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“Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.”

Art of Quotation

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.

Doris Lessing, British, novelist, Nobel Prize
From “Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing”, by Larry Chang, M.D., 2006.

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“What good is an artist, anyway?… I would answer “An artist provides an abstract mental garden for people to live, think, work, and exist in.”

Art of Quotation

I’ve had senators and congressmen ask me,

“What good is an artist, anyway?”

I couldn’t believe it… I would answer…

“An artist provides an abstract mental garden for people to live, think, work, and exist in.”

James Rosenquist, painter, from “Painting Below Zero”, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p 249

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“The spaces between stars are where the work of the universe is done.”

Art of Quotation

The spaces between stars are where the work of the universe is done.

Ivan Doig, writer, book quote from “The Sea Runners”, p.68, Simon and Schuster

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“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”

Art of Quotation

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.

Milan Kundera

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“ when I look back at [a] drawing, it carries a couple hours of my life with it. ”

Art of Quotation

Diane Olivier, artist and educator remembers sketching a tomato slice on a trip to France:

“When I look at that drawing I remember the temperature, I remember where we were sitting,” she said. “I remember the shadow falling across the picnic table. I remember the people I was talking to. And when I look back at that drawing, it carries a couple hours of my life with it.”

Diane Olivier, artist

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“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.”

Art of Quotation

We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.

Bernard Williams, English, philosopher

Painting: E. Manet, Violets, 1872, a gift to Berthe Morisot

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“Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour but this hour”

Art of Quotation

“Happiness, not in another
place but this place…
not for another hour
but this hour”

Walt Whitman, “A Song for Occupations,” Leaves of Grass

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“Once in a while the dream comes true / And the whole pattern of life is altered”

Art of Quotation

But once in a while the odd thing happens
Once in a while the dream comes true
And the whole pattern of life is altered
Once in a while, the moon turns blue

W. H. Auden, poet

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“ It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea. “

Art of Quotation

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.

Gerhard Richter, painter,
“Gerhard Richter: An Artist Beyond Isms”. The New York Times Magazine, January 27, 2002.

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“The object is nothing, light is everything.”

Art of Quotation

Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects. The object is nothing, light is everything.

Leonard Missone, Belgian, photographer


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“Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.”

Art of Quotation

“Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.”

-Douglas Pagels, author

-Illustration: Saul Steinberg


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”Have you noticed that music and art are already filling the emotional gaps left by the absence of direct human contact? “

Art of Quotation

”Have you noticed that music and art are already filling the emotional gaps left by the absence of direct human contact?

…The most relevant unit of society at the moment is the entire human family.”

I wonder if there will be an enduring shift in consciousness after all this. All those tribal us-them stories don’t seem quite as germane right now. The most relevant unit of society at the moment is the entire human family.

All those burn-it-down/destroy-the-system/anti-establishment tirades ring a little hollow, too. It’s not the angry outsiders who are protecting us right now, it’s the Establishment.

The whole culture of autonomy seems immature, too: I’m free to be myself! The people who are out there doing their own thing are at Spring Break threatening the lives of the most vulnerable around them.

We’ll need a great reset when this is all over. We need to start planning a…

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“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.”

Art of Quotation

“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.”

– William Faulkner, writer

Image: Jakob Owens


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“I make use of painting to render thoughts visible.”

Art of Quotation

“I make use of painting to render thoughts visible.”

— Rene Magritte, Belgian, painter


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“Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?”

Art of Quotation

“Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?”

David Baldacci, writer, book quote from “The Camel Club”, p.304, Pan Macmillan

Photo: Kourish Qaffari


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“Art is risk made visible”

Art of Quotation

“Art is risk made visible”

Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Photographer


Image:

He works alone, his images are all unmanipulated, made with one exposure, with no retouching. ‘I do not use an assistant to look through the camera; otherwise she or he also becomes the photographer. Instead, I have nine seconds to get into the scene, or if I am using a long cable release bulb, I can press it and throw it out of the picture, knowing nine seconds later the camera will fire’ source


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“A woodman came into a forest to ask the trees to give him a handle for his axe… No sooner had the woodman fitted the wood to his purpose, than he began felling the noblest trees in the wood.”

Art of Quotation

A woodman came into a forest to ask the trees to give him a handle for his axe. It seemed so modest a request that the principal trees at once agreed to it, and it was settled among them that a plain, homely ash tree should furnish what was wanted.

No sooner had the woodman fitted the wood to his purpose, than he began laying about him on all sides, felling the noblest trees in the wood. The oak, now seeing the whole matter too late, whispered to the cedar, “The first concession has lost all. If we had not sacrificed our humble neighbor, we might have yet stood for ages ourselves.”

Aesop, from The Trees and the Axe


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“We live in a fractured world. I’ve always seen it as my role as an artist to attempt to make wholeness.”

Art of Quotation

We live in a fractured world. I’ve always seen it as my role as an artist to attempt to make wholeness.

Anish Kapoor, sculptor


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“The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer.”

Art of Quotation

The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer.

Harlan Ellison

Image: Leonid Pasternak – The Passion of Creation


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“I see the shape of the poem before I start writing, and the writing is just the process of arriving at the shape.“

Art of Quotation

“I see the shape of the poem before I start writing, and the writing is just the process of arriving at the shape.”

Carol Ann Duffy, poet

Image; Neil Bates


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“Why shouldn’t we, so generally addicted to the gigantic, at last have some small works of art, some short poems, short pieces of music, some…”

Art of Quotation

Why shouldn’t we, so generally addicted to the gigantic, at last have some small works of art, some short poems, short pieces of music, some intimate, low-voiced, and delicate things in our mostly huge and roaring, glaring world?

Elizabeth Bishop, writer, “Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters”


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“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.”

Art of Quotation

“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.”

Maxine Hong Kingston, author

Image: Anders Nord


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“The New Year is a painting not yet painted… remember that you are blessed with the ability to reshape your life!”

Art of Quotation

“The New Year is a painting not yet painted; a path not yet stepped on; a wing not yet taken off! Things haven’t happened as yet! Before the clock strikes twelve, remember that you are blessed with the ability to reshape your life!”

— Mehmet Murat ildan, Turkish, writer

Image: Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842), self portrait


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“It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

Art of Quotation

“It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

Jean-Luc Godard, Director


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“Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

Art of Quotation

“Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

L. Tolstoy


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“Enjoy yourself… The years go by, as quickly as a wink. Enjoy yourself, It’s later than you think”

Art of Quotation

As a birthday gift to myself I’m taking a blog-free holiday for the remainder of 2019. Wishing you all the best of the rest of this year and depart singing along to this tuneful reminder:

“You never go to night clubs and
You just don’t care to dance
You don’t have time for silly things
Like moonlight and romance
You only think of dollar bills
Tied neatly in a stack
But when you kiss a dollar bill,
It doesn’t kiss you back”

Song quotes from “Enjoy Yourself“, 1949. Recorded by Guy Lombardo and Louis Prima

Music written by Carl Sigman and lyrics by Herb Magidson.

Enjoy Yourself, (It’s Later Than You Think)

You work and work
For years and years
You’re always on the go
You never take the minute off
Too busy making dough
Someday you’ll say
You’ll have your fun
When you’re a millionaire
Imagine all…

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“Love people and use things because the opposite never works.”

Art of Quotation

“Love people and use things because the opposite never works.”

Joshua Fields Millburn, author, movie quote from Minimalism – A Documentary About Important Things


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“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.”

Art of Quotation

“Unexpected intrusions of beauty. This is what life is.”

Saul Bellow, writer, book quote from Herzog, 1976


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“A poem should stimulate the sense of living and of being alive.”

Art of Quotation

“A poem should stimulate the sense of living and of being alive.”

Wallace Stevens, poet

Image: Alex Wing


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“the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos… they paint… they compose… they write…”

Art of Quotation

“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos.

The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”

W. Somerset Maugham, book quote from The Painted Veil, 1925


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“One looks, looks long, and the world comes in.”

Art of Quotation

“One looks, looks long, and the world comes in.”

-– Joseph Campbell, author

Image: Keegan Houser


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“he erased the distinctions between art and ideas, putting a positive, endgame value on long-term exploring over short-term arriving”

Art of Quotation

“Leonardo’s great accomplishment was that he erased the distinctions between art and ideas, putting a positive, endgame value on long-term exploring over short-term arriving”

, art critic for the New York Times. Thoughts about the Louvre retrospective of Leonardo da Vinci and honoring the 500th anniversary of his death.


PARIS — To judge by the marketing hullabaloo, the Leonardo da Vinci retrospective that opens here Thursday at the Louvre should be the visual equivalent of a 21-gun salute and a trumpet-and-trombone choir. Blockbuster’s plastered all over it, and rightly so. Timed-ticket sales for its one-stop run are moving right along.

But the marvelous show you actually see, honoring the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, is, tonally, some other thing: quieter, slower, better. It’s a succession of major painterly melodies set among ink-drawn pre-echoes and reverbs. It’s a confluence of presences and absences — art that’s there and some…

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“Establish enigmas, not explanations.”

Art of Quotation

“Establish enigmas, not explanations.”

Robert Smithson, land artist

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“Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.”

Art of Quotation

“Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.”

Arthur Koestler, author

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“You were placed on this earth to create, not to compete.”

Art of Quotation

“You were placed on this earth to create, not to compete.”

Robert Anthony, author


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“To be ones self and unafraid whether right or wrong is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.”

Art of Quotation

“To be ones self and unafraid whether right or wrong is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.”

Irving Wallace, author


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“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake”

Art of Quotation

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake”

Wallace Stevens  , poet, “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction”, 1942.

Featured image: Eberhard Grossgasteiger


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“folks expect of the poet… to indicate the path between reality and their souls”

Art of Quotation

“folks expect of the poet to… indicate the path between reality and their souls”

Walt Whitman, poet


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“Every time you try to put your finger on it, it slips away.”

Art of Quotation

“Songwriting is about getting the demon out of me. It’s like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won’t let you.

So you have to get up and make it something, and then you’re allowed to sleep. So letting go is what the whole game is.

Every time you try to put your finger on it, it slips away.”

– John Lennon, songwriter, singer, composer, writer, musician


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“Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.”

Art of Quotation

“Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.”

From Amor Towles “Rules of Civility” (The appendix: The Young George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation: Rule 110), Book quotes

Featured Image:  Erzsébet Vehofsics


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“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.”

Art of Quotation

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.”

Orison Sweet Marden, author

Image: Ali Abdul Rahman


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“Being Slow means that you control the rhythms of your own life… You decide…”

Art of Quotation

“Being Slow means that you control the rhythms of your own life.

You decide how fast you have to go in any context. If today I want to go fast, I go fast. If tomorrow I want to go slow, I go slow.

What we are fighting for is the right to determine our own tempos.”

Carlo Petrini, journalist, writer, food writer, Italian, founder International Slow Food Movement


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“Begin doing what you want to do now… We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”

Art of Quotation

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.”

Francis Bacon, English, scientist, author, philosopher

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In Memory: “Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

Art of Quotation

“Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

Toni Morrison, writer, 1931-2019


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“The search for an equilibrium is essential for the artist, to be as aware of inner space as he is of outer space”

Art of Quotation

“The search for an equilibrium is essential for the artist, to be as aware of inner space as he is of outer space”

Mark Tobey, painter


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“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”

Art of Quotation

“A man who works with his hands is a laborer;
a man who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman;
but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”

Louis Nizer, lawyer, author

Featured image: Painter Eloy Morales – Self Portrait (a work in progress)


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“It’s taking all my energy these days to just keep being who I am.”

Art of Quotation

It’s taking all my energy these days to just keep being who I am.

Sven Birkerts, twitter post June, 2020

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