When Edgar Degas invited her to forego the Paris Salon and join the Impressionists, Mary Cassatt said years later what an important decision that had been for her.  “I accepted with joy,” she said.  “I hated conventional art.  I began to live.” (What she described is the aliveness of creativity flowing.  What she escaped is smothering conformity.)

“Anything can be turned to beauty.”   (Bravo!)



When Picasso painted Gertrude Stein and everyone said she didn’t look like that, he told them, “Yes, but it doesn’t matter, she will.”  And sure enough, time passed, and she did.

                               Pablo Picasso

“In life you throw a ball.  You hope it will reach a wall and bounce back so you can throw it again.  You hope your friends will provide that wall.  Well, they’re almost never a wall.  They’re like old, wet bed sheets, and that ball you throw, when it strikes those wet sheets, just falls.  It almost never comes back.”


                                         Self-Portrait 1906


About Paul Gauguin:  “In our dying century we have only one great decorator,... and our imbecile society of bankers and polytechnitions refuses to give this rare artist the smallest palace, the tiniest native hovel in which to hang the sumptuous garments of his dream?...  a little common sense, please!  You have among you a decorator of genius:  walls!  walls! give him walls!”

          Albert Aurier, Poet, Art Critic, lawyer

“How do you see that tree?  It’s yellow?  Well, then put down yellow.  And that shade is rather blue.  So render it with pure ultramarine.  And those leaves -- red aren’t they?  Use vermillion.”

                          Paul Gauguin

“When I think of you, I think of an intelligence that has been cleansed of every one of the old esthetic conventions.  It is that alone that makes it possible to see nature directly, which is the greatest happiness that can come the way of a painter.”


              What Bonnard said to Matisse

Lee Krasner was known as the “Founding Mother” of Abstract Expressionism. She played “the artist’s wife” until Jackson Pollock died and she came into her own.

Since childhood, Evelyn Pickering de Morgan was determined to be an artist.  Her first drawing tutor in the late 1800’s resigned after she produced a nude study instead of the assigned still life.  (Her revolt can teach us all something about the artist’s spirit.  Tutor, indeed!  Just look at what she saw.  How could he be so blind?)

“This ‘eternal now’ seems to be the time of

Arreguin’s paintings...  Arreguin has made the jungle paradise more real than life...”      (Olé!)

When asked if he was born in Mexico, Peter Rodriguez replied, “I’m asked that often, and I like to say, yes, I was -- occupied Mexico” (referring to California).  When asked by interviewer Nora Wagner how the idea of starting a museum came to him, he told her, “ I used to go to museum exhibits at MOMA and noticed there weren’t any hispanic surnames.  I said, well, the only way we’re going to turn that around is to start our own museum.” 

So he did, November 20, 1975 -- the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.  The date was deliberate.  “I thought the museum was a revolution in this country,” he explained.

Peter Rodriguez, Artist and Founder of the internationally acclaimed Mexican Museum in San Francisco, California.

Note:  Peter was a great inspiration to me early on.   I think he is a genius with a vision of beauty which I love.  Creativity just oozes out of every inch of his soul.  Being in his home was always a thrill.  You never knew what wonders he would be working on.  My adopted brother of the heart, thank yo
u for your gift to the world.  I love you.     Gloria


Kahlo on the Surrealists in Paris:  “You have no idea the kind of bitches these people are...  They are so damn intellectual and rotten that I can’t stand them any more...      Frida Kahlo

One of her students on her teaching style:  “The only help she gave us was to stimulate us, nothing more.  She did not say even half a word about how we should paint, or anything about style, as the maestro Diego did...  What she taught us, fundamentally, was love the people, and a taste for popular art.”

Degas is reported to have said to Pissarro and
other friends, “You need a natural life, I an artificial one...  Never was an art less spontaneous than my own.  What I do is the result of thought and the study of the great masters...  Inspiration, spontaneity, temperament, I know nothing about these.”   (Still, no one can deny that the creative spirit commandeered his hand. Just look at the moments he captured!)
Claude Monet describes an afternoon with his friend Eugene Boudin:  “At his insistence I agreed to go and work with him out of doors; I bought a box of paints and we departed for Rouelle without much conviction on my part.  Boudin set up his easel and began working; I watched him with some apprehension.  I watched him attentively, and then suddenly, as if a veil had been torn away, I understood. 

I knew what

ainting could be.  Simply by the example of that artist, engrossed in his art and independence, my destiny as a painter was opened up.”
Frieseke describes his preference to live abroad:  “I am more free and there are not the Puritanical restrictions which prevail in America.  Not only can I paint the nude  here
out of doors, but I can have a greater choice of subjects.....  It is sunshine, flowers in sunshine, girls in sunshine, the nude in sunshine, which I have principally been interested in for eight years, and if only I could reproduce it exactly as I see it, I would be satisfied....”

                     Frederick Carl Frieseke



Paul Gauguin’s Divine Eyes


Lauro Flores speaking about

Alfredo Arreguin

Mary Cassett