MUSINGS OF THE MASTERS
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
From the age of 6 I had a penchant for copying the form of things,
And from about 50, my pictures were frequently published;
But until the age of 70, nothing that I drew was worthy of notice.
At 73 years I was somewhat able to fathom the growth of plants
And trees, and the structure of birds, animals, insects, and fish.
Thus when I reach 80 years, I hope to have made increasing progress,
And at 90 to see further into the underlying principles of things,
So that at 100 years I will have achieved a divine state in my art,
And at 110, every dot and every stroke will be as though alive.
Georges Braque (1882-1963)
One does not imitate the appearance; the appearance is the result
To be pure imitation, painting must make an abstraction from appearances.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.
The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of lies.
Gibon Sengai (1750-1837)
From nothing to nothing and without depending upon words or letters,
Looking always within your own nature. If you do not find truth in yourself,
Where can you seek it?
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
It seems to me that there is a feeling in the drawings, but I must be wrong;
Well, you can judge for yourself.
Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Art is harmony parallel to nature.
The eye is not enough,
reflection is needed.
Auguste Renoir (1839-1906)
is much to painting which can't be explained and which is essential.
You arrive before nature with theories, and nature throws them to
The artist’s intervention, interpretation, stylization, filtering are what modify, change,
transform everything. It is through this filtering and synthesis that we can
appreciate the artist’s imagination.
Vassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Letting one’s eyes wander over a palette laid out with the colors has two main results:
1. There occurs a purely physical effect---The spectator experiences a feeling of
satisfaction, of pleasure, like a gourmet who has a tasty morsel in his mouth.
or the eye is titillated, as is one’s palette by a highly spiced dish.
It can be calmed or cooled again, as one’s finger can when it touches ice.
These are all physical sensations and as such can only be of short duration.
2. The second main consequence of the contemplation of color is the psychological
effect The psychological power of color becomes apparent, calling forth a
vibration from the soul---Sight must be related not only to taste, but also to all
the other senses. Which is indeed the case. Many colors have an uneven, prickly
appearance, while others feel smooth, like velvet, so that one wants to stroke them
(dark ultramarine, chrome-oxide green, madder). Even the distinction between cold
and warm tones depends upon this sensation. There are also colors that appear
soft (madder), others that always strike one as hard (cobalt green, green-blue oxide),
so that one might mistake them for already dry when freshly squeezed
from the tube.
The expression ‘the scent of colors’ is common usage. Finally, our hearing of colors
is so precise that it would perhaps be impossible to find anyone who would try to
represent his vision of bright yellow by means of the bottom register of the piano,
or describe dark madder as being like a soprano voice---
Anyone who has heard of color therapy knows that colored light can have a
particular effect upon the entire body---red light has an enlivening and stimulating
effect upon the heart, while blue, on the other hand, can lead to temporary paralysis---
In general, therefore, color is a means of exerting a direct influence upon the soul.
Color is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many
strings. The artist is the hand that purposively sets the soul vibrating by means of
this or that key.