If you haven`t already discovered it, Pinterest is a wonderful way to find interesting and unique images of just about anything in which you are interested. Like Google Images, only a classier selection.I first came across it when a friend was planning a wedding and was looking for inspirational ideas for invitations and decoration. And so I started my own Pinterest site.
The National Gallery`s decision to allow visitors to use their camera phones to photograph the artwork (see article from the Independent) got me thinking again about the relationship that people have with art. Particularly, how they look at art when visiting a gallery.
Fascinated by this subject I have compiled a Pinterest site filled exclusively with such images (click on the link to visit the site).
How you look at art reveals something about your character. There are the `sprinters` who move through rooms with hardly a glance. The `deep thinkers` who sit for goodly passages of time in front of a favourite piece. The `exhibition devotees` who move dutifully through the rooms in the recommended sequence, looking at every single piece, in thrall of their headpieces. And then the `selective browsers` who ignore much stuff only to examine a particular piece in minute detail, bending forward so close to the canvas as to cause alarm with the museum staff.
Of course, what just about every artist is trying to achieve is that special moment when the viewer suspends their disbelief and looks at their work as if it is reality, or at least is sufficiently smitten with the work as to dive into the image as into a better, purer world. Accepting the fictional, the fabricated, as a kind of magical alter-universe.
These Pinterest images reflect this relationship.
Look at how the couple is so smitten by the hyper-reality of Chuck Close`s portrait that they are drawn into it as by a powerful magnet.
Smile at the ironic ones, such as this famous Norman Rockwell piece entitled `The Connoisseur`.
And think about ones which simply reflect the awe that people feel in front of a masterpiece, as with these bambinos below.
Next time you visit an art gallery, take the time not only to view the artwork, but to observe the other visitors. It can be quite revealing!
This is the first blog of my new website. After 33 years behind a desk I can`t tell you how happy I am finally to devote my time to the spirit of creativity that has been ever-present all my life but is only now emerging, blinking into the sunlight. There are so many ideas I have for new series of paintings and I can`t wait to crank up the volume. I am new to this blogging lark but in the spirit of keeping the content relevant and interactive, I am going to give you some options for blog content and ask you vote on them. The subject with the most support will form my next blog. In the absence of any response (entirely possible) I will just go with whatever is currently piquing my curiosity. So here goes:
1. Oils v. acrylics
2. My methods of painting
3. Inspirational artists (one each blog, to include Richard Estes, Velasquez, Norman Rockwell, Monet, Manet, Antonio Lopez, John Singer Sargent, Chuck Close, Caravaggio, Jack Vettriano, Gustave Caillebotte, to name but a few)
4. What is good about Pinterest and why my Pinterest site is full of pictures of people staring at art
5. In search of a studio
6. Favourite artists supply shops
7. Art galleries of the world (ones that I`ve been to and love, that is) to include Musee D`Orsay, The National Gallery, The Tate Liverpool, The Prado, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, etc (you get the picture).
Use the feedback form to tell me which of the above interests you. Arigato! In the meantime, here is a painting that transfixes me every time I find myself in front of it (and no, it is not photorealistic):
Claude Monet, "Bain a La Grenouillère", 1869, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York