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John Singer Sargent

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Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend.
--
Quoted in Bentley and Esar, Treasury of Humorous Quotations (1951)

 
John Singer Sargent

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Of writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,ó
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.

 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 

..there comes a point when something catches on the canvas, something grips on the canvas. I donít know what it is, you can put your paint on the surface? Most of the time it looks like paint, and who the hell wants paint on a surface? But there does come a time Ė you take it off, put it on, goes over here, moves over a foot, as you go closer you start moving in inches not feet, half-inches Ė there comes a point when the paint doesnít feel like paint. I donít know why. Some mysterious thing happens. I think you have all experienced it.. ..What counts is that the paint should really disappear, otherwise itís craft. Thatís what I mean by something grips in a canvas. The moment that happens you are then sucked into the whole thing. Like some kind of rhythm.í

 
Phillip Guston
 

Oh I wish that I could paint again. Paint is an instrument without which I cannot survive for any length of time. Whenever I even think of gray, green and white, I am overcome with quivers of lust. Then I wish that this war would end and that I might paint again.

 
Max Beckmann
 

It is for the artist...in portrait painting to put on canvas something more than the face the model wears for that one day; to paint the man, in short, as well as his features.

 
James McNeill Whistler
 

l paint what cannot be photographed, and l photograph what l do not wish to paint. lf it is a portrait that interests me, a face, or a nude, I will use my camera. It is quicker than making a drawing or a painting. But if it is something I cannot photograph, like a dream or a subconscious impulse I have to resort to drawing or painting. To express what I feel I use the medium best suited to express that idea, which is also always the most economical one. l am not at all interested in being consistent as a painter, and object-maker or a photographer. I can use several different techniques, like the old masters who were engineers, musicians and poets at the same time. I have never shared the contempt shown by painters for photography: there is no competition involved, painting and photography are two media engaged in different paths. There is no conflict between the two.

 
Man Ray
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