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Emily Carr

  • Up came the sun, and drank the dew.

  • Art being so much greater than ourselves, it will not give up once it has taken hold.

  • ... I made myself into an envelope into which I could thrust my work deep, lick the flap, seal it from everybody.

  • I wonder why we are always sort of ashamed of our best parts and try to hide them. We don't mind ridicule of our 'sillinesses' but of our 'sobers' ...

  • The earth is soaked and soggy with rain. Everything is drinking its fill and the surplus gluts the drains. The sky is full of it and lies low over the earth, heavy and dense. Even the sea is wetter than usual!

  • Got a new pup. He is half griffon. The other half is mistake.

  • Go out there into the glory of the woods. See God in every particle of them expressing glory and strength and power, tenderness and protection. Know that they are God expressing God made manifest.

  • ... enter into the life of the trees. Know your relationship and understand their language, unspoken, unwritten talk. Answer back to them with their own dumb magnificence, soul words, earth words, the God in you responding to the God in them.

  • Let me not fuss and fret at my incompetence but be still and know that Thou art God.

  • You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even going and coming.

  • Sometimes I could quit paint and take to charring. It must be fine to clean perfectly, to shine and polish and know that it could not be done better. In painting that never occurs.

  • I can rise above the humility of my failure with an intense desire to search deeper and a blind faith that some day my sight may pierce through the veils that hide. I know God's face is there if I keep my gaze steady enough.

  • The foolish square calves pretend to be frightened of our train. Bluffers! Haven't they seen it every day since they were born? It's just an excuse to shake the joy out of their heels.

  • There is no right and wrong way to paint except honestly or dishonestly. Honestly is trying for the bigger thing. Dishonestly is bluffing and getting through a smattering of surface representation with no meaning ...

  • ... real art is religion, a search for the beauty of God deep in all things.

  • The biggest part of painting perhaps is faith, and waiting receptively, content to go any way, not planning or forcing. The fear, though, is laziness. It is so easy to drift and finally be tossed up on the beach, derelict.

  • There is a side of friendship that develops better and stronger by correspondence than contact ... The absence of the flesh in writing perhaps brings souls nearer.

  • I am always watching for fear of getting feeble and passé in my work. I don't want to trickle out. I want to pour till the pail is empty, the last bit going out in a gush, not in drops.

  • I think that one's art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grew.

  • The house begins to be a home. The unfamiliar places are beginning to fold the familiar objects into their keeping and to cozy them down. Objects that swore at each other when the movers heaved them into the new rooms have subsided into corners and sit to lick their feet and wash their faces like cats accepting a new home.

Emily Carr, Canadian artist, writer

(1871 - 1945)