Vincent Van Gogh wanted to be a pastor and didn’t start painting until 1880 when he was 27 years old and his most famous works were done while he was a patient in an asylum a year before his death in 1890, completing nearly 900 oil paintings in just ten years.
Salvador Dali would hold a key or a spoon in his hand with a tin plate on the floor. If he drifted asleep, the key for spoon would fall and hit the plate waking him up. This is how he was able to create his paintings; while staying awake and being in a quasi-dream state of mind.
Sarah Biffin, a Victorian English painter born without arms and legs, learned to write, sew and paint with her mouth. Her miniature portraits at a traveling show impressed an Earl so much that he paid for her tutelage. She became very popular and even the Royal Family commissioned her work.
The mysterious baroque painter Johannes Gumpp is known to have painted only one self portrait which also happens to be a triple self portrait in which he appears from behind painting his own face reflected in a mirror.
Paul Cézanne was such a slow painter that, when he painted still lifes involving fruit, the content would often begin to rot before he had time to finish. To get around the problem, he started using waxed fruit instead.
Rembrandt’s students pranked him by painting fake coins on the floor to watch him try to pick them up.
Picasso drew a sketch on the back of every check he wrote to pay a bill, knowing that almost everyone would save the check without cashing it because the picture made the check worth more than face value.