Inspirational quotes from artists

60 quotes from great artists to help empower you and bolster your creativity.

BUTTONS1stDichroduetbyDedeLeupold

Creativity is all around us. But what spurs on the great artist? Read quotes from Leonardo da Vinci to Helen Frankenthaler, exploring the essence of their work and personal motivation. You’ll even find a few gems from Bob Ross and Patti Smith — all empowering, encouraging, and applauding art and equality. 

 

Each quote is paired with an image from a past BeadDreams contest winner. It is my hope that these inspiring words and colorful images help instill greatness in your creative thinking.

Picasso

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso

 

Image: "Primitive origins" by Laura Jean Heffley; 2000 BeadDreams

 

 

 

CROPPEDTheprinciplesoftrueartarenottoportraybuttoevokeJerzyKosinski

“The principles of true art are not to portray, but to evoke.” — Jerzy Kosinski

  

Image: “‘Ano ‘Ano” by Candice Wakumoto; 2000 BeadDreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
glassflowerTanning

“Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.” — Dorothea Tanning

 

Image (detail of button): “Dichroduet” by Dede Leupold; 2001 Beaddreams

 

 

WebworkKosinski

“Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.” — Wassily Kandinsky

 

Image (detail of glass bead): “Webwork Series” by Kimberly A. Fields; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

 

ChrysalisWintersGauguincopy

“I shut my eyes in order to see.” — Paul Gauguin

 

Image (detail of glass bead): “Webwork Series” by Kimberly A. Fields; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

OrganicMatisse

“Look at life with the eyes of a child.” — Henri Matisse

 

 Image: “Organics” by Joan E. Moore; 2001 BeadDreams

 

 

Untitled1

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” — Frida Kahlo

 

 Image (detail of button): “Forest of Buttons” by Jay Shuster; 2001 BeadDreams

 

 

 

PapaAdams

“You don't take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams

 

Image: “Papa La’Au X 7” by Candice Wakumoto; 2001 BeadDreams

 

 

SpringgardenCezanne

Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one’s sensations.” — Paul Cézanne

 

Image (detail of bead): “Spring Garden Beads” by Lea Zinke; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

CinderellaRivera

“Every good composition is above all a work of abstraction. ” — Diego Rivera

 

 Image: “Cinderella, Honey, It’s Midnight” by Frances “Casey” Case; BeadDreams 2000

 

 

PeachesAmbers

“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.” — Anni Albers

 

 Image (detail of bead): “Peaches” by Mary Elyse Weiss; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

 

SantaFeChagall

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.” — Marc Chagall

 

 Image: “Sant Fe Sky” by Sheila Bayle-Lissick; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

MsnecklaceandModigliani

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.” — Amadeo Modigliani

 

 Image: M's Necklace by Masami Sato; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

DichroicfishandPicasso

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” — Pablo Picasso

 

 Image: Dichroic Fish by Ofilia Cinta; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

RosesOKeefe

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing–and keeping the unknown always beyond you.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

 

 Image (detail of a button): “Roses Under Glass” by Carolyn Baum; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

RedMoore

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” — Henry Moore

 

Image (detail of necklace): “Red Choker" by Masami Sato; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

CarryOnMartin

“Happiness is being on the beam with life – to feel the pull of life.” — Agnes Martin

 

 Image (Detail of a suitcase): “Carry On” by Beth Blankenship; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

CaveIngess

“The true use of art is, first, to cultivate the artist’s own spiritual nature.” — George Inness

 

 Image  (detail): “Lascaux Collar” by Barbara Berg; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

BoxAdams

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” — Ansel Adams

 

 Image (Detail of box): “Mosaic Box” by Jennifer Bezingue; BeadDreams2002

 

 

TimeFliesCezanne

“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.” — Paul Cézanne

 

 Image detail: “My How Time Flies” by Tracy Stanley; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

FeetRinggold

“I just decided, when someone says you can’t do something. DO MORE OF IT.” — Faith Ringgold

 

Image Detail: “Jester” by Lisa Savoy; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

TreebranchHopper

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” — Edward Hopper

 

Image detail: “Persephone” by Shantasa Saling; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

 

 

KazmerHolzer2002

“I wanted to support things that are helpful to people and maybe bash what I think is dangerous. So I switched from being everybody to being myself.” — Jenny Hozer

 

Image (detail of necklace): “Ancient Dreams” by Susan Lenart Kazmer; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

 

KummliTreesBoobRoss2002

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” — Bob Ross

 

Image (detail of necklace): “Solstice” by Heidi Kummli; 2002

 

 

HuevitovanGogh

 “The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech.” — Vincent van Gogh

 

Image (detail of glass bead): “Huevito Verde” by Stephanie Jones Rubiano; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

 

Rainbowcubesklimt

“Art is a line around your thoughts.” — Gustav Klimt

 

Image: “A Rainbow Cubed” by Lani Chang; 2002

 

 

LemurPicasso

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” – Pablo Picasso

 

Image (detail): “Just Hanging Around” by Patricia Kimle; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

Bourgeois

“It is not so much where my motivation comes from but rather how it manages to survive.” — Louise Bourgeois

 

Image (detail): “Sea Turtle” by Christine Martell; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

 

Lichtenstien

“I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me.” — Roy Lichtenstein

 

Image (detail): “Nature's Jewels” by Heidi Kummli; BeadDreams 2002

 

 

Emerson

“Every artist was first an amateur.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Image (detail): “Dahlia” by Laura McCabe; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

 

FlowerglassChagall

 

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” — Marc Chagall

 

Image:  “Hydrangeas” by Lea Zinke; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

Image22InCircles22byAmyJohnsoncopy

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” — Claude Monet

 

Image: “In Circles” by Amy Johnson; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

 

ShoesFrankenthaler

“A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once.” — Helen Frankenthaler

 

Image: “Hardworking man” by Kathlyn Leighton; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

ForestDanceKandinsky

“If the artist has outer and inner eyes for nature, nature rewards him by giving him inspiration.”

— Wassily Kandinsky

 

Image (detail of necklace): “Forest Dance” by Heidi Kummli; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

beadsRodin

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” — Auguste Rodin

 

Image (detail of vessel): “Total Lifetime Urnings” by Camilla Tate; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

Frankenthaler

“There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.” — Helen Frankenthaler

 

Image: “African day dreams” by Jude Carmona; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

HydeMiro

“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.” – Joan Miro

 

Image (detail of necklace): “The Beads Become Her” by Diane Hyde; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

Dali

“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” 

— SalvadorDalí

 

Image (detail):  “Fans” by Rececca Laurence; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

Degas

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” — Edgar Degas

 

Image: “Interstellar landscape beads” by John Winter; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

HeartLange

“To know ahead of time what you’re looking for means you’re then only photographing your own preconceptions, which is very limiting, and often false.” — Dorothea Lange

 

Image (detail of necklace): “Naomi's necklace” by Verna Holland; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

DesertsunsetDali

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dalí

 

Image: “ Desert sunset” by Kaleigh Hessel; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

SunflowersCameron

“The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” — Julia Margaret Cameron

 

Image (detail of necklace): “ Sunflowers” by Mary Lou Allen; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

Hofmann

“I can’t understand how anyone is able to paint without optimism. Despite the general pessimistic attitude in the world today, I am nothing but an optimist.” — Hans Hofmann

 

Image: “Rainforest beads” by Janet Farris; BeadDreams 2003 

 

 

beadmonet

“The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.” — Claude Monet

 

Image: “Leaves I & II” by Patricia Kimle; BeadDreams 2001

 

 

FishyMatisse

“Creativity takes courage. — Henri Matisse

 

Image (detail): “Family crest for eating out” by Anne Kingsbury; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

Bacon

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — Francis Bacon

 

Image: “Arrows flight” by Stephanie Jones Rubiano; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

LuckNin

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anais Nin

 

Image (detail of beaded bag): “Dedicated to luck” by Anne Kingsbury, BeadDreams 2003

 

 

Kimonawarhol

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.” — Andy Warhol

 

Image: “Kimono necklace” by Janet Farris; BeadDreams 2003

 

 

BWMichelangelo

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” — Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

 

Image: “Harlequin” by Elizabeth Larsen: BeadDreams 2004

 

 

Shellspicaso

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” — Pablo Picasso

 

Image: “Light Kumer Pipi” glass beads and necklace bySara Sally LaGrand; BeadDreams 2004

 

 

NoguerePattiSmith

“Nobody says “Picasso, the male artist.” — Patti Smith

 

Image: “California Sunshine” by Heather Trimlett; BeadDreams 2004

 

 

EyesPaulKlee

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” — Edgar Degas

 

Image: “Evil Eye buttons” by Dustin Tabor; BeadDreams 2004

 

 

SquirralOdd

“The only thing that matters is that you are original and find your own voice.” — Odd Nerdrum

 

Image: “Momma” by Betsy Youngquist; BeadDreams 2004

 

 

Sheraldcopy

“I paint as a way of looking for myself in the world” — Amy Sherald

 

Image: “Wisteria” by Jo Lessa Willey; BeadDreams 2004

 

 

CoralMargritte

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” — René Magritte

 

Image: “Antique Rose” by Skye; BeadDreams 2004

Abraovic

“Happiness comes from the full understanding of your own being.” — Marina Abramovic

 

Image (glass beads): “Wacky Wheelers” by Kim Yamakawa; BeadDreams 2005

 

 

Hatokeefe

 I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty. — Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Image: “Samantha’s Journey” byElfleda Russell; BeadDreams 2004

 

 

FlowersWhistler

“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” — James McNeill Whistler

 

Image (glass beads): “Botanical Series” by Glass Onion Stuidos; BeadDreams 2005

 

 

Hepworth

The transmutation of experience is organically controlled and contains new emphasis of forms.” — Barbara Hepworth 

 

Image: “Spiraling Triangles Necklace” by Grazyna Rurka; BeadDreams 2005

 

 

Duncan

“You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” — Isadora Duncan

 

Image: “Desert Bloom” by Angela Murphy; BeadDreams 2005

 

 

 

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