Mary Cassatt, after 1900 Frederick Arnold Sweet Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
"I doubt if you know the effort it is to paint! The concentration it requires, to compose your picture, the difficulty of posing the models, of choosing the color scheme, of expressing the sentiment and telling your story! The trying and trying again and again and oh, the failures, when you have to begin all over again! The long months spent in effort upon effort, making sketch after sketch. Oh, my dear! No one but those who have painted a picture know what it costs in time and strength!" "After a time, you get keyed up and it 'goes', you paint quickly and do more in a few weeks than in the preceding weary months. When I am en train, nothing can stop me and it seems easy to paint, but I know very well it is the result of my previous efforts."
Reprinted from Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector by Louisine W. Havemeyer.