These were beginners, each had come to seek
Expression in a world outside her own,
Exciting world of color and technique,
Of light and shadow, symmetry and tone.
The table held a cabbage, leafy green,
Whose inmost edges sparkled still with dew,
Some looked askance on such a common scene
And thought of still life they would like to do.
Still others penciled outlines hurriedly,
More eager for the color tube and brush,
Then mixing paints they worked determinedly
And with the quiet of cathedral hush.
But only one saw cabbage as a rose
Because she'd taught her heart to understand
That in each common thing some beauty glows,
That loveliness is always near at hand.
And on her finished canvas one could feel
The roughened outer leaves, the inner core,
The cool, sweet drops of dew were all but real
Because her heart had looked for something more.—Viney Wilder
It is said that Roger Fry once asked a little girl about her method of drawing and obtained this answer: "First I have a think, and then I put a line around it "—Serge de Gastyne, "Inspiration," Music Journal
One of our correspondents writes: "The other day I visited a well-known gallery and witnessed the following scene: Two men, one from the Met and the other from the Museum of Modern Art, came to award prizes for sculpture. Some of the pieces were placed on a ledge in front of which stands the desk of the gallery's manager. One of the judges pointed out an object on the shelf and said to his companion that the piece was worthy of an award. He was about to finalize the solemn act of attaching the tag of merit to the object when the gallery's manager turned around and said, `Sir, that's the electric fan.'"—American Artist
The primary and highest function of art is to deliver a message to the soul of man.—Ethelwyn M. Avery, "There Is a Plan for the Arts," New Outlook
There was an old sculptor named Phidias,
Whose knowledge of Art was invidious.
He carved Aphrodite
Without any nightie—
Which startled the purely fastidious.—Gilbert K. Chesterton.
The friend had dropped in to see D'Auber, the great animal painter, put the finishing touches on his latest painting. He was mystified, however, when D'Auber took some raw meat and rubbed it vigorously over the painted rabbit in the foreground.
"Why on earth did you do that?" he asked. "Why you see," explained D'Auber, "Mrs Millions is coming to see this picture today. When she sees her pet poodle smell that rabbit, and get excited over it, she'll buy it on the spot."
A young artist once persuaded Whistler to come and view his latest effort. The two stood before the canvas for some moments in silence. Finally the young man asked timidly, "Don't you think, sir, that this painting of mine is—well—er—tolerable?"
Whistler's eyes twinkled dangerously.
"What is your opinion of a tolerable egg?" he asked.
The amateur artist was painting sunset, red with blue streaks and green dots.
The old rustic, at a respectful distance, was watching.
"Ah," said the artist looking up suddenly, "perhaps to you, too, Nature has opened her sky picture page by page! Have you seen the lambent flame of dawn leaping across the livid east; the red-stained, sulphurous islets floating in the lake of fire in the west; the ragged clouds at midnight, black as a raven's wing, blotting out the shuddering moon?"
"No," replied the rustic, "not since I give up drink."
Art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life.—Jean Paul Richter.
Now nature is not at variance with art, nor art with nature; they being both the servants of His providence. Art is the perfection of nature. Were the world now as it was the sixth day, there were yet a chaos. Nature hath made one world, and art another. In brief, all things are artificial; for nature is the art of God.—Sir Thomas Browne.
An American tourist and his wife, after their return from abroad, were telling of the wonders seen by them at the Louvre in Paris. The husband mentioned with enthusiasm a picture which represented Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, in connection with the eating of the forbidden fruit. The wife also waxed enthusiastic, and interjected a remark:
"Yes, we found the picture most interesting, most interesting indeed, because, you see, we know the anecdote."
The Yankee tourist described glowingly the statue of a beautiful woman which he had seen in an art museum abroad.
"And the way she stood, so up and coming, was grand. But," he added, with a tone of disgust, "those foreigners don't know how to spell. The name of the statue was Posish'—and it was some posish, believe me! and the dumb fools spelt it—'Psyche!'"
"Tell me, does your husband snore?"
"Oh, yes, indeed—so delightfully."
"Yes, really—he's so musical you know, his voice is baritone, he only snores operatic bits, mostly Aida."
The packer from Chicago admired a picture by Rosa Bonheur.
"How much is that?" he demanded. The dealer quoted the price as $5,000.
"Holy pig's feet!" the magnate spluttered. "For that money, I can buy live hogs and——"
His wife nudged him in the ribs, and whispered:
"Don't talk shop."