"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college
- that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
"The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing."
"I'm beginning to notice some improvement".
, the world-renowned cellist, still practiced three hours a day when he was ninety-three. When
asked why he still practiced at that age, he said,
"Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. Make it on the good days too."
"Art, poetry and music are matters of survival. They are guardians and makers of the unbroken chain of what's oldest
and first in the human spirit. They are charged with maintaining the aboriginal movements in the latest edition
of man; they make young and immediate what is first and oldest in the spirit of man."
"The performers were performing for what we would call God. It's performing in a way that is not just for the critics
or the writers or the money or the audience, but is a giving back. It's a responsibility to who you are as a person
in the world."
"I do not pretend to transmit a message of reality: I am moved by the longing to travel through my paintings in
a dimension of spirit where the intimate and the cosmic converge."
"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."
"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."
"Opening a door to the mysteries, hoping to shed a little dark on all the stuff we think we know."
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in
awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough
if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."
"We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write."
"...because all things transfer
From what they seem to what they truly are
When they are innocently brooded on
And, so, the poet makes grief beautiful ..."
- From the poem "Strict Care, Strict Joy" by
"Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head - they somehow appeared there and formed in his head - and all he had to do was write them down and they would be manifest to the world. But I think what is so interesting is that... things come out of nothing... things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. I think this would be important for people to understand, because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that's how things work."
"The contemporary artist...is not bound to a fully conceived, previsioned end. His mind is kept alert to in-process
discovery and a working rapport is established between the artist and his creation."
"You can't force inspiration. It's like trying to catch a butterfly with a hoop but no net. If you keep your mind open
and receptive, though, one day a butterfly will land on your finger."
"I try when I'm writing to fill my head and my ears with all sorts of stuff and then let it settle and filter through.
At a certain point it seems like fruitless activity because you're taking a lot of time and not seeming to get anything.
And then, slowly, you realize you've actually digested elements and that your thinking is being freed up and the
way you build up compositions is changed as a result of what you've been listening to."
"I'm always trying to swim to new ground."
"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
"If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are
many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
"It's that element of surprise. When you lose control, you discover new things."
"What is full of redundancy or formula is predictably boring. What is free of all structure or discipline is randomly
boring. In between lies art."
"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame."
"In a roomful of shouting people, the one who whispers becomes interesting."
"Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere." I, too, can
see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more?"
"Science is everything we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else."
"The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing
is the eyebrows."