150+ Inspiring Painting Quotes by Famous Artists

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

Looking for a perfect art caption or to show off your artistic side or provoke a thought? Or add a good reference in your art statement?

As former Chief Marketing Officer who became artist, I’ve selected for you my favorite painting quotes by famous artists and philosophers.

Simply copy and paste any of these inspiring art quotes to use on your social media or to use in your canvas painting or artists statement.

painting quotes for instagram

Table of Contents

MORE QUOTES: 240 Best Quotes About Crafters & DIY Crafting (You can Use as Captions for Instagram) – you will laugh badly as you will recognize yourself in some 🙂

Feel free to use any post templaterods I have here, BUT only with a link to this post or mention me on social media.

Best Painting Quotes

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

— Pablo Picasso
  • “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picass
  • “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” – Pablo Picasso
  • “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” – Pablo Picasso
  • “When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.” Pablo Picasso
  • “Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint.” Pablo Picasso
  • “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso
painting quotes for instagram picasso
  • “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” – Pablo Picasso
  • “There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun”. – Pablo Picasso
  • “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”  – Pablo Picasso
  • “Whoever wants to know something about me, they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want.” ― Gustav Klim
  • “Stay firmly in your path and dare. Be wild two hours a day!”― Paul Gauguin
  • “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton.
  • “There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other.” – Paul Cezanne
  • “I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.” – Bob Ross
  • “If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery. It wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”― Michelangelo

painting quotes for instagram
  • “The Achilles heel of an artist lies in the hope that his art is good.”― Kapil Gupta
  • “When I paint, I never think of selling. People fail to understand that we paint in order to experiment and to develop ourselves as we strive for greater heights.”― Edvard Munch
  • “My idea of heaven is to wake up, have a good breakfast, and spend the rest of the day drawing.”― Peter Falk

painting captions for instagram
  • “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get the work done. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work.” ― Chuck Close
  • “One learns about painting by looking at and imitating other painters.” – Frank Stella
  • “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.“― Salvador Dali
  • “As I work at my drawings, day after day, what seemed unattainable before is now gradually becoming possible. Slowly, I’m learning to observe and measure. I don’t stand quite so helpless before nature any longer.”― Vincent van Gogh in ’Lust for Life’
  • “Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons.”― Al Hirschfeld
  • “Whoever wants to know something about me, they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want.”― Gustav Klimt
painting captions for instagram kahlo

“The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul.”― Wassily Kandinsky

  • “He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”― Saint Francis of Assisi
  • “The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.”― Eric Gill
  • “If you hear a voice within you saying, ”You are not a painter,” then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced.”― Vincent van Gogh
  • “The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they’re always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.” – Norman Rockwell
  • “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”― Edgar Degas
  • “I want to be famous but unknown!”― Edgar Degas
  • “A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.” ― Edgar Degas
  • “The creation of a painting takes as much trickery and premeditation as the commitment of a crime.” ― Edgar Degas
  • “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” — Meister Johann Eckhart
  • Those who do not want to imitate anything produce nothing.― Salvador Dali
painting quotes for instagram matisse
  • “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” ― Salvador Dali
  • “Being an artist is the same as being a wizard… only instead of a wand you use a pencil for your magic.”- The Picsees
  • “Drawing is giving a performance; an artist is an actor who is not limited by the body, only by his ability and, perhaps, experience.”― Marc Davis
  • “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “Anybody who perceives colors can become a painter. It’s simply a question of whether or not one has felt anything and whether one has the courage to recount the things one has felt.” — Edvard Munch

“Art is not a thing, it is a way.”

– Elbert Hubbard
  • “Painting is a source of endless pleasure, but also of great anguish.” – Balthus
  • “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” – Edward Hopper
  • “The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.” Lucian Freud
  • “The painter must give a completely free rein to any feeling or sensations he may have and reject nothing to which he is naturally drawn.” Lucian Freud
  • “There is no must in art because art is free” – Wassily Kandinsky.
  • Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.” John Lubbock
  • “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”- Paul Klee
  • “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.”― Paul Cezanne
  • “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” – Andre Gide
  • “I believe that the great painters with their intellect as master have attempted to force this unwilling medium of paint and canvas into a record of their emotions.” Edward Hopper
  • “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” Plutarch

Need short quick caption? Here are 220+ Creative Painting Captions For Instagram For Engagement

painting quotes for instagram van gogh
  • A true masterpiece does not tell everything.― Albert Camus
  • “Art is power. It can influence perception, opinion and values. And the artist who creates uses his paintbrush to focus on a moment in time…recording those things that touch the heart.” – Nina Baldwin
  • To my mind a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful and pretty. There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is, without creating still more of them.― Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • “What is commonly called ugliness in nature can in art become full of beauty.” Auguste Rodin
  • The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.― Aristotle
  • “Real painters understand with a brush in their hand.” Berthe Morisot
  • Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.― Leo Tolstoy
  • Art is longing. You never arrive, but you keep going in the hope that you will.― Anselm Kiefer
  • Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “I’ve been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas, I just think about it.” — Steven Wright
  • “Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight; which are: Darkness, Light, Solidity and Colour, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

painting quotes for instagram van gogh
  • “A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
  • Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – René Magritte
  • “Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

“Bus stops are far more interesting and useful places to have art than in museums,

— Banksy

painting quotes for instagram aristotle
  • More important than a work of art itself is what it will sow. Art can die, a painting can disappear. What counts is the seed.― Joan Miro
  • “Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.” – Philip Guston
  • “If you understand a painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it.”- Salvador Dalí
  • “I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.” ― Frida Kahlo
  • Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth.― Pablo Picasso
  • “A work of art doesn’t have to be explained.”- Louis Bourgeois
painting quotes for instagram
  • Sketching is almost everything. It is the painter’s identity, his style, his conviction, and then colour is just a gift to the drawing.― Fernando Botero
  • Never worry about being obsessive. I like obsessive people. Obsessive people make great art.― Susan Sontag
  • A beautiful body perishes, but a work of art dies not.― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Drawing is the honesty  of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.”-Salvador Dalí
  • “Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.” – Rembrandt
  • The principle of true art is not to portray but to evoke.― Jerzy Kosinski
  • I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.― Michelangelo
  • Painting becomes interesting when it becomes timeless. – Peter Doig
  • “I could certainly never mirror nature. I would more like to paint what it leaves with me.”- Joan Mitchell
  • Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained. – Maurice de Vlaminck
  • Art completes what nature cannot bring to finish. – Aristotle

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”

Vincent van Gogh

Get these free Canva templates to create your own posts with quotes
  • “I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.” – Vincent Van Gogh
  • “Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.” – Donatella Versace
  • While drawing I discover what I really want to say.― Dario Fo
  • Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.― Jackson Pollock
  • “I paint myself because I am alone. I paint myself because I am the subject I know best.”- Frida Kahlo
  • In drawing, one must look for or suspect that there is more than is casually seen.― George Bridgman
  • It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.― Henry David Thoreau
  • “In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.― John Lubbock
  • The way one sees is also dependent upon one’s emotional state of mind. This is why a motif can be looked at in so many ways, and this is what makes art so interesting.— Edvard Munch
painting quotes for instagram
  • “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “In order to awaken the world to the light, we must never be afraid to shine.” – Gabrielle Bernstein
  • It is only when we are no longer fearful that we begin to create.― J. M. W. Turner
  • If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.― Marc Chagall
  • Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.― Anais Nin
  • Drawing at its best is not what your eyes see but what our mind understands.― Millard Sheets
  • Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.― Neil Gaiman
  • For me drawing is an attempt to understand what I feel about the world I live in.― Brian Froud
painting quotes for instagram
  • Drawing is exercise for a restless imagination.- Tim Burton
  • Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter’s soul.― Vincent van Gogh
  • Painting from nature is not copying the object, it’s realizing one’s sensations.― Paul Cezanne
  • Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.― Stella Adler
  • You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at the picture for a second and think of it all your life.― Joan Miro
  • The great artists of the past were aware that human life is full of chaos and suffering. But they had a remedy for this. And the name of that remedy was ‘beauty’. The beautiful work of art brings consolation in sorrow and affirmation in joy. It shows human life to be worthwhile.― Roger Scruton
  • Drawing things makes them seem more real and makes me feel more alive. It also makes me pin down and remember things landscapes, season, weather, occasions, incidents, people that would otherwise have melted from my memory.― David Gentleman
  • What keeps my heart awake is colourful silence.― Claude Monet
  • Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.― Henry Ward Beecher
  • Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – Twyla Tharp
painting quotes for instagram
  • Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.― Keith Haring
  • “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.” – Neil Gaiman
  • The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.― Neil Gaiman
  • “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”― Chuck Klosterman
  • “I think of art as the highest level of creativity. To me, it is one of the greatest sources of enjoyment.” – David Rockefeller
  • Art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up. – James Baldwin
  • “I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.” – Frida Kahlo
  • “For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh.” – Georges Rouault

Read also: Painting Date Night Complete Guide +12 Ideas For Sip & Paint Date DIY

  • “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” – Steve Jobs
  • Creativity is intelligence having fun.― Albert Einstein
  • “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Another word for creativity is courage.”- Henri Matisse.
  • “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
painting quotes for instagram

  • Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.― Ray Bradbury
  • “Routine kills creative thought.” — Scarlett Thomas
  • “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London
  • “Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity.” – Maya Angelou
  • “The idea of divine inspiration and an aha moment is largely a fantasy. Anything of value comes from hard work and unwavering dedication. If you want to be a good artist you need to look at other artists, make a lot of crappy art, and just keep working.” — Sydney Pink
  • Creativity is taking the best skills and techniques from experts around you and improving upon them.
  • It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas.― Paul Cezanne
  • It is not enough to know your craft, you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.― Edouard Manet

painting quotes for instagram
  • “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “I think creative blocks come from people’s life journeys. If you don’t know who you are or what you’re about or what you believe in it’s really pretty impossible to be creative.” — Rainn Wilson
  • “I have a flood of ideas in my mind. I just follow my vision.” – Yayoi Kusama
  • “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
  • There is no ‘right’ way to make art. The only wrong is in not trying, not doing. Don’t put barriers up that aren’t there — just get to work and make something.”  Lisa Golightly
  • You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou
  • “All profound distraction opens certain doors. You have to allow yourself to be distracted when you are unable to concentrate.” Julio Cortázar
  • Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. – Banksy

Read also: 101 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas for Beginners on Canvas

  • “I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.” Frida Kahlo
  • “I want to make paintings that look as if they were made by a child.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • “When I have a creative block, I take walks. I like to see what shapes stick out – so many legs rushing by at once, it can seem abstract. I don’t need to see great art to get stirred up. Music does that for me more easily.”  Caio Fonseca
  • “Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus
  • “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.” – Voltaire
  • “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
  • Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy. – Albert Einstein
  • “The art world is the biggest joke going. It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak. And modern art is a disgrace – never have so many people used so much stuff and taken so long to say so little.” – Banksy
  • The idea is not to live forever, but to create something that will. – Andy Warhol

You can create Instagram posts like these in Canva, and even use some of my free templates for art captions for Instagram (with my art):

What is your favorite painting quote that inspires you to make art or reflect?

or what is your go to caption for painting you finished and posted recently?

I find that most of my art is very situational and emotional and sometimes it’s hard to wrap it in words!

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