„The thought of becoming a painter never as much as occurred to me. I would have laughed out loud if someone had suggested that I choose painting as a career. To be a painter is not a business, no more than to be an artist, lover, racer, dreamer, or prizefighter. It is a gift of Nature, a gift..“

—  Maurice de Vlaminck, Quote of De Vlaminck; as cited in Vlaminck, Klaus G. Perls, The Hyperion Press, New York 1941, p. 51 To support his family of four, De Vlaminck had to find other means by which to earn a living, and ended up taking several other jobs, including working as a billiards players, a writer, a general worker, and even a cyclist
Maurice de Vlaminck
pintor francés (1876-1958) 1876 - 1958
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M. C. Escher Foto

„It is human nature to want to exchange ideas, and I believe that, at bottom, every artist wants no more than to tell the world what he has to say. I have sometimes heard painters say that they paint 'for themselves': but I think they would soon have painted their fill if they lived on a desert island.“

—  M. C. Escher Dutch graphic artist 1898 - 1972
Context: It is human nature to want to exchange ideas, and I believe that, at bottom, every artist wants no more than to tell the world what he has to say. I have sometimes heard painters say that they paint 'for themselves': but I think they would soon have painted their fill if they lived on a desert island. The primary purpose of all art forms, whether it's music, literature, or the visual arts, is to say something to the outside world; in other words, to make a personal thought, a striking idea, an inner emotion perceptible to other people’s senses in such a way that there is no uncertainty about the maker's intentions.

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Patrick Swift Foto

„Not to paint is the highest ambition of the painter but God who gives the gift requires that it be honoured. It is in the gesture that it lives. There is no escape.“

—  Patrick Swift British artist 1927 - 1983
Context: Not to paint is the highest ambition of the painter but God who gives the gift requires that it be honoured. It is in the gesture that it lives. There is no escape. Picture-making is ludicrous in the light of the awful times we must endure. It is sufficient to contemplate the nature of composition to see that the picture itself is impossible. Each square inch of Titian contains the whole pointless — between the cradle and the grave. My paintings are merely signs that the activity was engaged in. Portuguese Notes (Gandon Editions Biography 1993).

„For me, being a 'lady painter' was never an issue. I don't resent being a female painter. I don't exploit it. I paint.“

—  Helen Frankenthaler American artist 1928 - 2011
Quote by John Gruen, in 'The Party's Over Now: Reminiscences of the fifties — New York's artists, writers, musicians, and their friends'; Viking Press, 1972 - ISBN 0-916366-54-5; as cited by by Grace Glueck, in 'New York Times', 2011

Paul Newman Foto
Wassily Kandinsky Foto

„I thought that the painter had no right to paint so unclearly....(but) the first faint doubt as to the importance of an 'object' as the necessary element in painting.“

—  Wassily Kandinsky Russian painter 1866 - 1944
Kandinsky is remembering his experience that he saw one of the 'Haystack' paintings of Monet, for the first time in his life, in Moscow (1895) p. 10

 Titian Foto

„Not every painter has a gift for painting, in fact, many painters are disappointed when they meet with difficulties in art. Painting done under pressure by artists without the necessary talent can only give rise to formlessness, as painting is a profession that requires peace of mind. The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting..“

—  Titian Italian painter 1477 - 1576
As quoted in The Quotable Artist (2002) by Peggy Hadden, p. 71. Variant: They who are compelled to paint by force, without being in the necessary mood, can produce only ungainly works, because this profession requires an unruffled temper. As quoted in The Quotable Artist (2002) by Peggy Hadden, p. 72.

Edgar Degas Foto
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Norah Jones Foto

„If I were a painter
I would paint my reverie
If that's the only way for you to be with me“

—  Norah Jones American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist 1979
"Painter Song", Come Away with Me (2002)

Letitia Elizabeth Landon Foto
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Thomas à Kempis Foto
George Hendrik Breitner Foto

„Do you know what I really need to make a well-finished painting? 2 years at Gérome or somebody like him, working in the studio.... because that is the only way to become a good painter. That whole business.. then a small watercolour than a little painting and finally when I have earned so much that I could study, I have become too old and too miserable. (translation from the original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek)“

—  George Hendrik Breitner Dutch painter and photographer 1857 - 1923
version in original Dutch (citaat van Breitner's brief, in het Nederlands:) Weet U wat ik nodig heb om een goed afgewerkt schilderij te maken? 2 jaar bij Gérome of zoo iemand op 't atelier te werken.. ..want dat is de enige manier om een goed schilder te worden. Dat gewurm, dan een aquarelletje dan een schilderijtje en eindelijk als ik daardoor zo veel verdiend heb dat ik zou kunnen studeeren ben ik te oud en te beroerd geworden. In his letter to A.P. van Stolk, nr. 51, c. 1884; RKD-Archive, The Hague; as cited in master-thesis Van Gogh en Breitner in Den Haag, Helewise Berger, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, p. 29 Breitner responds to accusations from his Maecenas that he refused to learn from well-known Dutch painters how to finish his paintings well. In 1884 already Breitner started in the studio of Cormon in Paris

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