Paul Gauguin on Art and Painting
" I have always said, or at least thought, that literary poetry in a painter is something special, and is neither illustration nor the translation of writing form. In painting one must search rather for suggestion than for description, as is done in music. Sometimes people accuse me of being incomprehensible only because they look for an explicative side to my pictures which is not there. "
" It is well for young men to have a model, but let them draw the curtain over it while they are painting. It is better to paint from memory, for thus your work will be your own; your sensation, your intelligence, and your soul will triumph over the eye of the amateur. When you want to count the hairs on a donkey, discover how many he has on each ear and determine the place of each, you go to the stable. "
Paul Gauguin: Seek Harmony
" What is sweeter to an artist than to make perceptible in a bunch of roses the tint of each one? Although two flowers resemble each other, can they ever be leaf by leaf the same? "
" Seek for harmony and not contrasts, for what accords, not for what clashes. It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling-block. "
" Go from dark to light, from light to dark. The eye seeks to refresh itself through your work; give it food for enjoyment, not dejection. It is only the sign-painter who should copy the works of others. If you reproduce what another has done you are nothing but a maker of patchwork; you blunt your sensibility and immobilize your coloring. Let everything about you breathe the calm and peace of the soul. "
" Do not finish your work too much. An impression is not sufficiently durable for its freshness to survive a belated search for infinite detail; in this way you let the lava grow cool and turn boiling blood into stone. Though it were a ruby, fling it far from you. "
Paul Gauguin: Impressionism
" A critic at my house sees some paintings. Greatly perturbed, he asks for my drawings. My Drawings? Never! They are my letters, my secrets. The public man - the private man. "
Goldwater, R & Treves, M. 1976. Artists on Art, From the 14th to the 20th Century . John Murray.
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