Quotes to Get You Into the Creative Mood
Updated: Mar 13
There are more than 30 art quotes here–I couldn’t seem to stop myself! The words from these artists express the importance of creativity in our world for self-expression and as a means for insight, healing and social change. Reading the right quote can provide the inspiration and burst of positivity when you feel your creative mojo needs a jump-start.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age. He was based mainly in the United Kingdom, and is most famous for his painting Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871)–known to most of us as Whistler’s Mother.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) has been one of my favorite artists for many years–she was born in my home state of Wisconsin. Known as The Mother of American Modernism Georgia’s abstract art focused on flowers, New York skyscrapers and the New Mexico landscape. Check out the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Edgar Degas (1834 - 1917) was a French painter and sculptor. Many of his impressionistic paintings were of ballet dancers and are absolutely gorgeous. He was quite talented in his use of pastels and oils to capture the effects of light within his paintings.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Born in 1940) is the only individual I included here who I had never heard of before. He is a German aviator, airline executive and a religious leader.
Paul Cézanne (1839 – 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter. His work was incremental in the transition from Impressionism into the new and radically different form of abstract art in the 20th century.
Another one of my favorite artists is Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). He had a huge influence on the early impressionistic movement. His paintings display a fascination with intense color and lighting.
David Hockney (Born in 1937) is an English painter, print maker, photographer, draughtsman and stage designer. He helped pioneer the British Pop Art movement in the early ’60s.
Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950) was an American actor who in 1905 switched careers to become an interior decorator. She refers to herself in her memoir as “a rebel in an ugly world.”
Oscar-Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) was one of the founders of French Impressionist painting. He was a strong voice in the movement’s philosophy of expressing landscapes in the unique impressionist style. He created 1000’s of scenic plein air paintings, and was particularly fond of painting flowers in vibrant colors.
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a Russian painter and art theorist. With his unique perspective on the form and function of art, he is attributed with creating one of the first ever abstract paintings.
Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was quite the character with his thin, curling mustache, flamboyant behavior and need for attention. His eccentricity and talent combined to make him a prominent Spanish surrealist artist.
Abby Willowroot is an archetypist and goddess artist. She is the founder and director of the Goddess 2000 Project–an International Arts Project.
American author Joseph Chilton Pearce (1926-2016) wrote about child development, the mind-heart connection, and spirituality. He is known as The Grandfather of The Conscious Parenting Movement.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was a Russian-French artist and early modernist. He was a multi-talented artist, creating paintings, stained-glass windows, ceramics, and tapestries. America Windows, Chagall’s gorgeous 36 panel stained glass window, was created specifically for The Art Institute of Chicago. This exhibit is well worth your time if you are ever in Chicago. Click here to see America Windows.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American artist, director, and producer. After graduating with a degree in pictorial design he worked as a commercial artist and became an early figure in the pop art movement.
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was a true innovator in the world of art. He did his own thing while suffering from mental health issues. This took an incredible amount of courage and talent!
Van Gogh was a creative visionary!
Another artist who created despite enduring an incredible amount of physical and emotional pain was Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954). She survived polio as a young child and was seriously injured in a bus accident at the age of 18. Her marriage to Diego Rivera was not a stable relationship, to say the least. Frida expressed her suffering through her paintings, and is now known as a feminist icon.
Libba Bray (born 1964) is an American writer of young adult novels.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist. We all know him for his break-through theory of relativity. A lesser know fact is his creative talent on the piano and violin. Another great quote by Einstein sums up his life “The greatest scientists are artists as well.”
Stevie Wonder (born in 1950) is a multi-talented musician. He became a teenage soul sensation back in the ’60s and has since become one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.
Nora Jones (born in 1979) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She has sold over 50 million records worldwide– pretty impressive for her young age. I read she started out playing the saxophone–her jazzy music is incredibly soulful.
The world lost a great musician when Canadian-born Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) passed away. Listening to his song Hallelujah will move your soul regardless of your favorite genre of music.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Unfortunately he was only in the spotlight for a short four years. Regardless of this, he is known as one of the greatest electric guitar players ever.
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 – 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. He wrote novels, poetry, and short stories throughout the 1880s, and became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s.
This one certainly goes way back in history. Michelangelo (1475-1564) was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Statue of David are two of his greatest works.
Geogre Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist. He was influential–and still is–influential in the theater, culture and politics. An interesting fact on Shaw is that he is the only person who has won both an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet. He became a leader of individualism, criticizing societal norms and pressures. Emerson led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century, publishing essays and giving over 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
Mary Flannery O’Connor (1925 – 1964) was an American writer who wrote two novels, thirty-two short stories, and a number of reviews and commentaries. Her life was cut short due to complications from lupus.
William Butler Yeats (1864 – 1939) was an Irish poet and an innovator of 20th-century literature. He established himself with both the Irish and British literary world, and helped found the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1904.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) is well-known as the creator of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney Productions, and many theme parks. With his vivid imagination he became known as an innovator in the world of animation and cartoon production.
Born in Spain Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a multi-talented artist. The creative hats he wore included painter, sculptor, print maker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright.
American actor, singer, dancer, musician, and comedian Danny Kaye (1911-1987) is another individual with a wide array of talents. He gives a great performance in White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen!
My hope is these quotes will inspire you to create with passion–in whatever form you choose. Creativity feeds the soul of the artist and anyone fortunate enough to witness the final result. We must continue to create with the hope of healing our souls and those of our brothers and sisters.
Peace, love & creativity ~ Sandra