Top: Barnacle Rock 8 x 10 inches, Portland Museum of Art
"Brush strokes carry a message whether you will it or not. The stroke is just like the artist at the time he makes it. All the certainties, all the uncertainties, all the bigness of his spirit and all the littleness are in it." -Robert Henri
I found this wonderful quote posted on the blog Art and Influence by Armand Cabrera, and thought I should repost it here. Brushtrokes are so fundamental to painting. Expressionist painters emphasize them, while photorealist painters aim to eliminate them altogether.
The comments to the original post recommend a book by Henri called Art Spirit.