Grandma Moses Quotes

Grandma Moses (1860 - 1961)

Grandma Moses, 1950s
Grandma Moses, 1950s. Archive Photos / Getty Images

Known for her folk art paintings, Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson) began painting when she was 76 years old, giving up embroidery because of arthritis. She depicted scenes of rural life, in her signature "primitive" style, colorful and active, while lacking traditional perspective.

Selected Grandma Moses Quotations

• I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it.

I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.

• If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens.

• Painting's not important. The important thing is keeping busy.

• A primitive artist is an amateur whose work sells.

• If you know somethin' well, you can always paint it but people would be better off buyin' chickens.

• I don't advise any one to take it up as a business proposition, unless they really have talent, and are crippled so as to deprive them of physical labor.

• ... I'll get an inspiration and start painting; then I'll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.

• What a strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.

• Now that I am ninety-five years old, looking back over the years, I have seen many changes taking place, so many inventions have been made. Things now go faster. In olden times things were not so rushed. I think people were more content, more satisfied with life than they are today. You don't hear nearly as much laughter and shouting as you did in my day, and what was fun for us wouldn't be fun now....

In this age I don't think people are as happy, they are worried. They're too anxious to get ahead of their neighbors, they are striving and striving to get something better. I do think in a way that they have too much now. We did with much less.

• I look out the window sometimes to seek the color of the shadows and the different greens in the trees, but when I get ready to paint I just close my eyes and imagine a scene.

• I paint from the top down. From the sky, then the mountains, then the hills, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Grandma Moses Quotes." About Women's History.

URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/grandma_moses.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)