Paula Rego Quotes

With Pastel you don’t have the brush between you and the surface. Your hand is making the picture. It’s almost like being a sculptor. You are making the person. It’s very tactile. And lovely because it’s very difficult, learning what colours to use together to make shadows and so on. It’s wonderful to do, to rub your hand over.

Every change is a form of liberation. My mother used to say a change is always good even if it’s for the worse.

When a child does a drawing and calls it ‘Mummy’, for the child that is ‘Mummy’. To us it looks like a stick, a round ball, but to the child that really is ‘Mummy’. It is the same with me.

I’ve needed an impulse from within, a lot of emotional energy to do this stuff, and a kind of desire. It’s a very aggressive thing. It’s not an aggression like you’re hitting it; it’s a sensual aggression, if you like.

My favorite themes are power games and hierarchies. I always want to turn things on their heads, to upset the established order, to change heroines and idiots. If the story is ‘given’ I take liberties with it to make it conform to my own experiences, and to be outrageous.

We interpret the world through stories… everybody makes in their own way sense of things, but if you have stories it helps.

Poetry is good for unleashing images.

I’m not fashionable at all, and the fact that I manage to sell pictures without being fashionable is thanks to my gallery.

The gaps between the forms worry me. I can never get these spaces right.

If you put frightening things into a picture then they can’t harm you. If fact, you end becoming quite fond of them.