“Robert Henri (1865–1929) was an American artist, teacher, and an outspoken advocate of modernism in painting. The Art Spirit represents the best of the collected words, teachings, and letters of Henri…a must read for all aspiring artists and lovers of art…”

The Art Spirit

Robert Henri

This fabulous book is really a gem of wisdom for artists, or even for anyone who appreciates art. Every page contains such insight that at times it feels more like a guidebook for living a meaningful life. I can’t help but be inspired to make art every time I open this book (which I do frequently). Highly recommended!

Below is a (growing) collection of some of my favorite quotes from the book, mostly for my own inspiration…but I hope someone else out there finds some value in these too.

For more information on Robert Henri, visit the Robert Henri Museum website here. Grab the book on Amazon here.

There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.

Paint what you feel. Paint what you see. Paint what is real to you.

He who has contemplated has met with himself, is in a state to see into the realities beyond the surfaces of his subject. Nature reveals to him, and, seeing and feeling intensely, he paints, and whether he wills it or not each brush stroke is an exact record of such as he was at the exact moment the stroke was made.

We are not here to do what has already been done.