Not only does a lens distort forms, but the ordinary plate makes an unholy mess of colour in its tone relations. Yellow becomes black, and blue white. Black sunflowers against a white sky - what a travesty!

— Walter J. Phillips

The most unconventional Walter J. Phillips quotes you will be delighted to read

The importance of colour is as nothing compared with that of form, chiaroscuro and arrangement. They are the true and enduring bases of pictorial art.

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Rhythm is as necessary in a picture as pigment; it is as much a part of painting as of music.

10

Style is instinctive and few achieve it in a notable degree.

Its development is not hastened by instruction. It comes or it doesn't. It will take care of itself.

8

It is not in the nature of lenses to tell the whole truth.

They are instruments of exaggeration and belittlement.

6

It is often said that the modern exhibition has ruined painting.

It is an unfortunate fact that it does encourage competition, so that, to attract attention to his work, an artist is tempted to descend to sensationalism, whether it is expressed by strong colour, grotesque handling, unusual subject, or sheer size.

6

The impression of wood-grain... must be considered, not only as regards texture and visibility, but for the occasional possibility of the expression of form. A soft wood, with hard annulations, such as fir, prints very dearly.

5

Take away a painter's vanity, said a famous landscape painter, and he will never touch a pencil again.

5

Water is the most expressive element in nature.

It responds to every mood from tranquility to turbulence.

5

Do not think me fussy when I specify tidiness.

It is essential... In printing, remember that cleanliness and order wait upon success.

5

A landscape painting is essentially emotional in origin.

It exists as a record of an effect in nature whose splendour has moved a human heart, and according as it is well or ill done it moves the hearts of others.

4

The rewards of art are not always commensurate with its quality. It affords a precarious living.

3

The play of sunlight is amusement enough for a lazy man.

3

About Walter J. Phillips

Quotes 79 sayings
Birthday October 25, 1884

Realism is condemned by those artists whose poverty of technique does not permit them to express it.

3

The sincere artist is usually his own best critic, but continuous and prolonged work on one painting will sometimes dull his judgment... The critic is in demand, but he must be competent.

3

However exquisite the contours or the colours of clouds, trees, rivers or hills, may be in themselves, they must be sacrificed if they do not conform with the general plan.

3

Etching will suggest subtle variations of tone, the most delicate shadings, all with black lines, which, as far as lines go, are unsurpassed for sheer beauty.

3

Tradition is a prop for social security.

3

The true artist and the sane collector never will tolerate insincerity and impudence.

3

For an intelligent estimate of your technique go to another artist working in the same medium.

3

Some drawings are better than others.

.. Some are utterly spoiled... I keep them all. I find a use sometimes even for the worst drawing... But their chief use is to mortify one's conceit, to show how thoroughly incompetent it is possible to be, and to shame one into better ways.

3

In most natural scenes there is a prevailing colour, which the landscape painter must learn to identify, and which must prevail also in a slightly exaggerated form, in his painting, for the sake of truth, harmony and unity.

3

Submit your work to interested societies for exhibition where the critics in the light of their physical well-being and according to the extent of their knowledge, may appraise them conveniently.

3

A painter may be an abandoned mimic; at school he copies his teachers, which is only right, but he copies in turn every artist in town, which is not. He may do you that honour.

3

Any subject is suitable provided it is of sufficient interest, but the design must be very carefully considered, and plenty of time and thought given to its construction.

3

It is evident that no derivative laws can teach the young student to see and apprehend colour in nature. His perception needs development as urgently as his muscles.

3

Every successful painter has worked hard.

He cannot rest after having gained a certain degree of facility in drawing, and expect to retain it. He must advance or fall behind. Without practice he will forget; his eye will fail him; and his hand will deny its master.

3

There must be a judicious arrangement of all the parts.

Considered conversely, the artist's task is to fill his panel with a design that conforms to its shape and is beautiful in itself.

3

Perhaps the ideal life is that of the week-end artist, who preserves the integrity of his own aesthetic ideals because of his economic independence... If his daily grind is hateful he has his weekly solace in art.

3

A landscape painting in which composition is ignored is like a line taken from a poem at random: it lacks context, and may or may not make sense.

3

While it is emotion that gives an impulse to the landscape painter, it is his style that inspires the critic's praise, and his subject that inveigles the untutored beholder.

3

When technique is obtrusive it becomes mere mannerism, a conscious striving for effect. It is only a means to an end - the manner of putting paint to paper. It hardly embraces the expressive side of painting.

3

Copying is an art in itself, demanding the greatest technical ability, especially in watercolour. However well done, the copy invariably lacks that nascent, ineffable, but definite quality, provided by the furious enthusiasm with which an original is created, an essential spontaneity that defies reproduction.

3

Many of the old masters of watercolour painted from notes, with enthusiasm either unabated or renewed. It is hard to assume the same degree of concentration in the studio, but not impossible.

3

Difficulties will assail you only when you lack in concentration and persistence.

3

Annoyance arises from the feared implication that we are copyists in subject or treatment, or both, whereas the common qualities that establish the relationship result merely from a similarity of method.

3

The public is the tribunal before which all art is judged - not the critics or the academies. The public is the artist's only patron, and has certain fundamental rights. It will submit to education, and will respond to suggestion, but it will not be bullied.

3

It is the incompetent and the neglected artist who charges the public with ignorance, stupidity, and indifference. He raves loudly, but he is incomprehensible, even inarticulate, in his work.

3

Pseudo-critics prefer to direct their remarks to the artist - Heaven forgive them - but one due rather to a common impression that such an attitude is the correct one, that all paintings should be figuratively mutilated, and that all artists are fair game, or really grateful perhaps for a few tips.

3

While sincerity and over-anxiety can spoil a picture, through superfluous elaboration and unnecessary correction, the carelessness that would leave it in an unfinished state is even more reprehensible.

3

Many a painter has lived in affluence, in high esteem, who lacked the divine spark, and who is utterly forgotten to-day.

3

Be content with nothing less than perfection.

3

The portrait painter... If he insults his sitters his occupation is gone. Whether he paints the should instead of the features, or the latter with all its natural blemishes, he is as presumptuous as if he shouted, 'What a face. Hide it.' which would never do, although it is analogous to what landscape painters are doing every day.

3

A horizontal or vertical line lacks energy, compared with one that deviates from either. The difference between these graphic expressions is the difference between movement and repose.

3

The most admirable method is that by which each wash of colour, large or small, is never disturbed. It admits of practically no overpainting, sponging or scrubbing. The colour stays where it is put.

2

In painting, whether colour reflection is apparent or not, every hue must echo neighbouring hues, so that homogeneity may be attained.

2

The deserving are not always blest. That peculiar attribute known as personality is as potent a factor as genius.

2

I don't like to think that I am a slave to technique, or so inept that I have to restrict myself to one method.

2

When spring is here the sketcher begins to look over his equipment and relishes in anticipation the soothing hours he will spend in the open, warmed by the sun, fanned by the breeze, charmed by the manifold delights of nature.

2

Humility counts for much, but it may be that vanity does not dispossess that admirable quality.

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