This is a post I wrote a few years ago on my old blog. Thought it was worth transferring and sharing.
Last week while I was painting, a thought came to me. Art is personal.
I thought of how I love to be in museums and galleries, especially quiet and lonely ones. I am delighted when standing in a gallery with no one around but the one security guard. I love the solitude of a gallery all to myself. I love viewing art alone but then discussing it with my husband, family member, friend, or whoever is with me.
I thought about the many museums and exhibits I've been too all over the world. I’ve thought of my experiences where an entire gallery was so packed you couldn’t help but brush up against strangers on your way to the next piece. And then only finding that the one spot you can see the piece is from a weird side angle. The experience of a large crowd around the one famous painting or sculpture trying to take pictures, when all you want to do is actually view and breathe it in. Then there’s the moderate to mildly occupied spaces, which you thank the Lord for when it’s usually full. And then the sparse and vacant museums that really should have more patrons, but due to lack of advertising or interest it sits lonely. With each experience I've had, I find I connect more to art and understand it better when I’m viewing it alone.
And this is why; it encourages me to think about the art and draw my own ideas and conclusions without distractions from others. Also, one person usually creates a work of art. It was a personal expression and experience for the artist who made the art. I give it sole attention. It’s a human experience to pay strict attention to something someone else created. It’s another human experience to see the collaborative work of many humans. Just like a play or solo dance performance, each has it’s own feel and goal.
Viewing art is an art. Next time you get to stand in front of a masterpiece; stand alone. View alone. Completely block out all surrounding noises and people and focus on that piece. Meditate on the piece and then feel the difference of that experience from what you normally do when observing art.
Slow down when viewing art. After all, works of art take hours, months, years and sometimes a lifetime to create and are made with deep emotions and sacrifice of the artist.
Give art a little more of your time and it will give back to you.