and try to paint it – but in some way to manage it, manipulate it, or see what I can turn it into.”
17. “I haven’t the slightest idea what art is, but to be a painter is something of which you have to prove.”
18. “We all need critical confrontation of the fullest and most extreme kind that we can get. You can unnecessarily limit yourself by choosing your criticism...”
19. “An artist needs the best studio instruction, the most rigorous demands, and the toughest criticism in order to tune up his sensibilities.”
20. “When you think of painting as painting it is rather absurd. The real world is before us – glorious sunlight and activity and fresh air, and high speed motor cars and television, all the animation – a world apart from a little square of canvas that you smear paint on.”
21. “A painter is always overjoyed when anybody pays any attention to him at all, puts him in any category, calls him anything – as long as they call him something.”
22. “Art is one of the dirtiest words in our language; it’s mucked up with all kinds of meanings. There’s the art of plumbing; there’s the art of almost anything that you can say.”
23. “I’m a believer in the notion that artists who do good work believe in the ideas of extremes.”
24. “Morandi suggests we are all single in this world, hoping for independent repose. But our best opportunity for a community of excellence depends upon a collection of enlightened individuals.”
25. “Diebenkorn was a very good critic, a very tough critic, tough on himself, tough on others. He expected the finest.”
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