Nicholas Roerich (Russian 1874-1947)

Self Portrait with Guga Chohan

Nicolas Roerich was a Russian Artist who was part of the Czar’s Family who escaped when the Revolution happened. He traveled in the Himalayas and painted many of the sights. Some say he visited the secret city of Shambala and he brought back with him a special box with an unknown relic in it.

He created the slogan “Peace through Culture” and designed the emblem. In 1939 Franklin Roosevelt signed his Pact the “Pax Cultura.” Saying that culture, as distinct from civilization, must be protected.  He founded the Agni Yoga Society, Pax Cultura Initiative, an Art School called Master Institute of United Arts and the Institute of Himalayan Studies “Urusvati” in Kullu Valley.

Battle in the Heavens 1912

Treasure of the World

Treasure of the Mountain
Roerich also designed sets and costumes for Theatre
Snegurochka Set


The Great Helpers of humanity do not abandon the Earth so long as sufferings go unhealed. Wholehearted fellowship can easily heal the wounds of a friend — but it is necessary to develop the art of thinking in the name of Good. And this is not easy amid the day’s hustle and bustle. But the examples of the Great Helpers of humanity can encourage and infuse new forces.

“Wealth in itself does not generate Culture. But broadened and subtler thinking and the sense of Beauty produce that subtlety, that nobility of spirit which are distinctive for a cultured person. It is this kind of person that can build the future of light for its country”.

Maxfield Parrish (American 1870-1966)

Maxfield Parrish

American Maxfield Parrish has a color of cobalt blue named after him. He was a painter and illustrator from the Art Deco Era. He painted storytales and advertizements for Harpers Bazaar and companies like Edison Mazda.  He almost always painted a landscape in his paintings even if they were tiny and through a window. Towards the end of his life he started doing versions of his figurative work without the person.

Primitive Man
Dinky Bird

Moonlight - With figure painted out
Maxfield with Painting

Maxfield Parrish Quote: “There are countless artists whose shoes I am not worthy to polish – whose prints would not pay the printer. The question of judgment is a puzzling one. “

Wayne Thiebaud (American 1920 – Present)

Wayne Thiebaud was born in Arizona but moved to Los Angeles at a young age. Eventually he came to Northern California, studied more art and became a teacher at UC, Davis. I love his San Francisco Hillside Landscapes. It looks just like Pacific Heights!

Watermelon Slices

35Cent Masterworks

Great Wayne Thiebaud Quotes:

  • “A conscious decision to eliminate certain details and include selective bits of personal experiences or perceptual nuances, gives the painting more of a multi-dimension than when it is done directly as a visual recording. This results in a kind of abstraction… and thus avoids the pitfalls of mere decoration.”
  • “Art means something very rare, an extraordinary achievement.”
  • “An artist needs the best studio instruction, the most rigorous demands, and the toughest criticism in order to tune up his sensibilities.”
  • “Commonplace objects are constantly changing… The pies, for example, we now see, are not going to be around forever. We are merely used to the idea that things do not change.”
  • “If I don’t have anything better to do that day, I’ll copy paintings, generally by people who have some relationship to the work of the moment.”
  • “We all need critical confrontation of the fullest and most extreme kind that we can get. You can unnecessarily limit yourself by choosing your criticism”
  • “an artist has to train his responses more than other people do. He has to be as disciplined as a mathematician. Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom. It prepares an artist to choose his own limitations…”
  • “The figures… are not supposed to reveal anything… It’s like seeing a stranger in some place like an air terminal for the first time. You look at him, you notice his shoes, his suit, the pin in his lapel, but you don’t have any particular feeling about him.”

Jay DeFeo (American 1929-1989)

Jay DeFeo is a painter and photographer who lived in San Francisco during the Beat Generation. She is known for her painting “The Rose.” It is a large canvas that weights, over 1 ton!  Its 8 x 11 feet and over 3,000 lbs. She worked on her masterpiece for 8 years from 1958 to 1966. The sculptural nature of her paintings and the very minimal color palette, shows that she studied South Asian Art, especially the stone sculptures of Gandhara. This crossroads area of land in the Indus Valley, now Northern Pakistan and Eastern Afganistan saw many influences including Vedic, Greek and Buddhist Culture.

The Rose

Untitled (Florence)
Songs of Innocence

Pablo Picasso (Spanish 1881 – 1973)

Pablo Picasso is a fantastically famous artist, but most people don’t know the true scope of his work. He was extremely prolific creating of 50,000 works of art in many different mediums. I especially love his blue and rose periods. Of course his cubism and surreal images are awesome also, but his didn’t invent those styles. Many people don’t know that he also did sculpture. Also, his real name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso!

Pablo Picasso Paints with Light
Harlequin Family
Mother and Child
Picasso Progression
Jaqueline with Flowers
Girl on a Pillow

Chicago Sculpture

I could not limit myself to one quote from Piscasso, so here is a page of them. For 2 more pages visit:


  • “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
  • “Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.”
  • “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
  • “An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought.”
  • “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?”
  • “Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.”
  • “Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”
  • “Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”
  • “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
  • “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.”
  • “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”
  • “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”
  • “Disciples be damned. It’s not interesting. It’s only the masters that matter. Those who create.”
  • “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”
  • “Every positive value has its price in negative terms… the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.”
  • “Everything you can imagine is real.”
  • “Give me a museum and I’ll fill it.”
  • “God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephantand the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.”
  • “He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.”
  • “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
  • “I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.”
  • “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
  • “I do not seek. I find.”
  • “I don’t believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no accidents.”
  • “I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.”

Antoni Gaudi (Spanish 1852 – 1926)

Antoni Gaudi really broke out of the box and ran with all aspects of organic form.

It seems so much more friendly, fun and relaxing at the same time. The architecture is truly art. Imagine a world of integrated natural forms and all the possibilities.

Quotes by Antonio Gaudi:

“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.”

“Because of this, originality consists in returning to the origin.”

Salvador Dali (Spanish 1904 – 1989)

This is going to be a week of Spanish Artists I appreciate.

Starting with Salvador Dali – The King of Surrealism.


Gala Avec Symptome
The Meditative Rose
Dali and Gala

Salvador Dali Quote: “Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand themthoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.” -Dali

Dali and Ocelot

Alex Grey (American 1953 to Present)

Alex Grey painting near Gaia

Alex Grey is a visionary artist who really inspires me. He takes his art to the next level literally all his images include aspects that go beyond what our common senses register. His work is large scale, including his own museum and 100 foot tall installations at festivals. Also he does live painting so all the world can see his work and process.

The Mission of Art

“The infinite vibratory levels, the dimensions of interconnectedness are without end. There is nothing independent. All beings and things are residents in your awareness.” -Alex Grey

Anna Lea Merritt (American 1844 – 1930)

I add Anna Lea Merritt to this list because I love Pre-Raphaelite Art and I just learned that I am related to her. She was a daring woman artist in a male dominated world. Originally named Anna Massey Lea she moved to London to study art at age 21 and after 5 years married her teacher, the painter Henry Merritt who died 3 months later. She never remarried and devoted herself to art, making a living doing portraits and figurative works.

She joined a group called Royal Society of Portrait Painters, with 24 other artists in England who were dissatisfied with the selection process of the Royal Academy. She lived in Hurstbourne Tarrant in Hampshire England. Her works are in the Tate Museum in London and are known Worldwide.

Hurstbourne Tarrant


The chief obstacle to a woman’s success is that she can never have a wife. Just reflect what a wife does for an artist.
Anna Massey Lea Merritt
“A Letter to Artists: Especially Women Artists,” 1900


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