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Inspirational Art Quotes by the Australian portrait painter Sir William Dobell
Born William Dobell - Cookshill, Newcastle, Australia - 24th of September, 1899 / Died - 13th of May 1970
Popular William Dobell works include portrait paintings, often elongated and distorted, almost to the point of being caricatures. Dobell achieved a lot of public attention in Australia after the Archibald prize controversy, with his portrait of Joshua Smith.
William Dobell Quotes
- "Sometimes I move
around the head, getting different angles. For instance if I get
a full face there's nothing to tell you really how large the nose
is. I have to get a sculptor's view of the head and do a side one
too because when you're doing the full job then you can make the
nose come forward."
- "I have been trying
to develop a style of my own derived from the Old Masters. The leaders
of the so-called ''modern" movements have done the same.. although
they have developed in different directions."
- "So long as people
expect paintings to be simply coloured photographs they get no individuality
and in the case of portraits, no characterisation. The real artist
is striving to depict his subjects character and to stress
the caricature, but at least it is art which is alive."
- "I never intended
to be a portrait painter. It was after the Joshua Smith painting
that people began asking me to do portraits but I never wanted to
be commissioned to paint portraits. I like to choose my own subject
and make a character study from it."
- "Honing a thing
down until you can still get through with economy, that's power.
Learn your technique thoroughly, immerse yourself in it, and then
just throw it all out the window, and express what you feel.. and
it will come through that you are a technician."
- "He was conscious
of his looks (Joshua
Smith) and I tried to portray the man as I knew him, because
he was a nice, likeable person with great dignity."
- "I use an element
of distortion in order to make the portrait more like the subject
than he is himself."
- "A sincere artist
is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what
is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which
is, in itself, a living thing."
- "I've never been
able to go out and paint. I've never liked drawing or painting in
public. I can't bring myself to that."
- "Joshua saw the
of the portrait all the time I was painting it. He gave me every
facility and was in no way critical when he saw the finished work..
he congratulated me on the portrait."
- "My best work was
always done and still is I think when I'm experimenting. If I stop
experimenting I feel it just becomes a drudgery. That's why I take
so long and my sitters get tired waiting for commissioned portraits.
If they commission me they have to wait years sometimes because
I discard so many."