Here is just one great string of words from Guy Davenport's Objects on a Table (Counterpoint, 1998), a book of four essays on still life.
In still life, down through history, we find an ongoing meditation on where matter ends
and spirit begins, and on the nature of their interdependence.
On Nature and Painting
"A work of art is a corner of the Creation seen through a temperament."
(Emile Zola, c. 1866)
de Koonig on looking at a painting
"There's no way of looking at a work of art by itself. It's not self-evident - it needs a history, it needs a lot of talking about; it's part of a whole man's [sic] life."
--quoted in Stevens, M. & Swan, A. (2004) de Koonig: An American master. New York: Knopf.
More from Matisse
Although he wrote and spoke many wonderful things about art, Matisse was very skeptical about the usefulness of painters' reliance on words. As I try to build this blog, I will remember his wise warning: "A painter who addresses the public not just in order to present his [sic] works, but to reveal some of his ideas on the art of painting, exposes himself to several dangers ...I am fully aware that a painters' best spokesperson is his work" (Notes from a painter, 1908).
Matisse on When the Art Begins
When asked by Verdet in 1952 when the necessity to create a piece of art starts to germinate, Matisse responded: 'It begins when the individual realizes his [sic] boredom or his solitude and has need of action to recover his equilibrium."
Art isn't about painting a picture. Art is a journey. And it can last a whole life. A place where you understand your whole life from.