Notes & Quotes


Quotes on Art and Design


‘Good design is a lot like clear thinking made visual’ Edward Tufte


Harmless Like You, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

‘1968, Quinacridone Gold

A toasted yellow formulated for the automobile industry. It is the color of streetlights on puddles at night, pickled yellow radish, and duck beaks.’ P6

‘1979, Gesso

Not a paint in its own right. Gesso is smeared over canvas to prepare it for painting. It is equally good for covering up your mistakes, for starting again.’ P226


A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara

‘The camera wasn’t a great one, and it had hazed every picture with a smoky yellow light, which, along with his poor focusing skills, had made everyone warm and rich and slightly soft-edged, as if they had been shot through a tumblerful of whiskey.’ P33

(Referring to JB’s painting artworks based on his friends’ lives.) ‘At times he missed being part of the pictures himself; here was a whole narrative of his friends’ lives, his absence an enormous missing part, but he also enjoyed the godlike role he played. He got to see his friends differently, not just as appendages to his life but as distinct characters inhabiting their own stories; he sometimes felt that he was seeing them for the first time, even after so many years of knowing them.’ P34

‘he had stopped to admire the scene the gallery made, a bright golden box of light and shimmered warmth against the chilled flat black of the night.’ P171

‘The paintings had been arranged in a single row that unspooled across the walls like a stave, and the tones JB had created – dense bruised blues and bourbonish yellows – were so distinctly their own, it was as if JB had invented a different language of color altogether.’ P171


Almost Love, Louise O’Neill

‘She could instantly tell it was one of Fionn’s paintings. If Sarah had spent her life trying to make the sea true on the page, then Fionn had attempted to do the same with the sky: swashes of inky blacks and midnight blues. His paintings were intense to look at, as if you were being swallowed whole, the paint swirling in your mouth and crawling up your nose until you thought you might suffocate in the world he had created.’ P14