Art & Decor Trends

Art Reflections

20 Inspiring Quotes from the Great Artists of the Past

Everyone seeks advice. Artists have a tendency to always second guess themselves more than others. Insecurities and the luring question of “is this really great art?” are ambiguous and extremely difficult questions to carry around in one’s gut.

The good news is that you are not alone. Artists have been faced with such concerns from the dawn of art itself. The great ones often spoke of the art process and what makes their art so very special.

The following is a collection of artist inspiring quotes. Think of them as tips to help you get into the artist mindset and hopefully it will make you a better artist and a more confident one. Know in your heart that what you have created is nothing less than a masterpiece. It is a fantastic dream that one day this work will adorn the walls of the world’s greatest art museums:

  1. “To create one’s own world takes courage.” -Georgia O’Keeffe
  2. “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.” –Paul Cezanne
  3. “The nude, if you tackle it, is a very fascinating subject, especially for a woman… Traditionally the Nude was used to express formulations about life as larger-than-life, as Heroic or Ideal… The nude is not a ‘genre’ subject.” -Isabel Bishop
  4. “Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye.. but it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.”  –Edvard Munch
  5. “As long as I live I will have control over my being.” -Artemisia Gentileschi
  6. “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is a painting that is felt rather than seen.” –Leonardo da Vinci
  7. “Art is eternal, but life is short.” -Evelyn De Morgan
  8. “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” –Edgar Degas
  9. “Sometimes the painting starts to relate very directly to either sights seen or experiences felt, other times it just goes off on a tangent that you really can’t articulate.” -Susan Rothenberg
  10. “After tea, it’s back to painting – a large poplar at dusk with a gathering storm. From time to time instead of this evening painting session I go bowling in one of the neighboring villages, but not very often.” –Gustav Klimt
  11. “Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world… More of me comes out when I improvise.”  –Edward Hopper
  12. “What a funny thing painting is. The abstract painters always insist on their connection with the visible reality, while the so-called figurative artists insist that what they really care about, is the abstract qualities of life.” -Marlene Dumas
  13. “Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” –Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  14. “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
  15. “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” -Michelangelo
  16. “Real painters understand with a brush in their hand.” -Berthe Morisot
  17. “I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.” –William Bradford
  18. “If painting is no longer needed, it seems a pity that some of us are born into the world with such a passion for line and color.” –Mary Cassatt
  19. “Never put more than two waves in a picture; it’s fussy.” –Winslow Homer
  20. “I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.” –Henri Matisse

What advice would you pass alone to young or beginning artists? What makes your creative process so successful, or on the contrary, what makes it so difficult for artists to create great art? Whatever the case may be, always make sure to follow your passion and enjoy the fruits of your creation.

About the Author

Tiffany Chaney is a freelance writer, artist and graphic designer residing in North Carolina. In 2012, her first poetry collection Between Blue and Grey was released. Find out more about her at