Student Paintings

student paintigs from beginner to intermediate

Quotes about Learning to Paint

I am still learning. – Michelangelo

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.  – Abigail Adams

One must always be prepared to learn something totally new.  – Ludwig Wittgenstein

The fingers must be educated, the thumb is born knowing.  – Marc Chagall

I am progressing very slowly, for nature reveals herself to me in very complex forms; and the progress needed is incessant. – Paul Cezanne

Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else. – Sydney  Clemens

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. – Picasso

The only people who need degrees are dentists and brain surgeons. – David Hockney

The only way to learn to paint is by painting  – Charles Hawthorne

Your rules should arise out of your passions and your experience with what works for you. – Richard Schmid

One of the most striking features of adult students is their anxiety that they might be making themselves look foolish, or that they might be exposing themselves to failure.  –  Jenny Rogers, Adults Learning.

The important thing is somehow to begin. – Henry Moore

To begin, begin.  – William Wordsworth

A good beginning, a good middle & a good end. – Adam Cope

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Buy a paint-box, and have a try. When I die and go to heaven, I want to spend the first million years painting — so I can get to the bottom of the subject. – Winston Churchill

Take the first step, and your mind will mobilize all its forces to your aid. But the first essential is that you begin. Once the battle is started, all that is within and without you will come to your assistance. – Robert Collier

If the farmer worries himself with the question
Of how the sown grain transforms itself in the summer,
He will get nowhere. The Earth gives forth.
– Rilke, Sonnet to Orpheus

There are no mistakes, only tracks of where you have been to get where you are. – Robert Kaupelis

The sooner you make your first five thousand mistakes, the sooner you will be able to correct them. – Kimon Nicolaides

Even carelessness can be read as confidence. It’s better to make a mistake and leave it, than paint something very labored. – Joseph Zbukvic

No matter what a budding artist’s background, education, or point of view, he or she must ultimately go to a room and become an inventor. Only in quiet moments of struggle will both success and joy manifest themselves.  – Robert Genn

It doesn’t get any easier; you just go faster – Cycling Wisdom

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Intelligence is what you use when you don’t know what to do. – Piaget

Never let it be supposed that anyone can be a good painter if he does not clearly understand what he is attempting to do. He draws the bow in vain who has nowhere to point the arrow. – Alberti, Treatise on Painting, 1435

Study is the teacher of knowledge, but play and improvisation are the teachers of skill. Make as many paintings as you can, and let yourself enjoy the process of painting, and your progress will follow a natural and unique course. – Bruce McEvoy,

Art comes out of art. It begins with imitation, often in the form of parody, and it’s in this process of imitating the voice of others that one comes to learn the sound of one’s own voice.  – Alan Bennett

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. – John Muir (meaning that every element in painting is attached to all the other elements)

Teachers have a profound effect on their students and I wonder if they are really aware of that. Passing on our knowledge must be done in a way that enables the student to understand it, to retain it, to be able to implement it and to be enthused by it.  – Robert Wade.

It’s like trying to teach someone to swim when you’ve never been in the water. You need direct experience with mindfulness to teach it—and your embodied expression of mindfulness transmits a confidence in the path of practice. –  Oren Jay Sofer

No one has your answers because no one but you can comprehend the enormity of your questions. – Patti Digh

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Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
Mary Oliver


Learning is experience. Everything else is just information. ― Albert Einstein

You’re not learning to paint. You are painting to learn. – David Leffel

Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it. It is this working with experience that is important in learning. – David Boud

Art is a thing so much of the imagination, of the soul, that it is difficult to descend to the fundamentals of technique and yet make it plain to the student that these are but the ‘means’ and not an end in themselves. – John F. Carlson

The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all. – Pablo Casals

You don’t know a recipe until you have cooked it & eaten it at least ten times. – Adam Cope

Une béarnaise c’est simplement un jaune d’oeuf, une échalote, un peu d’estragon. Mais il faut des années de pratique avant que le résultat ne soit parfait. – Ferninand Point

Don’t try to recreate something you’ve done before. Challenge yourself constantly.  – Suzanne Partridge

Learn technique; have full command to the extent of not being conscious of how it is done. When craftsmanship has been developed, you are free to create… technique will give way to expression!  – Sergei Bongart

If one really wishes to be a master of an art, technical knowledge is not enough. One has to transcend technique so the art becomes an “artless art”, growing out of the Unconsciousness. – D.T. Suzuki

Mon enfance a été très misérable. Mon père est parti et ma mère était avec quatre enfants, qu’elle devait faire vivre par elle-même. C’était une enfance très dure. Mais moi, toujours, j’ai voulu être peintre. On m’a donné des crayons de couleurs à 7 ans, et je faisais un dessin avec un moulin, et on trouvait ça si beau… je n’ai jamais quitté l’idée d’être peintre.  – Bram Van Velde

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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 without ceasing 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, the power of selection will follow. Be continually making mental notes, make them again and again, test what you remember by sketches until you have got them fixed. Do not be backward at using every device and making every experiment that ingenuity can devise, in order to attain that sense of completeness which nature so beautifully provides, always bearing in mind the limitations of the materials in which you work. – John Singer Sargent

I always teach my students beauty.  No one should pass through four years of college without being given the knowledge of beauty and eyes with which to see it. – Chiura Obata

I found them here at first without hunting,
by grace, as all beauties are first found.
I have hunted and not found them here.
Found, unfound, they breathe their light
into the mind, year after year.   – Wendell Berry

The world is colourful. It is beautiful, I think. Nature is great. Van Gogh worshipped nature. He might have been miserable, but that doesn’t show in his work. There are always things that will try to pull you down. But we should be joyful in looking at the world. – David Hockney

The overwhelming tendency is to see what we believe to be there, rather than believing in what we actually see.  – Arthur Maderson

The true journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having fresh eyes. – Marcel Proust

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There is no such thing as starting where Cezanne left off. You have to start where he started… at the beginning. – Kimon Nicolaides

The general fact is that any modification, however important, is accomplished by the addition of corresponding regressions to progress. – Elisée Reclus

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up & get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part & a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. ~ Chuck Close

The most essential thing in dance discipline is devotion, the steadfast and willing devotion to the labor that makes the classwork not a gymnastic hour and a half, or at the lowest level, a daily drudgery, but a devotion that allows the classroom discipline to become moments of dancing too… – Merce Cunningham

Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. – Kurt Vonnegut

Art is not difficult because it wishes to be difficult, but because it wishes to be art. – Barthelme

It may be when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
 – Wendell Berry

To understand theory is not enough. Much practice is necessary…  – Kimon Nicolaides