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Art Quotes on Observation


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69 art quotes about Observation found | Share this page of quotes about Observation on Facebook

About two-thirds of the effort that goes towards the execution of a painting can, I am sure, be attributed to observation. (Lionel Aggett)

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life. (Marcus Aurelius)

Again and again I've taken quick glances and then for some reason I've got to sit before a picture waiting and it's opened up like one of those Japanese flowers that you put into water and something I thought wasn't worth more than a casual, respectful glance begins to open up depth after depth of meaning. (Sister Wendy Beckett)

You can observe a lot by just watching. (Yogi Berra)

One can only see what one observes, and one observes only things which are already in the mind. (Alphonse Bertillon)

Often it is tiny fragments which either make a picture convincing or totally incidental. (Simone Bingemer)

To linger in the observation of things, other than the self, implies a profound conviction of their worth. (Charles-Damian Boulogne)

Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it 'creative observation.' (William S. Burroughs)

Everyone is in the best seat. (John Cage)

A few observations and much reasoning lead to error; many observations and a little reasoning to truth. (Alexis Carrel)

The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. (Paul Cezanne)

A heightened sense of the observation of nature is one of the chief delights that have come to me through trying to paint. (Winston Churchill)

It's through my artist's eyes that I see wonderful things in nature that I never saw before. (Kathy Connelly)

I do a bale of sketches, one eye, a piece of hair. A pound of observation, then an ounce of painting. (Gardner Cox)

Seeing artistically does not happen automatically. We must constantly develop our powers of observation. (Eugene Delacroix)

I keep plastering it until it comes around to what I want, in terms of all I know and think about painting now, as well as in terms of the initial observation. (Richard Diebenkorn)

Wherever you are - be all there. (Jim Elliott)

It is through observation and perception of atmosphere that he [the artist] can register the feeling that he wishes his painting to give out. (Lucian Freud)

Observation of the first kind projects its own light on to things and can, therefore, only touch their surface; all it does is render its objects invisible. That of the second kind projects light into things and makes objects luminous in themselves. (Egon Friedell)

I made a promise to keep a watch over myself, to remain master of myself, so that I might become a sure observer. (Paul Gauguin)

The overly-verbal artist is led by his understanding of things--rather than by direct observation of things as they are. (Robert Genn)

Objects exist and, if one pays more attention to them than to people, it is precisely because they exist more than the people. Dead objects are still alive. Living people are often already dead. (Jean-Luc Godard)

Art demands constant observation. (Vincent van Gogh)

If we study Japanese art, we see a man who is undoubtedly wise, philosophic and intelligent, who spends his time doing what?... He studies a single blade of grass. (Vincent van Gogh)

It is difficult to say why I decided I wanted to be an artist. Obviously, I had some facility, more than other people, but sometimes facility comes because one is more interested in looking at things, examining them, more interested in the visual world than other people are. (David Hockney)

The child does not merely observe the world around him. He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. (John Holt)

The picture is painted fifteen minutes after sunset – not one minute before... You can see that it took many days of careful observation to get this... with a high sea and tide just right. (Winslow Homer)

-report on the Group of Seven, 1919...
Do not take the paintings too seriously, rather let them take you. The old masters were young servants once. (The Daily Intelligencer)

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. (Christopher Isherwood)

Through careful observation of masterpieces, I can learn to 'hone in' on my own painting skills, and benefit from what the artist has already tried and proved in their own work. (Daniel J. Keys)

But when we observe, we are forced to pay attention. We have to move from passive absorption to active awareness. We have to engage. (Maria Konnikova)

Observation without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence. (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds. (Ronald David Laing)

Observe 'what is' with undivided awareness. (Bruce Lee)

All of us are watchers – of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway – but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing. (Peter M. Leschak)

The saddest part about being human is not paying attention. Presence is the gift of life. (Stephen Levine)

Observation and study are necessary to achieve mastery of light and form. (Andrew Loomis)

Look thy last on all things lovely, every hour. (Walter de la Mare)

Paying attention to the world around you will help you develop the extraordinary capacity to look at mundane things and see the miraculous. (Michael Michalko)

Pay attention to what gets your attention. (Gina Mollicone-Long)

The observation of nature is part of an artist's life, it enlarges his form and knowledge, keeps him fresh and from working only by formula, and feeds inspiration. (Henry Moore)

There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language. (Sir William Osler)

Look slowly and hard at something subtle and small. (Philip Pearlstein)

There are no secrets, no formulas. It's just a matter of looking carefully. (Colin Poole)

To observations which ourselves we make, we grow more partial for th' observer's sake. (Alexander Pope)

Developing better and more accurate observational skills is essential for everybody and every profession. Basically, If you can't observe accurately, you can't think accurately. (Tiit Raid)

Be a man in the crowd and also a bird in the sky. (Rawjeev)

An eye critically nice can only be formed by observing well-colored pictures with attention. (Sir Joshua Reynolds)

Don't observe yourself too closely. Don't be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

-The Art of Letting Go...
A paradox is a seeming contradiction, always demanding a change on the side of the observer. If we look at almost all things honestly we see everything has a character of paradox to it. Everything, including ourselves. (Richard Rohr)

Extreme observation serves artists very well - perhaps it is the best teacher. (Cynde Roof)

To be able to observe with a stranger's eye helps one to see with an artist's eye. What alienates us inspires. (Jean Rostand)

Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still. (Rumi)

A traveller without observation is a bird without wings. (Sa'di)

Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation. Wherever you are, be always ready to make slight notes of postures, groups and incidents. Store up in the mind... a continuous stream of observations from which to make selections later. Above all things get abroad, see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen. (John Singer Sargent)

Seeing is the consequence of optics; observing is the consequence of imaginative contemplation. (Ian Semple)

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. (George Bernard Shaw)

Images have been reproached for being a way of watching suffering at a distance, as if there were some other way of watching. (Susan Sontag)

Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking. (Wallace Stevens)

Snow. White, white, white, soft and clean, and maddening shapes, with the whole world in them. (Alfred Stieglitz)

The faculty of creating is never given to us all by itself. It always goes hand in hand with the gift of observation. (Igor Stravinsky)

The morning wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted; but few are the ears to hear it. (Henry David Thoreau)

The most satisfying and most basic art experience is looking – pure, unmediated observation and sensation. (Roy Thurston)

Practical observation commonly consists of collecting a few facts and loading them with guesses. (Author unknown)

Perceptive observation is seeing with your brain, feeling with your eyes, interpreting with your heart. (Robert Wade)

Landscape painting is a concentrated, meditative journey in observation. (Van Waldron)

All art is based on observation, and this, in its time, must be disciplined to be of any value. Vague recollections are of no value to the artist. Know what you are looking for and why, and then record it. Then look again, for what you missed. (Van Waldron)

-The Daybooks of Edward Weston...
I see no reason for recording the obvious. (Edward Weston)


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Last modified: April 23, 2014