En Plein Air: Favorite Quotes?

29 Jan 2009

by Allison Malafronte

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for a good quote. I keep an electronic journal of phrases, sayings, or sentiments that I think are worth remembering and reflecting on. Of course, most of these quotes have to do with art, and a lot of them are from some of the great writers on landscape painting and nature, such as Ruskin, Thoreau, Wordsworth, and Blake. I wanted to list a few of the quotes that I find particularly inspirational here, and then open up the question to you: What are some of your favorite quotes related to landscape painting or nature?

 “If the imagination is shackled, and nothing is described but what we see, seldom will anything truly great be produced, either in Painting or Poetry.” –Thomas Cole

“The basis of human happiness is the possibility to be together with nature, to see it and to talk to it.” –Leo Tolstoy

“If I could make musicians of you all, you would thereby profit as painters. Everything in nature is harmony; a little too much, or else too little, disturbs the scale and makes a false note. One must reach the point of singing true with the pencil or with brush quite as much as with the voice; rightness of forms is like rightness of sounds.” –Ingres

 “We are all born original masterpieces and die cheap imitations because we limit ourselves in the areas of our aspirations.” –Scott Christensen, quoting from his pastor


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on 30 Jan 2009 7:12 AM

"The mountains are calling and I must go."

--John Muir

Colin Page wrote
on 30 Jan 2009 10:32 AM

"talk doesn't cook rice"


“Perhaps this should be seen as the workings of a natural law: an artist is a reaction; responding to the usual with the unheard-of, detecting what is strange in what is common, distilling purity from impurity by a mysterious process which can take place only in the presence of all that is worn out, habitual, conventional, and commonplace. Our daemon’s task is to cheat the law by which habit debases all sensation.”

Paul Valery

on 31 Jan 2009 8:06 AM

“Art is the nature of God.”

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”

laurawg wrote
on 11 Feb 2009 2:05 PM

"Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it."  lol

Marshall McLuhan

laurawg wrote
on 11 Feb 2009 2:17 PM

Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul. ~ Henri Matisse

Eric Weisman wrote
on 19 Apr 2009 11:59 AM

Selection is the invention of the landscape painter.