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Painting Proverbs

Sayings about Painting

You can’t fill your belly painting pictures of bread. ~ Chinese Proverb

The face is the portrait of the mind; the eyes, its informers. ~ Latin Proverb

The tongue can paint what the eye can’t see. ~ Chinese Proverb

Painted flowers have no scent. ~ Spanish Proverbs

Don’t draw a sword against a louse. ~ Chinese Proverb

Working and painting are better from a distance. ~ Spanish Proverb

Do not draw your sword to kill a fly. ~ Korean Proverb

Blushing is the paint of good habits. ~ Hungarian Proverbs

For whom does the blind man’s wife paint herself? ~ English Proverbs

Lawyers and painters can soon change white to black. ~ Danish Proverbs

Do not add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it. ~ Chinese Proverb

The devil is not so black as he is painted. ~ Traditional Proverb

One day a student asked Taiga, “What is the most difficult part of painting?” Taiga answered, “The part of the paper where nothing is painted is the most difficult.” ~ Zen Proverb

I tried to draw the eyebrow, but I ended up poking the eye. ~ Azerbaijani Proverb

Learn to paint a tiger and you only paint his skin; learn to know a human being and you only know his face. ~ Chinese Proverb

Exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs. ~ Chinese Proverb

Draw the bow but don’t shoot — it is a bigger threat to be intimidated than to be hit. ~ Chinese Proverb

Don’t let your tongue or your paintbrush wag your tail when they are making up an inventory. ~ Chinese Proverb

Forgiving the unrepentant is like drawing pictures on water. ~ Japanese Proverb

Quotations about Painting

He best can paint them who shall feel them most. ~ Alexander Pope

The painter constructs, the photographer discloses. ~ Susan Sontag

When I see a white piece of paper, I feel I’ve got to draw. And drawing, for me, is the beginning of everything. ~ Ellsworth Kelly

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. ~ Abraham Maslow

The mind paints before the brush. ~ James Ellis

A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears. ~ Gertrude Stein

What is the good of drawing conclusions from experience? I don’t deny we sometimes draw the right conclusions, but don’t we just as often draw the wrong ones? ~ Georg C. Lichtenberg

One of the pleasant things those of us who write or paint do is to have the daily miracle. It does come. ~ Gertrude Stein

Painting does not come from intelligence so much, as from sight and feeling and invention. ~ Author Unknown

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun. ~ Pablo Picasso

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject; rather does the person grow to look like his portrait. ~ Salvador Dali

Painting is silent poetry. ~ Simonides of Ceos

The first writing of the human being was drawing, not writing. ~ Marjane Satrapi

Good painters imitate nature, bad ones spew it up. ~ Miguel De Cervantes

Lovers of painting and lovers of music are people who openly display their preference like a delectable ailment that isolates them and makes them proud. ~ Maurice Blanchot

Painting doesn’t mean just describing; it’s a state of spirit. ~ Caryl Churchill

Pure drawing is an abstraction. Drawing and colour are not distinct, everything in nature is coloured. ~ Paul Cezanne

The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen. ~ Paul Valery

It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it. ~ Steven Wright

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. ~ Pablo Picasso

It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it’s a painting, and if you can walk around it it’s a sculpture. ~ Author Unknown

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. ~ Pablo Picasso

Originality depends only on the character of the drawing and the vision peculiar to each artist. ~ Georges Seurat

The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature. ~ Thomas B. Macaulay

All art is exorcism. I paint dreams and visions too; the dreams and visions of my time. Painting is the effort to produce order; order in yourself. There is much chaos in me, much chaos in our time. ~ Otto Dix

One of the best things about paintings is their silence – which prompts reflection and random reverie. ~ Mark Stevens

My drawings have been described as pre-internationalist, meaning that they were finished before the ideas for them had occurred to me. I shall not argue the point. ~ James Thurber

Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do. ~ Edgar Degas

I paint things as they are. I don’t comment. I record. ~ Henri De Toulouse Lautrec

For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh. ~ Georges Rouault

Many are they who have a taste and love for drawing, but no talent; and this will be discernible in boys who are not diligent and never finish their drawings with shading. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted. ~ Henri Matisse

When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art. ~ Marc Chagall

If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint. ~ Edward Hopper

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. ~ John W. Gardner

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises. ~ Samuel Butler

It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work. ~ Henry Moore

The painter’s work will be of little merit if he takes the painting of others as his standard, but if he studies from nature he will produce good fruits. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things. ~ Edgar Degas

Painting was called silent poetry and poetry speaking painting. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great artist can paint a great picture on a small canvas. ~ Charles Dudley Warner

The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world. ~ André Malraux

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language. ~ Pablo Picasso

Don’t be an art critic. Paint. There lies salvation. ~ Paul Cezanne

If I try to articulate every little detail in a drawing, it would be like missing the forest for the trees, so it’s just about getting the outline of the forest. ~ Jeff Koons

I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies. ~ Le Corbusier

Painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh. ~ Georges Rouault

There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk. ~ Charles Dickens

If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Why should I paint dead fish, onions and beer glasses? Girls are so much prettier. ~ Marie Laurencin

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands. ~ Michelangelo

I never felt oppressed because of my gender. When I’m writing a poem or drawing, I’m not a female; I’m an artist. ~ Patti Smith

There is no way to success in art but to take off your coat, grind paint, and work like a digger on the railroad, all day and every day. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend. ~ John Singer Sargent

Sunlight is painting. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Surely nothing has to listen to so many stupid remarks as a painting in a museum. ~ Edmond & Jules de Goncourt

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale ’til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

In old times men used their powers of painting to show the objects of faith, in later times they use the objects of faith to show their powers of painting. ~ John Ruskin

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea. ~ John Anthony Ciardi

If you hear a voice within you saying, “You are not a painter,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

He who pretends to be either painter or engraver without being a master of drawing is an impostor. ~ William Blake

I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things. ~ Henri Matisse

Painters and poets have liberty to lie. ~ Robert Burns

Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen. ~ Pablo Picasso

Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it? ~ Pablo Picasso

What a strange vanity painting is; it attracts admiration by resembling the original, we do not admire. ~ Blaise Pascal

God created paper for the purpose of drawing architecture on it. Everything else is, at least for me, an abuse of paper. ~ Alvar Aalto

For me, drawing is a way of navigating the imagination, and it remains the fundamental vehicle of my practice. Drawing allows me to be at my most inventive. ~ Shahzia Sikander

Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting. ~ Plutarch

Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public opinion. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

If you call painting dumb poetry, the painter may call poetry blind painting. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Painting dissolves the forms at its command … it melts them into color. ~ Alexander Eliot

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. ~ Oscar Wilde

I paint objects as I think them not as I see them. ~ Pablo Picasso

I hope with all my heart there will be painting in heaven. ~ Jean-Baptiste Corot

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing. ~ Robert Benchley

Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache. ~ David Hockney

Drawing is the true test of art. ~ Horace

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad. ~ Salvador Dali

Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic. ~ Keith Haring

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint. ~ Pablo Picasso

Style in painting is the same as in writing,–a power over materials, whether words or colors. ~ James Ellis

If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye. ~ Honore De Balzac

Drawing is rather like playing chess: your mind races ahead of the moves that you eventually make. ~ David Hockney

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence. ~ Henri Matisse

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. ~ Frida Kahlo

People don’t have time to wait for somebody to paint their portraits anymore. The money is in photography. ~ Robert Mapplethorpe

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Drawing is speaking to the eye; talking is painting to the ear. ~ Joseph Joubert

The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? ~ Pablo Picasso

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk. ~ Paul Klee

A drawing is always dragged down to the level of its caption. ~ James Thurber

When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one’s imagination. ~ Ellen Key



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