I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, - light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.— John Constable
The most massive John Constable quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
Light - dews - breezes - bloom - and freshness;
not one of which... has yet been perfected on the canvas of any painter in the world.
Painting is a science, and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature. Why, then, may not landscape painting be considered as a branch of natural philosophy, of which pictures are but the experiments?
The sound of water escaping from mill-dams, etc.
, willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork.those scenes made me a painter and I am grateful.
The sky is the source of light in Nature and it governs everything.
An artist who is self-taught is taught by a very ignorant person indeed.
Turner has outdone himself; he seems to paint with tinted steam, so evanescent and so airy.
The world is wide; no two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither were there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of the world; and the genuine productions of art, like those of nature, are all distinct from one another.
My canvas soothes me into forgetfulness of the scene of turmoil and folly - and worse - of the scene around me. Every gleam of sunshine is blighted to me in the art at least. Can it therefore be wondered at that I paint continual storms? "Tempest o'er tempest roll'd" - still the "darkness" is majestic.
Connoisseurs think the art is already done.
But the sound of water escaping from mill-dams, &c.
, willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork, I love such things. Shakespeare could make everything poetical; he tells us of poor Tom's haunts among "sheep cotes and mills." As long as I do paint, I shall never cease to paint such places. They have always been my delight.
But You know Landscape is my mistress - 'tis to her that I look for fame - and all that the warmth of the imagination renders dear to Man.
A gentleman's park is my aversion. It is not beauty because it is not nature.
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I never saw an ugly thing in my life.
We must bear in recollection that the sentiment of the picture is that of solemnity, not gaiety & nothing garish, but the contrary - yet it must be bright, clear, alive fresh, and all the front seen.
I don't mind parting with the corn, but not with the field in which it was raised.
The climax of absurdity to which art may be carried when led away from nature by fashion, may be best seen in the works of Boucher.
I paint by all the daylight we have and that is little enough, less perhaps than you have by much... imagine to yourself how a purl must look through a burnt glass.
Painting is with me but another word for feeling.
I know very well what I am about and that my skies have not been neglected, though they often failed in execution - and often no doubt from over anxiety about them.
I have likewise made many 'skies' and effects - for I wish it could be said of me as Fuselli says of Rembrandt, 'he followed nature in her calmest abodes and could pluck a flower on every hedge - yet he was born to cast a steadfast eye on the bolder phenomena of nature'... We have had noble clouds & effects of light & dark & color.
I am anxious that the world should be inclined to look to painters for information about painting.
Still I should paint my own places best;
painting is with me but another word for feeling, and I associate "my careless boyhood" with all that lies on the banks of the Stour; those scenes made me a painter, and I am grateful; that is, I had often thought of pictures of them before ever I touched a pencil, and your picture ['The White Horse'] is one of the strongest instance I can recollect of it.
When I sit down to make a sketch from nature, the first thing I try to do is to forget that I have ever seen a picture.
No man who can do any one thing well will be able to any different thing equally well.
It is always my endeavour however in making a picture that it should be without a companion in the world. At least such should be a painters ambition.
Constable himself knew the value of such studies, for he rarely parted with them. He used to say of his studies and pictures that he had no objection to part with the corn, but not with the field that grew it.
I ought to respect myself for my friends' sake, and my children's.
It is time, at fifty-six, to begin, at least, to know oneself, - and I do know what I am not, and your regard for me has at least awakened me to believe in the possibility that I may yet make some impression with my "light" - my "dews" - my "breezes" - my bloom and freshness, - no one of which qualities has yet been perfected on the canvas of any painter in the world.
Verse is a mechanism by which we can create interpretative illusions suggesting profoundities of response and understanding which far exceed the engagement or research of the writer.
A sketch will not serve more than one state of mind & will not serve to drink at again & again — in a sketch there is nothing but the one state of mind — that which you were in at the time.
I am anxious that the world should be inclined to look to painters for information about painting. I hope to show that ours is a regularly taught profession; that it is scientific as well as poetic; that imagination alone never did, and never can, produce works that are to stand by a comparison with realities.
Only think that I am now writing in a room full of Claudes.
.. almost of the summit of my earthly ambitions.
It is the soul that sees; the outward eyes Present the object, but the Mind descries. We see nothing till we truly understand it.
We see nothing till we truly understand it.
I have added some ploughmen to the landscape form the park pales which is a great help, but I must try and warm the picture a little more if I can... but I look to do a great deal better in future. I am determined to finish a small picture in the spot for every one I intend to make in future. But this I have always talked about but never yet done - I think however my mind is more settled and determined than ever on this point.
The world is rid of Lord Byron, but the deadly slime of his touch still remains.
It is much to my advantage that several of my pictures should be seen together, as it displays to advantage their varieties of conception and also of execution, and what they gain by the mellowing hand of time which should never be forced or anticipated. Thus my pictures when first coming forth have a comparative harshness which at the time acts to my disadvantage.
It will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not the key note, the standard of scale, and the chief organ of sentiment.
There has never been a boy painter, nor can there be.
The art requires a long apprenticeship, being mechanical, as well as intellectual.
When we speak of the perfection of art, we must recollect what the materials are with which a painter contends with nature. For the light of the sun he has but patent yellow and white lead - for the darkest shade, umber or soot.
My art flatters nobody by imitation, it courts nobody by smoothness, nobody by petitelieness without either fal-de-lal or fiddle-de-dee; how then can I hope to be popular?
The first impression and a natural one is, that the fine arts have risen or declined in proportion as patronage has been given to them or withdrawn, but it will be found that there has often been more money lavished on them in their worst periods than in their best, and that the highest honours have frequently been bestowed on artists whose names are scarcely now known.
My picture [A Boat Passing a Lock, 1823-6] is liked at the [Royal] Academy, indeed it forms a decided feature and its light can not be put out. Because it is the light of nature - the Mother of all that is valuable in poetry - painting or anything else... my execution annoys most of them and all the scholastic ones - perhaps the scarifies I make for 'lightness' and 'brightness' is too much but these things are the essence of Landscape.
I do not consider myself at work unless I am before a six-foot canvas.
Speaking to a lawyer about pictures is something like talking to a butcher about humanity.