Excerpts from Charles Webster Hawthorne's "On Painting"

Spend a lifetime in hard work with a humble mind.

Get into the habit of doing what you see, not what you know. Human reason cannot foresee the accidents of out-of-doors.

It may have been accidental but you knew enough to let this alone. The intelligent painter is always making use of accidents.

When a man is sixty or seventy, he may be able to do a thing and the whole world rejoices. You can't begin too early, for this is not a thing of a month or a day.

The value of a canvas depends almost entirely on your mental attitude, not on your moral attitude; depends on what kind of a man you are, the way you observe.

Try to do ugly things so that you make them beautiful... The more delicate the thing is in nature the more one must look for the solemn note. Color in nature is never pretty, it's beautiful.

Anything under the sun is beautiful of you have the vision - it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so.

It is so hard and long before a student comes to a realization that these [first] few large simple spots in right relations are the most important things in the study of painting. They are the fundamentals of all painting.

Each day has its own individuality of color.

Put variety in white.

See what you can do with your daring with color and your ignorance mixed with it.

By having the big lines of the composition going out of the canvas, your imagination can wander beyond the edge. It will make it seem part of a large composition.

Man-made things, buildings, boats, etc., we see more decidedly than the other things in a landscape.

A sketch has charm because of its truth – not because it is unfinished.

Study continuously, developing yourself into a better person, more sensitive to things in nature. Spend years in getting ready.

If you are not going to get a thrill, how can you give someone else one? You must feel the beauty of the thing before you start.

Put off finish as it takes a lifetime - wait until later to try to finish things - make a lot of starts.

Paint with freedom. It gives you more mastery of the nature of paint.

Have a much fun as you can and don't feel that the edge of your canvas confines you – let your vision go right on.

Keep this little canvas, it is a promise for the future. When I say "keep this canvas," I mean for the influence on yourself. When one does a good thing, it's well to keep it to show how foolish we are at other times.

In his attempt to develop the beauty he sees, the artist develops himself.

Be humble about it. Paint the color tones as they come against each other, and make them sing, vibrate. Don't ask me to look at those self-satisfied, pretty things.

Realize the value of putting down your first impression quickly.

Do studies, not pictures. Know when you are licked - start another. Be alive, stop when your interest is lost.
Swing a bigger brush – you don't know what you're missing.

There is an aesthetic excitement about painting which is one of the most beautiful experiences that can be. Put things down while you feel that joy.

Paint what you see, not what you know.

The ring, the call, the surprise, the shock that you have out-of-doors – be always looking for the unexpected in nature, do not settle to a formula.

Painting is just like making an after-dinner speech. If you want to be remembered, say one thing and stop.

To see things simply is the hardest thing in the world.

The successful painter is continually painting still life.

It is so much better to make a big thing out of a little subject than to make a little thing out of a big one.

Avoid distant views, paint objects close up. If the foreground is well done the distance will take care of itself.

We must all teach ourselves to be fine, to be poets.

Do not let it look as if you reasoned too much. Painting must be impulsive to be worth while.

The world is waiting for men with vision - it is not interested in mere pictures.

-on William Merritt Chase..._Chase used to say: "When you're looking at your canvas and worrying about it, try to think of your canvas as the reality and the model as the painted thing."