art zone,  artists,  pastels

Harley Brown – soft pastel artist

Those of you who follow my work may know, that this March marks 20 years since I created the website and the Acrista Art brand was born. The first half of this period I spent mastering the soft pastels as a material and the artist who greatly influenced me during this time and was a sort of virtual mentor for me, was the pastelist Harley Brown.

I came across him after subscribing to International Artist magazine, where Harley had regular articles, sharing wisdom on the artist’s life and priceless practical advices on the creative process. During this period, I acquired his two books: “Eternal Truths for Every Artist” and “Confessions of a starving Artist”, which are real treasures for every artist.

“The Audition”, Harley Brown

I am pleased to share selected quotes of his, that have significantly influenced me as an artist:

“Don’t imitate. Improvise. Don’t copy. Interpret.”

“Art is much more than a Want. It’s a Need.”

“Being an artist is certainly not practical. That’s one of its glories.”

“ESPECIALLY ignore anonymous critiques.”

“Confidence brings individuality. Individuality strengthens confidence.”

“Draw for the sake of it.”

“I am not a serious artist. I am a happy artist.”

“Art is never too easy; right up to the end. That’s a significant ingredient to happiness.”

“Keep your desires simple. Even the big ones.”

“The female image is the most powerful image in the history of the world. It is forever dynamic, fascinating, ethereal, aesthetic, inspiring, and universal.”

“Real art is like real love; it takes a genuine effort.”

“Is it Art? Who’s to say?”

“Every step of a successful painting can be quite beautiful.”

“Art is not work; it’s playtime. Put that in your resume.”

“Nothing positive or beautiful in history has escaped criticism. Ignore criticism but listen to requested critiques.”

“A problem is a lesson and nothing more.”

“Both in traffic and art rushing causes accidents.”

“Dump one unnecessary thing you do each day and fill that time with selfish creativity.”

“I don’t understand, nor want understand the ornate language of art criticism.”

“I don’t like to think of artists in competition with one another. Artists don’t compete; they share their vision.”

“If not today, when? If not you, who?”

“Prove yourself only to yourself.”

“You won’t always succeed but that’s one of the joys of success.”

“Your mentors give you the matches, but you light your own fires. Each time.”

“When we think we’ve learned it all, that’s a good beginning.”

“A painting is always finished before you think it is.”

“A great painting speaks for itself. No puffery needed.”

“Artists are illusionists that allow the observer to actually walk into their own created world. Isn’t that a wonder?”

“Being bold is not entitlement to immortality. But it’s a start.”

“I have hundreds of acquaintances who are millionaires. Not one of them is happier than me. Often they’ll ask me what my secret is. It’s simple: I do exactly what I want, pretty well, all the time.”

“How high do you want to go in art? If you are consumed with it, you are already there.”

“I’d like to buy or lease the days that other people waste…”

“If you are happy, you are an enviable success. Keep doin’ what you are doin’.”

“No need to get anyone’s approval in life of art. Solicited advice; that’s something else.”

“Just make art – each moment counts, not the end product.”

“Once you gain mastery, you can fly in any direction.”

“On an average day I dart into my studio and enter my snug domain of art. Yes, I have moments when I have to deal with realities, but most of my time is spent in Shangri la. Like Samson’s hair, my art gives me uncommon strength.”

“Beauty relies on simplicity.”

“Style comes with confidence. Confidence comes from: knowing what you are doing; not caring what the viewer thinks.”

“There are moments in the Arts which confirm to us that we really are alive.”

“Remember that GREAT is a relative term…”

“Simplify when you can.”

“There’s one thing you should know: it is the way you feel at the moment you are in front of the canvas or paper. That is everything to me. More than art shows (which I don’t go to anymore) or sales (I make a living).”

“Your only competition is what you were yesterday.”

“We do live in our own little world. People get to see it through our paintings, glimpsing some of what has aroused us, but only if they are perceptive…”

“I chose to be an artist. We paint because we love it and not for awards or money or even the approval of colleagues. Anything positive that comes from our works will never get better than the feeling we have when we are creating something on a blank piece of canvas or paper. Art itself is the biggest “payback”. Believe me.”

Paintings images: copyright belongs to the artist / rightful owner.