* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
… Fernhoffer’s a man in love with our art, a man who sees higher and farther than other painters. He’s meditated on the nature of color, on the absolute truth of line, but by dint of so much research, he has come to doubt the very object of his investigations. In moments of despair, he claims that drawing doesn’t exist and that lines are only good for rendering geometrical figures, which is far from the truth, since with line and with black, which is not a color, we can create a human figure. There’s your proof that our art is like nature itself, composed of an infinity of elements: drawing accounts for the skeleton, color supplies life, but life without a skeleton is even more deficient than a skeleton without life. Lastly, there’s something even truer than all this, which is that practice and observation are everything to a painter; so that if reasoning and poetry argue with our brushes, we wind up in doubt, like our old man here, who’s as much a lunatic as he is a painter — a sublime painter who had the misfortune to be born into wealth, which has allowed him to wander far and wide. Don’t do that to yourself! A painter should philosophize only with a brush in his hand!
Honore Balzac in The Unknown Masterpiece
Comments are welcome!
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Works of art specify no immediate action or limited use. They are like gateways, where the visitor can enter the space of the painter, or the time of the poet, to experience whatever rich domain the artist has fashioned. But the visitor must come prepared: if he brings a vacant mind or deficient sensibility, he will see nothing. Adherent meaning is therefore largely a matter of conventional shared experience, which it is the artist’s privilege to rearrange and enrich under certain limitations.
George Kubler in The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things
Comments are welcome!