Art Quote of the Day

As the blogging continues, I wonder sometimes what purpose it should serve. I want to appeal to artists of every ‘stripe’,young and old. I look for inspiring quotes , educational quotes, personal quotes from individual artists,design ideas, etc. Today’s might seem a little simplistic for some but I thought I’d gear it towards my students maybe, ( if they follow this at all!) or other beginning students. So here it is…

“When an artist views an object – a tree branch , for example – and is inspired to reproduce the original as seen, he or she is using and drawing inspiration from optical perception.  The artist who reproduces only what he or she perceives in the ” real world” is thought of as a “perceptual” artist. However, some artists see the tree branch but envision a crying child or rearing horse.  When the imagination triggers this creative vision and suggests additional images, the artists are employing conceptual perception. Artists who are inspired by imaginative concepts are called “conceptual” artists. Leonardo da Vinci, writing in his Treatise on Painting, recorded an experience with conceptual perception while studying clouds: “On one occasion above Milan, over in the direction of Lake Maggiore, I saw a cloud shaped like a huge mountain made up of banks of fire….”  Elsewhere, he recommends staring at stains on walls as a source of inspiration. Following Leonardo, author and painter Victor Hugo found many of his ideas for drawings by studying coffe stains on tableloths.

By attempting to see the unique-ness in everything around us, we can expand our sensitivity and response to art.  The author Gertrude Stein wrote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” A literal interpretation would lead us to expect all roses to be identical, but we know that every rose has a different character, even with identical breeding and grooming. Every object is ultimately unique, be it a chair, a tree or a person. One of the major characteristics that sets the artist apart is the ability to see (and experience) the subtle differences in things.  By exposing those differences, the artist can make the ordinary seem distinctive, the humdrum exciting.”

Art Fundamentals – Theory and Practice , 12th edition – Ocvirk, Stinson, Wigg, Bone, Cayton