Monday, August 15, 2011

Pearls of....?

I've got into the habit in the last few months of writing down ideas for paintings, ideas on technique, things to do, notes about materials, thoughts about art etc etc in a big notebook that I keep with me whenever possible. On several occasions I've recalled that I've had a great idea for a painting....and that's it...just that I had an idea but cannot recall the idea itself, very frustrating. Writing these sparks of inspiration down as soon as they occur at least means that you've got a record of them, no matter how bizarre or untenable they are.

Been reading back through the pages of ramblings that I've filled so far and thought I'd share a few of my, in my opinion, more worthy pearls of wisdom regarding the intangible lunacy that is art.

"Lines only exist in your mind, there is really just light and shadow. Once you see that you've crossed a line."

"In art the perfect mindset is in balance, doubt and confidence are equal so they cancel out, it's just you and your art, nothing else."

"A photograph can freeze a moment in time in a way that nothing else can, an artist can thaw that moment and bring it back to life."

"Paint fast, draw fast, don't hang around, someone somewhere's catching up."

"Inspiration has no respect for your convenience, always keep a notebook to hand."

"One doesn't have to be an insane absinthe drinking recluse living in poverty in some poxy garrat to be an artist. ...I prefer malt whisky"

"The night is never truly dark, there is always light and shadows, True darkness only exists in the mind....and on the bottom of my kettle."

"Seeing clearly isn't a just matter of opening your eyes, you need to open your mind and heart as well."

"I love really crazy dreams, they make the world appear to be sane"

"Close your eyes to convention, embrace the possibility of what exists inside you rather than what you believe the world expects you to be. Step into the void, your art will catch you. If it does not then no matter what you tell yourself you didn't yet take that step over the precipice."

"Talent is a flame, solitude pours petrol on it."

"Eyes're imprortant in portraits, with dog portraits...essential, if you don't get the expression in a dogs eyes you just have a load of fur."

"If you believe that to produce great art you need to suffer then stick a pencil in your leg."

"Art, it's a three letter word. When it's a necessity to tack another word in front of it we know that we're no longer talking about art."

"Conceptual art has it's uses, it provides art critics with some purpose in their lives. Rather like rotten meat does for flies."

"To think you can choose what your art is to be is to think you have control over what you are, if you believe that you're kidding youself."

"Colour tone is nothing, you can get away with anything with tone. Colour value is everything, get it wrong and you've got nothing."

"Inspiration is a spark in your mind, the mind of an artist is a powderkeg. The art that results is as inevitable as an explosion."

"Should I be worried? I still have both my ears at the moment."

There you have it, the 'Ben's words of wisdom to date' compilation. :-)


  1. Great quotes Ben. I have a journal/sketch book too. I realized even great ideas can be forgotten so I now know better than to think I'll remember just because it 's a great idea.

    I prefer scotch. :D

  2. Morning Ben,
    Man! You're on a roll! In my humble opinion, you'll be published very soon, and I don't mean a pamphlet.
    Your "pearls" are wonderful; Funny, touching, sad, cutting, insightful and wise. Most important; They ring true.
    If you don't put them in a book, I may just be requesting your permission to print them out myself, just to keep around my studio.
    Have a great day, Ben.