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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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on Painting                    139

Money and Technique

Money is very like technique (or vice versa). We see that
both musicians or painters with great command of technique
seldom know what to do with it, while those who have little
often know how to use what they have.

Action and Study

These things are antagonistic. The composer is seldom a
great theorist; the theorist is never a great composer. Each
is equally fatal to and essential in the other.

Sacred and Profane Statues

I have never seen statues of Jove, Neptune, Apollo or any
of the pagan gods that are not as great failures as the statues of
Christ and the Apostles.


If a man has not studied painting, or at any rate black and
white drawing, his eyes are wild; learning to draw tames
them. The first step towards taming the eyes is to teach
them not to see top much.

Quickness in seeing as in everything else comes from long
sustained effort after rightness and comes unsought. It never
comes from effort after quickness.

Improvement in Art

Painting depends upon seeing ; seeing depends upon look-
ing for this or that, at least in great part it does so.

Think of and look at your work as though it were done by
your enemy. If you look at it to admire it you are lost.

Any man, as old Heatherley used to say, will go on im-
proving as long as he is bona fide dissatisfied with his work.

Improvement in one's painting depends upon how we look
at our work. If we look at it to see where it is wrong, we
shall see this and make it righter. If we look at it to see