Quotenik
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art

“Catch things that have been falling for a thousand years.”

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“I learned so much about art from watching a kid draw. I taught at the grade-school level. Kids don’t call it art when they’re throwing things around, drawing—they’re just doing stuff.”

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source: interview by David Salle, in Interview magazine.

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medium: Interview

via: Austin Kleon's Tumblr

“The originality which we ask from the artist is originality of treatment, not of subject. It is only the unimaginative who ever invent. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes, and he annexes everything.”

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source: quoted in Oscar Wilde: The Critic as Humanist, by Bruce Bashford (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999), 116.

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medium: review

“I think van Gogh was one of the great, great draftsmen. I love the little sketches in his letters, which seem like drawings of drawings. They are condensed versions of the big pictures he was painting at the time, so that Theo and the other people he was writing to could understand what he was doing. These days he’d be sending them on his iPhone. When you look at them, they contain everything. It’s all there. He certainly didn’t do anything by halves.”

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source: A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney, by Martin Gayford (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2011), 187.

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medium: Interview

“A word can be any size.”

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source: interview with Paul Holdengräber, LIVE from the NYPL, March 6, 2013

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medium: Interview

“A great piece of art is composed not just of what is in the final piece, but equally important, what is not. It is the discipline to discard what does not fit—to cut out what might have already cost days or even years of effort—that distinguishes the truly exceptional artist and marks the ideal piece of work, be it a symphony, a novel, a painting, a company or, most important of all, a life.”

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source: “Best New Year’s Resolution? A ‘Stop Doing’ List,” USA Today, December 30, 2003.

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medium: newspaper article

“In a children’s art class, we sat in a ring on kindergarten chairs and drew three daffodils that had just been picked out of the yard; and while I was drawing, my sharpened yellow pencil and the cup of the yellow daffodil gave off whiffs just alike. That the pencil doing the drawing should give off the same smell as the flower it drew seemed part of the art lesson—as shouldn’t it be? Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world.”

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source: One Writer’s Beginnings (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984), 9–10.

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medium: Memoir

“To effect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

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source: “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” in Walden (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1910), 117.

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medium: Nonfiction

“Limitations are really good for you. They are a stimulant. If you were told to make a drawing of a tulip using five lines, or one using a hundred, you’d have to be more inventive with the five. After all, drawing in itself is always a limitation. It’s black and white, or line or not line, charcoal, pencil, pen. You might have a bit of color—but if you can use only three colors, you’ve got to make them look whatever color you want. What did Picasso say? ‘If you haven’t got any red, use blue.’ Make blue look like red.”

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source: A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney, by Martin Gayford (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2011), 100.

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medium: Interview

“Everything can be used—but of course one doesn’t know it at the time. How does one know what a certain object will tell another?”

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source: Joseph Cornell, by Diane Waldman (New York: G. Braziller, 1977)

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medium: Nonfiction

“What you look for in the world is not simply for what you want to know, but for more than you want to know, and more than you can know, better than you had wished for, and sometimes something draws you to a discovery and there is no other happiness quite the same.”

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source: letter to her agent Diarmuid Russell, reply to Russell’s Sept. 30, 1941 letter, in Author and Agent, by Michael Kreyling (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991), 11.

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medium: Letter

“I remember standing on a street corner with the black painter Beauford Delaney down in the Village, waiting for the light to change, and he pointed down and said, Look. I looked and all I saw was water. And he said, Look again, which I did, and I saw oil on the water and the city reflected in the puddle. It was a great revelation to me. I can’t explain it. He taught me how to see, and how to trust what I saw. Painters have often taught writers how to see. And once you’ve had that experience, you see differently.”

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“The negative is the score, the print is the performance.”

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source: The Eloquent Light, by Nancy Newhall (San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club, 1963), 17.

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medium: art monograph

“Paul Klee’s studio was once described as an alchemist’s lair, stuffed with the materials and instruments that he made and kept about him—home-made brushes, whittled reed pens, dental picks and razor blades fastened to improvised handles, gesso-caked cups and bent bits of wire to scrape, incise, and abrade the compounded surfaces of his paintings.”

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source: The Art of Looking Sideways (London: Phaidon, 2001), 24.

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medium: Nonfiction

“De Kooning can do ‘messy’ by making a charcoal stroke over paint and then smudging same with his talented thumb—in prose the same gesture tends to look like simple ineptitude. De Kooning has a whole vocabulary of bad behavior which enables him to set up the most fruitful kinds of contradictions. It frees him. I have trouble rendering breaking glass.”

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source: Interview with J. O. O’Hara, in Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews (New York: Random House, 1997), 284.

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medium: Interview

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