Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.— John James Audubon
The most lavish John James Audubon quotes that are little-known but priceless
A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.
One day I caught four Dolphins, how much I have gazed at these beautiful creatures... as they changed their hue in twenty varieties of richest arrangement of tints.
I can scarcely manage to scribble a tolerable English letter.
I know that I am not a scholar, but meantime I am aware that no man living knows better than I do the habits of our birds.
I waged war against my feelings.
In my deepest troubles, I frequently would wrench myself from the persons around me and retire to some secluded part of our noble forests.
My heart swelled with uncontrollable delight.
The best recommendation I can have is my own talents, and the fruits of my own labors, and what others will not do for me, I will try and do for myself.
There is but one kind of love; God is love, and all his creatures derive theirs from his; only it is modified by the different degrees of intelligence in different beings and creatures.
My drawings at first were made altogether in watercolors, but they wanted softness and a great deal of finish.
Thank God it has rained all day. I say thank God, though rain is no rarity, because it is the duty of every man to be thankful for whatever happens by the will of the Omnipotent Creator; yet it was not so agreeable to any of my party as a fine day would have been.
The Fur Company may be called the exterminating medium of these wild and almost uninhabitable regions, which cupidity or the love of money alone would induce man to venture into. Where can I now go and find nature undisturbed?
A Mocking Bird regularly resorts to the south angle of a chimney top and salutes us with sweetest notes from the rising of the moon until about midnight.
If only the bird with the loveliest song sang, the forest would be a lonely place.
The nature of the place...whether high or low, moist or dry, whether sloping north or south, or bearing tall trees or low shrubs...generally gives hint as to its inhabitants.
If I can procure three hundred good substantial names of persons, or bodies, or institutions, I cannot fail to do well for my family, although I must abandon my life to its success, and undergo many sad perplexities and perhaps never see again my own beloved America.
On the 17th of May, the Delos put out to sea.
I was immediately affected with sea-sickness, which, however, lasted but a short time. I remained on deck constantly, forcing myself to exercise.
I feel fully decided that we should all go to Europe together and to work as if an established Partnership for Life consisting of Husband Wife and Children.
All trembling, I reached the Falls of Niagara, and oh, what a scene! My blood shudders still, although I am not a coward, at the grandeur of the Creators power; and I gazed motionless on this new display of the irresistible force of one of His elements.
There is the morass, wherein you plunge up to your knees, or the walking over the stubborn, dwarfish shrubbery, whereby one treads down the forests of Labrador; and the unexpected bunting or sylvia which perchance, and indeed as if by chance alone, you now and then see flying before you, or hear singing from the ground creeping plant.
I wish I had eight pairs of hands, and another body to shoot the specimens.
Poor France, thy fine climate, rich vineyards, and the wishes of the learned avail nothing; thou art a destitute beggar, and not the powerful friend thou wert represented to me.
Duruing all these years there existed within me a tendency to follow Nature in her walks.
I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.
To repay evils with kindness is the religion I was taught to practise, and this will forever be my rule.
Would it be possible that I should not in any degree succeed? I can scarcely think so. Ah delusive hope, how much further wilt thou lead me?
Great men show politeness in a particular way;
a smile suffices to assure you that you are welcome, and keep about their avocations as if you were a member of the family.
The mercantile business did not suit me.
I discover that my friends think only of my apparel, and those upon whom I have conferred acts of kindness prefer to remind me of my errors.
To be a good draftsman was to me a blessing.
How could I make a little book, when I have seen enough to make a dozen large books?
But hopes are Shy Birds flying at a great distance seldom reached by the best of Guns.
When the bird and the book disagree, believe the bird.
Never give up listening to the sounds of birds.
On landing at New York I caught the yellow fever.
The kind man who commanded the ship that brought me from France took charge of me and placed me under the care of two Quaker ladies. To their skillful and untiring care I may safely say I owe my life.
As I grew up I was fervently desirous of becoming acquainted with Nature.
Because my father was often absent on naval duty, my mother suffered me to do much as I pleased.
. . .nature indifferently copied is far superior to the best idealities.
[Drawing should be] a journey of pleasure.
Each step must present to the travellers' view objects that are eminently interesting, varied in their appearances, and attracting to such a degree as to excite in each individual thus happily employed the desire of knowing all respecting all he sees.
But the moment a bird was dead, no matter how beautiful it had been in life, the pleasure of possession became blunted for me.
Mathematics was hard, dull work. Geography pleased me more. For dancing I was quite enthusiastic.
I cannot help but think a curious event is this life of mine.
After all, I long to be in America again, nay, if I can go home to return no more to Europe, it seems to me that I shall ever enjoy more peace of mind, and even Physical comfort than I can meet with in any portion of the world beside.
To have been torn from the study would have been as death; my time was entirely occupied with art.
Almost every day, instead of going to school, I made for the fields, where I spent my day.
I purchased excellent and beautiful horses, visited all such neighbors as I found in congenial spirits, and was as happy as happy could be.
The worse my drawings were, the more beautiful did the originals appear.
The fact is I am growing old too fast, alas! I feel it, and yet work I will, and may God grant me life to see the last plate of my mammoth work finished.
I looked long and carefully at the picture of a stag painted by Landseer - the style was good, and the brush was handled with fine effect, but he fails in copying Nature, without which the best work will be a failure.