Nathan Goldstein


American Artist, Educator and Author

Author Quotes

All good art is in the service of something greater than the artist?s intentions.

All our creative activities occur in the context of what we know and what we want.

Art is a celebration of form. It is also, and importantly, a celebration of life.

Drawing also plays a vital role in abstract, and even non-objective imagery. It is no accident that two of the twentieth century?s most gifted artists, Matisse and Picasso, drew so well. They were well trained in drawing and it shows. A knowledge of drawing informs and influences the judgments in even the most abstract works. A well-trained artist can visit an exhibition of abstract and non-objective art and point out those artists who can draw and those who cannot. The works by artists who understand drawing are invariably better.

Every work of art is, in a way, an essay. We simply cannot say everything about a subject. What we choose to include and exclude tells the viewer how we understand our world. And how we draw tells the viewer how well we see and understand our world. Rudolf Arnheim, the great psychologist, was correct when he pointed out that ?an inability to draw is to some extent an inability to see.? Our ability as teachers of Art should be based on our ability to teach the student how to see, and a large part of seeing has to do with drawing.

Perspective should be learned ? and then forgotten. The residue ? a sensitivity to perspective ? helps perception, varying with each individual and determined by his responsive needs.

Sometimes I stop and I think, well, it?s about midnight. But it?s 3 in the morning, and I don?t know where I?ve been or what?s gone on, it?s so engrossing.

The local-tone is the intrinsic value of a thing ? excluding any effects of light. The local-tone of a common pearl is very nearly white; that of a lump of coal, nearly black.

The need to make art is like an affliction, like pneumonia ? it could strike anybody at almost any time.

We haven?t fully seen anything we haven?t touched with our eyes.

Value gives the artist the means of showing subtle changes in a form's surface-state, and it helps clarify the relative distance between forms.

Value, whether the result of massed lines, broad strokes, or washes, is the necessary and (except for color) only tool for modelling form with light.

The inherent lightness or darkness of a form – its local-tone – is a given quality of all forms. It is affected by, but separate from, the light and dark areas that result from light falling on forms.

One of the characteristics of great drawing is the artist's wholehearted acceptance of his own style and character. It is as if the drawing says for the artist, "Here I am."

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American Artist, Educator and Author