Practical Tools and Wise Quotes on All Matters Creative

| Menu | Share | Search | Settings |

Creative quotes and quotations
On Seeing...


Quick: what can you see now? Look again, more closely. Do you see more hues and shades, more light and dark? The key skill that artists learn is to see what is really there, as opposed to reconstructing what we suppose is there. Proper seeing leads to proper truth leads to better creativity.

See also

artists, attention, children, dreaming, illumination, imagination, judgement, knowledge, listening, mind, people, perception*, thinking, truth*, vision


‘By far the greatest impediment and aberration of the human understanding arises from [the fact that]...those things that strike the sense outweigh things which, although they may be more important, do not strike it directly. Hence, contemplation usually ceases with seeing, so much so that little or no attention is paid to things invisible.’

Francis Bacon

‘When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one which has opened for us.’

Alexander Graham Bell

‘I walk in the garden, I look at the flowers and shrubs and trees and discover in them an exquisiteness of contour, a vitality of edge, or a vigour of spring, as well as an infinite variety of colour that no artefact I have seen in the last sixty years can rival…each day, as I look, I wonder where my eyes were yesterday.’

Bernhard Berenson

‘What is art but a way of seeing?’

Thomas Berger

‘The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.’

Henri Bergson

‘Cynic: a blackguard whose faulty visions sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.’

Ambrose Bierce

‘To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower; to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour–is inspiration.’

William Blake

‘Mysteries are not to be solved. They eye goes blind when it only wants to see why.’

William Blake

‘When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite.’

William Blake

‘Man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.’

William Blake

‘The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.’

Henri Bergson

‘You can observe a lot just by watching.’

Yogi Berra

‘Every man who observes vigilantly, and resolves steadfastly, grows unconsciously into genius.’

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Genius is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose.’

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

‘The eye sees what it brings the power to see.’

Thomas Carlyle

‘Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.’

Carlos Castaneda

Learn to see, and then you’ll know there is no end to the new worlds of our vision.’

Carlos Castaneda

‘It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘One sees great things from the valley, only small things from the peak.’

G. K. Chesterton

‘Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.’


‘My eyes make pictures, when they are shut.’

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

‘To develop a complete mind, study the science of art, study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.’

Leonardo Da Vinci

‘When you look at a wall spotted with may discover a resemblance to various landscapes, beautiful with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees. Or again, you may see battles and figures in action, or strange faces and costumes, and an endless variety of objects which you could reduce to complete and well-drawn figures.’

Leonardo Da Vinci

‘Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.’

Edward de Bono

‘A great thought begins by seeing something differently, with a shift of the mind’s eye.’

Albert Einstein

‘Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.’

Albert Einstein

‘Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

People only see what they are prepared to see.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘The field cannot be seen from within the field.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.’

Benjamin Franklin

‘The creative mind doesn’t have to have the whole pattern—it can have just a little piece and be able to envision the whole picture in completion.’

Art Fry

‘I shut my eyes in order to see.’

Paul Gamarin

‘There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on how one looks at it.’

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘If you ask me, what is helpful to creativity is training the eye to notice things, to observe closely and precisely, being careful not to make a muddle of it.’

Ian Graham

‘If the individual is narrowly concentrated on the goal, to the exclusion of other relevant aspects of the problem situation, he is often unable to achieve a solution. The creative thinker must stand sufficiently detached from his work.’

Mary Henle

‘The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.’


‘Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.’

Jean Houston

‘The typical eye sees the ten per cent bad of an idea and overlooks the ninety per cent good.’

Charles F. Kettering

Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.’

Paul Klee

‘What we see depends mainly on what we are looking for.’

John Lubbock

‘Sight is a faculty; seeing is an art.’

George Perkins Marsh

‘I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naïve.’

Abraham Maslow

‘When I eat a tomato I look at it the way anyone else would. But when I paint a tomato, then I see it differently.’

Henri Matisse

‘I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.’

Henri Matisse

‘I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.’


‘An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.’

James Michener

‘Now I really make the little idea from clay, and I hold it in my hand. I can turn it, look at it from underneath, see it from one view, hold it against the sky, imagine it any size I like, and really be in control almost like God creating something.’

Henry Moore

‘The obscure we see eventually, the completely apparent takes longer.’

Edward Murrow

‘Observation capitalizes inspiration.’

Alex Osborn

‘I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.’

Pablo Picasso

‘Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.’

Pablo Picasso

‘Painting is a blind man’s profession. He never paints what he sees, but what he feels.’

Pablo Picasso

Genius is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.’

Ezra Pound

‘The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes.’

Marcel Proust

‘Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know.’

Ayn Rand

‘In a dark time, the eye begins to see.’

Theodore Roethke

Genius is only a superior power of seeing.’

John Ruskin

‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

‘A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.’

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

‘My advice to any young person at the beginning of their career is to try to look for the mere outlines of big things with their fresh, untrained and unprejudiced mind.’

Hans Selye

‘A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears.’

Gertrude Stein

‘The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing.’

Publilius Syrus

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.’

Jonathan Swift

‘A man has not seen a thing who has not felt it.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’

Henry David Thoreau

Children are a wonderful gift...They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.’

Desmond Tutu

‘The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.’

Paul Valéry

‘Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.’

Simone Weil

‘No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.’

Oscar Wilde

‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.’

Oscar Wilde

‘Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.’

Ludwig Wittgenstein



Site Menu

| Home | Top | Settings |

| Tools: | All | Definition | Ideation | Selection | Implementation |

| Full Book! | Articles | Quotes | Quoters | Links | Settings |

| Contact | About | Students | Feedback | Changes |

| Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |


And here's our book:

How to Invent (Almost) Anything
Now FREE Online

Order in the UK
Order in the USA
Order in Canada


Please help and share:

| Home | Top | Menu |

© Changing Minds 2002-2015
Massive Content -- Maximum Speed